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Year end results.

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#1 FirefyterEmt OFFLINE  



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Posted September 11, 2011 - 08:46 PM

Well, the growing season is close to a close... I figured I would share some results.

The Opalka's were great, but did like to get a little blossom end rot. Granted, I need to put some work into my soil badly, so I take the blame on that. My Roma III's did well, but I will not be planting the Roma's next year. The Opalka's kicked but over the "old reliable" Roma's. I mean, they were meaty, and thin skinned... in fact, they made the Roma's look like store bought! I will re-plant the Opalka's and even saved some seed, although, I plan to buy a package just to see how well they save.

I think I will add the Mama Leone, the Hungarian Italian, and Rocky to my paste tomato's. I will also add a few plants from an Italian friend of mine that is always giving me stuff from his garden. However, it's always for saving the seeds! I have the Green Zebra, Black Russin, and Juliet. I may put in one or two of these in my old cages. Speaking of cages, my massive 20 foot trellis that built this spring worked awesome! Why, they even withstood Hurricane Irene! It was a killer design, and worked awesome.

Total Spaghetti Sauce: Somewhere in the 50 quart range. All in all, not bad... but not what I expected. I need MORE tomato's!

Next year, I am going to break down and do the newspaper and straw method. I planned to use grass clipping, but the weeds were too high before I had the beds done. I had put in 5 beds 23 feet long with 5 rows per bed. (575 feet of green beans) I managed to can about 35-40 quarts in all.

What can I say... I suck at corn! Last time it was corn borers, this year no one liked the taste. I HATE garden waste, and our chickens ate more than we did... Not happy for something that took up a large portion of my garden.

I planted the Tangerine Dream's from Burpee, three Jalapeno's, and a Habanaro plant. The Tangerine Dream started out great, but they all "broke and split" and fell down. The peppers kept growing, but I did not like the taste of them. The Jalapeno's grew awesome and are still going. They have been very happy and grew much bigger than I thought. The Hab's are growing like made, and I just made some hot Habanaro jelly the other day with them.

Butternut Squash:
These were grown in the corn rings... The theory was good, and worked well... but I had some beetle eating the leaves that went un-noticed until very late. I managed to harvest 12 or 15 of them, but that was from 8 plants! I LOVE butternut squash, roasted with brown sugar and butter....

These did great mostly... Some of them died out, some went nuts. I managed to sun dry two mason jars of sweet basil and was able to use all fresh basil in my sauce. The Boxwood basil??? It's healthy like mad.... and untouched! It's a bit strong, and way too hard to use. It would make a nice border in a garden though... I looks like a poofy afro!~ The Rosemary, Thyme, and Parsley did great and has been in use all summer. My wife added some Lemon stuff that has gone un-used. My Oregano died out on me early on (the only dried herb in my sauce now...) as did the Cilantro. My chives got so huge, I had to move them to their own pot!
Next year? More sweet basil and giving them some more room to grow. I also want to add Mint.

These grew like mad, made a million, and I don't think I have used one yet. The grew so dang big they blocked the space to enter my tomato's and I just have no use for them! I never made salsa because I have been in "all sauce mode". A big bust here... Oddly out of the package of purple tomatillo seeds, I planted two plants, and ended up with one purple, and one traditional green plant!

These Burpee White Wonder's came free and grew quite well in my tomato cages. (an after thought of where to stick them) The had a good taste, but a rather thick skin. I like to slice into spears and salt them. The skin was a bit tough this way, but tasted good. I would not plant them again over a normal cucumber.

So there we have it.... again, the weeds over took me and I did not have the time to weed the whole garden. I lost a lot of beans over this and was not pleased with myself. It was still my best year canning though.

Homestead freebie:
At our house, we have some old, seriously over grown apple trees. These are left as nature see's fit. This year, they looked pretty good really, and the red delicious tree was harvested for some apple sauce. I have never made it before, but it came out awesome and I made 12 pints. I am thinking that I may try to make some pie filling in quart jars now that the rest of the garden is close to being done.
I also made 12 pints of strawberry-rhubarb jam (my personal favorite) I wanted to make more, but we (once again) forgot how early the strawberry season ends!

Next year: I am going to add garlic & onion and would love to build the 36" deep x 50 foot raised bed garden along one side of the garden. The 36" deep boxes would be awesome for stuff like the onions and garlic. Maybe some better lettuce, carrots... etc.
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#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted September 11, 2011 - 08:48 PM

You did very well with the garden, did you take any pictures of the harvest that you can post?

#3 nra1ifer OFFLINE  



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Posted September 11, 2011 - 09:31 PM

Gardening is a challenge: some years, it seems like everything grows well, others not so well, others something in between. All in all, it sounds like yours was pretty good this year. Lots of good stuff! The weather here (it was very wet, then went to immediate hot and dry) made everything except the okra a real challenge.

#4 Alc ONLINE  



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Posted September 12, 2011 - 05:41 AM

That's a lot of canning !! I wish we did more . I'm not sure if I'm going to plant corn again either , it was good but too much came in at one time , I need to find out if you can plant just 8 plants a week in the planting time frame . Al




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Posted September 12, 2011 - 10:09 AM

Looks like you did pretty well this year, considering this was an awful year for gardens.
I cleaned up a pretty big area of the garden Saturday and tilled in the refuse.
Jo did a fall planting of Garlic and Shallots Saturday for spring harvest. And We planted cabbage, califlower and Brocclii about 8 weeks ago for fall harvest.
Tomatoes are still producing well, will let them go till frost takes them. Peppers did pretty well, both Green & Jalepeno. Herbs did well too. I think next spring they will be put in a permanent Herb Garden instead of the regular garden. They coud easily be grown along the Asparagus and Horse Radish patch. That's where we put the Shallots and Garlic too.
Cucumber produced so well Jo pulled the plants when she got tired of making pickles. Three 20 ft rows of potatoes(1 Kennebec,1 Yukon Gold 1 Red Pontiac) produced about 300 lbs.
Green Beans, I got very little, Deer ate the leaves and did not leave them alone till I hung Irish Spring on the fence.

Now don't get discouraged with your self and Corn. This was the worst year in 40+ years of gardening to grow corn.
I finally got about 8 dozen ears from the 4th planting. 1st & 3rd plantings fid not germinate. Deer got the 2nd planting and part of the 4th.
There will be some changes next year.
Overall, I'm not disapointed, and am planning to double the size of my garden next year.

#6 FirefyterEmt OFFLINE  



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Posted September 12, 2011 - 04:04 PM

Thanks guys... I did not grab any photo of "harvest time" this year, and I really don't want to drag close to 100 quarts of stuff out of the pantry!

I do know that I really need to add some organic matter to my garden this fall though. It really needs it! I might give the corn one more shot after that, but it takes a lot of room in the garden for what you get out of it.