I really NEED to get my digital camera working – I’m so bad with things like that but I’d love to be able to show you the pile of produce on my counter today. In any case… Here’s how things went this year:
– Lovely piles of herbs (always seem to be the easiest to grow) – with basil, rosemary, sage, and tarragon doing the best, along with chives. Cilantro and dill went to seed almost immediately, and I am still trying to convince the basil that it doesn’t want to go to seed yet.
– LOTS of peppers, mostly the long green ones. I also planted some smaller bell-shaped varieties, I thought they were supposed to be red and yellow but it seems I am only getting a couple of green ones.
– Broccoli, hmm. Supposed to be easy to grow here. The plants and stems did seem very strong and robust, but the heads were small and spindly. I did have lovely yellow flowers though :D The broccoli was quite bitter, I found.
– Eggplant, another disappointment. Had pretty purple flowers but then nothing happened. From discussions at the farmer’s market it appears I am not alone – the particular rainy weather we had in the middle of July is likely responsible for this. They need just the right temperatures to set fruit at just the right time of flowering, and it didn’t happen.
– Squash, yum. I am growing what I thought would be small yellow patty-pan squash, but they’re BIG yellow patty-pan squash, probably eight inches in diameter. Perfect for grilling and broiling and with a very nice flavor.
– Lemon cucumbers – I am getting lots of these. I was surprised to find that they had uncomfortable little spiky points all over them, but they easily scrub off. These have a nice flavor but the rind is a little hard.
– Butter lettuce – really nice clumps of perfect, yummy lettuce. Definitely met my expectations. The spinach, on the other hand, flowered (!) almost immediately and I never really got any. I was late starting this year and both of these crops probably should have been started earlier. The chard from last year lived through the winter, and had I trimmed it back better, it might not be so spindly. I’ll see how it’s doing next spring.
All in all, not bad. It’s fun to try new things each year – but I’m glad I didn’t bother with tomatoes. Too much trouble and not enough gain here in the Pacific NW. Next year I’ll try to get started earlier and see what else I can grow – strawberries might be nice!