This summer has been wonderful for growing vegetables. As summer winds down I am taking a look back at what worked well and what didn’t in the vegetable garden. This year I had mixed a lot of my vegetables into the flower gardens. One vegetable, well technically a fruit, has done so well that I may continue to grow it among the flowers again next year.
It is my tomatoes. Not only are they the healthiest I have ever seen them, they are full of fruit this year. The main harvesting period has begun and I can count on a selection of tomatoes for dinner each night. Tomatoes grown in the garden taste so much better than the store bought ones. Home grown tomatoes are allowed to ripen on the vine allowing flavour to develop. The store bought tomatoes are picked before they ripen and just don’t have that homegrown flavour.
Okay, I have to talk garlic. Of all the vegetables I grow this is one of my all time favourites. If I grow a couple of rows of garlic I will have enough to last us until late spring of next year. The Russian garlic I purchased from West Coast Seeds last fall turned out to be the winner. The cloves are large and full of flavour.
Have you grown peppers in the garden? I never had much luck until this year. I grew gypsy peppers and potted up four plants in a container and placed it in full sun. I am happy to say that I had peppers for dinner last night. I picked some early while still yellow to see how they were. They can be used fresh or cooked so they ended up in my pasta sauce last night.
I also grew peppermint Swiss chard this year. The bright pink and white stalks made it a pretty plant in the garden and the leaves were about a foot long. Stir fry this tasty vegetable up with some garlic or add it to a pasta sauce for dinner. The leaves may be large but they shrink up considerably upon cooking.
Valentino bush beans are heavy producers in my garden. I grew these short plants as they are easier to manage than ones that need support. They do well in containers but you must keep them picked so they continue to produce. The beans are about four inches long and stringless.
So how was your vegetable garden this year? What did well for you? Will you grow something different next year?