Monday, November 28, 2011

2011 Garden Overview & Totals......Part 2

Part 1 of the 2011 Garden Overview & Totals can be found here. Part 1 started at Asian Veggies and ended at Garlic.

Greens: There were a few different veggies planted that I put in the Greens category. All were originally planted in the cold frames in early December of 2010. They all did well and we really enjoyed them. This year I planted an additional variety of kale in the cold frames.

    Arugala - 1.3125 lbs.
    Chard - Rainbow - 2.0625 lbs.
    Collards - Vates - 1.375 lbs.
    Kale - Squire - 1 lb.

Kohlrabi: I have always thought that Kohlrabi was a very cool looking plant. I had never tasted it but planted it because I had the room and I thought that it was very cool. The varieties planted were Early Purple Vienna & Early White Vienna. Both did very well at the plots. I am not sure if I will start any this winter for next year since I don't know if the new gardens will be ready in time for planting.

    Early Purple Vienna - 1.9375 lbs.
    Early White Vienna - 1.9375 lbs.

Leeks: It was a very strange year for leeks. I usually don't start harvesting them until fall and leave many in the garden to harvest during the winter. This year many of them had to be harvested early since they were getting slimy. I think it was due to the excessive heat then the excessive rain. The remaining few were harvested a couple of weeks ago for two reasons. One, bad planning on my part at the home garden. Two, I didn't want to leave the remaining 4 at the plots over the winter. Total harvest was 7.125 lbs.

Lettuce: I didn't do a very good job of separating the weights of the different varieties of lettuce. The varieties planted this year were; Romaine, Freckles Romaine, Buttercrunch, Gourmet Mix, Eva's Burgundy, Rocky Top & Quattro Stagioni Sel. Rossina Di Pescia. Total harvested - 12.9 lbs.
I really need to do a better job keeping lettuce growing in the garden. I was so so late starting lettuce for a later crop.


Watermelon: There were two varieties of watermelon planted at the plots; Sugar Baby & Moon & Stars. Both varieties had an encounter with the groundhog. The little monster ate the Sugar Baby melons when they were young. So we didn't get any for ourselves. We did manage to harvest a couple small Moon & Stars though. Total harvested - 8 lbs.

Cantaloupe: Two varieties of cantaloupe were planted at the plots; Organic Delicious & French. They did OK and both varieties were good. I was really bad at my record keeping and don't remember the details and which did better. The Total harvest was - 13 lbs.

Misc. Melons: Two other varieties of melons were also planted at the plots, Korean & Tularosa. The Korean melons were from seeds that I had saved from a melon that a dear friend of ours gave us a couple of years ago. This melon did OK and 1 lb. of fruit was havested. I was very excited about the Tularosa melon. The seed was gift from Holly. This melon is supposed to be wonderful! I ended up with only one plant. It was planted at the plots and was doing well. One day it just died. I have no idea why. It was fine one day and wilted the next.

Onions: All of the onions this past year were planted from sets or purchased plants. I had such a bad year when I started them from seed. It was so much work and the results were the worst that I had ever had. Maybe some day I will try my hand at growing them from seed again. All of this years varieties were storage onions. Sown from sets were Red Baron & Stuttergarter. Sown from purchased plants were Red Zepplin & Copra. The onions really liked the soil at the plots and did great! I didn't separate the totals of the two different varieties of red & white. Next year we are planning on sowing some sweet onions in addition to storage onions. I think that we also need more poundage to get us through the year. We shall see how we make out.

    Red Onions: 23.3 lbs
    White Onions: 16.5 lbs.
    Spring Onions: .7 lbs

Peas: There were a lot of different types of peas planted this year. Some were planted at the home garden and some at the plots. The peas did pretty well. I did notice that of the varieties of peas that were planted in both locations, the ones planted in the home garden did better.
  • Shelling Peas: The only variety of shelling peas that were sown were Little Marvel. Some were sown at the home garden and some at the plots. Most of the first sowing at the plots rotted due to the excessive rains we had. The Total harvest was 4 lbs. Next year I will be adding some new shelling varieties.
  • Snow Peas: There were three varieties of snow peas planted; Oregon Giant, Mammoth Melting & Carouby de Maussane. The Oregon Giant & Mammoth Melting were sown both in the home garden and the plots. They did pretty well. The early peas of these two varieties were great. As the season moved on the peas got tough and stringy and the plants were pulled. The Carouby de Maussane were only sown at the plots and did not do very well at all. I don't think that I will be planting that variety again. Total harvest was 4.7 lbs.
  • Snap Vine Peas: We had some great new snap pea varieties this year that we absolutely loved! These were; Spring Blush Snap & Sugar Magnoila Purple Snap. Both varieties are vining and were purchased from Peace Seeds. The Spring Blush peas were sown in the home garden and yielded 1.8 lbs. The Sugar Magnoila peas were sown at the plots and yielded 2.6 lbs. Both of these varieties will definitely be planted next year!
Peppers: It was definitely the year of the pepper for us! They just would stop producing!!

Hot Peppers:
  • Habanero - This one plant, seed from Mimi, produced the biggest Habanero peppers that I have ever seen. This baby just kept going and going!! I have a lot of them dried that need to be ground for Habanero Powder....which was requested by my Sister In-law.
  • Jalapeno - These seemed to produce at their normal rate and we had plenty pickled for use over the winter. The Jalapeno peppers were extremely hot this year.....right from the start.
  • Pepperoncini - These seeds were from Thomas. This pepper has got to be one of the most prolific varieties! It was amazing how many I got from just 3 plants! I have to say that I am disappointed in the flavor though. They were very bitter with an odd flavor. I love pickled pepperoncinis on just about everything. I am going to have to look for a different variety though.
Spice Peppers:
  • Cayenne - The Cayenne peppers seemed to produce at their normal rate. There are plenty dried that need to be ground for cayenne pepper.
  • Paprika Hungarian - The Paprika peppers did very well this year. They were much larger then usual. There are also plenty of these dried waiting to be ground in to powder for cooking.
  • Pimento - The pimentos started out great....until the groundhog decided that he was going to eat each and every one of them. I only managed to harvest two before he had his feast! We were really looking forward to canning these.
Total Hot & Spice Pepper Harvest - 25.7 lbs

Sweet Peppers:
  • Orange Bell - These were very prolific this year. I just wish that they would turn color quicker. I may need to look for a variety that gets a little bigger and turns color quicker. I'm open for any suggestions.
  • Corona - Yellow Bell - This variety produced well also. It does have a few problems though. The color is the same as the orange bell, it doesn't turn color quick enough and they aren't all that big. I am open for suggestions on a yellow bell as well.
  • Red - Corno Di Toro -Italian Heirloom frying - This also did very well since it was the year of the pepper.  
  • Red - Marconi - Italian Heirloom frying - This pepper did great and is bigger then the Corno Di Toro.
  • Red Bell - Quadrato Rosso D'Asti - Granny gave me this seed. I have to say that this pepper is wonderful! They are big bells that turn an absolutely perfect lipstick red! Now, if I can only find an orange & yellow bell that are this good!
Total Sweet Pepper harvest - 51.2 lbs.

Potatoes: I planted three varieties of potatoes this year; Yukon Gold, Sagre Red & Kennebec. I choose these varieties because they were early or mid-season potatoes and are supposed to be good for storage. Even though we did have some problems with the potatoes this year, they did pretty well. The Yukon Golds  were planted in a bed next door at the rental house that I use to own. They started to look like they had a disease. So, I pulled them early. I also planted half of the Sagre Reds there and half at the plots. All of the Kennebecs were planted at the plots. While digging around for some potatoes at the plots, I noticed that something had been nibbling at them. So, all of those potatoes were pulled early too. The Yukon Gold is our favorite potato. The Sagre Red were OK, but I have had better red potatoes before. The Kennebecs  were definitely the best performers. I think that I am going to look for a different variety of red potatoes to plant next year. I planted 2 1/2 lbs of each variety and the harvests were as follows.

Yukon Gold - 7.5 lbs.
Sagre Red - 9.5 lbs.
Kennebec - 23.1 lbs.

Raspberries & Blackberries - All of the raspberries were Heritage.  Some were new canes that I planted and some were already at the plots. They didn't do all that well. There was an early modest harvest and no fall harvest due to the hurricane. The total harvest was 3.7 lbs. The blackberries that were at the plots when we got them are a variety called Hull. I have to say that we really really loved those blackberries. They made the best jam ever! The total blackberry harvest was 11.5 lbs. I am planning on moving some of them to the new Community Garden location early next spring.

Spinach- I have to admit that spinach has got to be the most difficult crop for me to grow. I have tried everything. The best crop that I had was last year when I got so disgusted that I just ignored it and we went on vacation. When we came home we had tons of spinach. Maybe it needs the passive gardening approach. This year I got absolutely nothing from the spring crop. So in disgust, I threw a ton of seeds at the one end of the one bed at the home garden for a fall crop. I think that I planted  a couple of varieties of Bloomsdale and maybe some Matador. They are growing! So, we may have some fall spinach after all. If not, we will definitely have some in the spring!

Strawberries - I planted a new strawberry bed at the plots this year. There were three varieties planted; Jewel & Annapolis (June bearing) and Ozark Beauty (everbearing).  They did not do very well. They all took off early in the season.Then they had a hard time with the many heat waves that we had and a long hot drought period and then tons of rain. I think that I have lost many of the plants. It looks like I may have to buy some more next year. The total harvest was 4.2 lbs.


Summer: The only variety of summer squash that was planted was Cocozelle Italian Zucchini. We really like this variety and it did well this year. No SVB's! Total harvest was 17.7 lbs.

  • Spaghetti Squash - The spaghetti squash were planted at the home garden along the fence at the end of the herb garden. We won the SVB war with these too! Total harvest 23 lbs.
  • Sweet Dumpling - These were planted at the plots in the one Three Sister's planting. The squash bugs tried their best to get to them. But we ended up with a decent harvest of 8.8 lbs.
  • Field Pumpkin - The SVB's got to the pumpkin vines and we only ended up with one orange pumpkin that weighed 6 lbs.
  • Long Island Cheese Squash - The seeds for this squash were from Mimi. They were quite small but did well. This is the squash that I used to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Total harvest 6 lbs.
  • Greek Winter Squash - Jane in Maui gave me these seeds and I was very excited about this squash. The vine grew like crazy but it failed to produce one single female flower.
  • Fortna White Pumpkin  - I planted this pumpkin because I thought that white pumpkins were pretty cool. They are on the small side. But, they did well. Total harvest 16.2 lbs.  We haven't eaten any of them yet. So, I can't give an opinion on their taste.
Tomatoes - It definitely was not the year of the tomato here in eastern PA! The total tomato harvest was 316.8 lbs. I did a tomato review that you can read here.

That's about it for the 2011 Garden Overview & Totals. I will do a short post on the herbs this year....even though I failed to weigh any of them!

Here's to a great gardening year for all in 2012!!!


  1. Not the year of the tomato on the other end of the state either. Lets hope for 2012!

  2. Ooooooo--I'm gonna hang out at your place during blackberry harvest next year. I LOVE blackberries.

    Yukons are my favorite also, but I've had a difficult few years with them. I'm trying a different supplier this year to see if that helps. They're fantastic, but not worth the space if they don't yield well. My other 2 varieties have done well both years, so it's gotta be the Yukons............

  3. yet another great post full of great information.

  4. Hi Robin, sorry the pepperoncini was disappointing! It grew well for me too but it also tasted bitter to me. When I did more research on the web, I found that it was supposed to taste that to me.

    This year, I grew Hungarian Wax for pickling and cooking and I have to say, it waaaay out-produced all of my other peppers. They also make very crispy refrigerator pickles.

  5. Jane, I sure do hope that next year is better!

    Sue, I don't know if those blackberries will be producing next year since they have to be moved. I am going to plant more Yukons next year since we love them so much and look for a different variety of red potato.

    Thanks Mrs.P, I am happy that you find these posts helpful!

    Thomas, It's not your fault they taste that way. I have been eating pickled pepperoncinis for years and they never taste bitter. I guess when you grow them they are different. I guess that I should try the Hungarian Wax for pickling. I was also thinking about a banana pepper.

  6. Wow almost half your garden weight is tomatoes. It is interesting the differences in what people grow. I grow a lot of greens. Over 100lbs in a year. But that is all greens, lettuce, Asian greens, chard, kale, spinach. I think if all the tomatoes had been weighed I would have about a third of the weight in tomatoes (such great producers for the space). The next biggest would be greens at about a quarter of the harvest. I eat a lot of greens. What I need to produce is more squash. I think I could eat more than I grow now.

  7. Robin nice job on your recap. I like the kenebec potatoes but have had problems with them being hollow in the center. They are a good keeper for me however. We used to grow chipawa but are not available locally anymore.

    I like the hungarian wax as a pickled mild hot pepper. Have been growing them for year. I give up on jalapenos however just can't get them to produce well.

  8. Ronin- Tahnsk so much for taking the time to do the two part recap. Even though you are in a very differnt zone then I am, there is much for me to glean for your experiences. That's a wealth of info that you posted and I really appreciate it. Here's to planning for 2012 in the quiet and darkness of January, by a warm fire.

  9. I can see I'm going to have start weighing my veg to have a comparison point - to me 316lbs of tomatoes sounds pretty good - but then I guess it depends how much you need to turn into sauce...

  10. Daphne, The tomato harvest should have been much more. We use a lot of tomatoes around here! 100 lbs of greens is a lot of greens!

    We are really going to be missing the broccoli, cauliflower & beans this winter. Hopefully next year will be better.

    Wilderness, you are the second person to recomend the Hungarian wax pepper. I'm defintely going to plant them next year.

    Lexa, you are very welcome. I happy that you found this post helpful. I am already planning for next year and am sure the planning will continue through the winter!

    Liz, The tomatoes were just awful this year. There was so much cracking and production was way down. I did get enough put up for the year. We really thought that there would be enough for my in-laws to freeze too. Hopefully next year will be better!

  11. Thank you for the detail recap, I'll have to come back later and reread the list. My tomatoes didn't do well either, hope for a better season next year.

  12. Your welcome Mac, I certainly hope that next year is better then this year was!!


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