This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 crop review

Beets. I grew a lot of different varieties this year. Bulls Blood, Detroit Red and White, Chiogga, Lutz, Cylindra, Early Wonder, Red Ace, Round Red Merlin, Blankoma. I like them all! But it was not a great year for my beets. I just never had enough of them. I planted a great crop for my parents. In March, I direct seeded a good thick row of Detroit Red in their garden. They came up well and produced all season and my parents were really happy with them. They gave me several bunches. Next year - MORE beets in my garden!

Broccoli. Super crop, again. I have have several really good years of broccoli. I grew "Diplomat" this year. Very nice. I plant it early under lights and it gives a nice big head and them side shoots til October. My fall crop was not worth the effort, especially since the spring one was still producing and I love the small side shoots. I had a 4 x 4 foot patch with 12 plants.

Bok Choi. I am almost jumping up and down about finding two SUPER varieties of bok choy this year! I love bok choy stir fried with garlic and ginger and in a nice sauce, in fried rice, or grilled outside with a peanut marinade. Win-Win Choi is a big plant with lovely white stems and deep green leaves. Mei Qing Choi is a "baby choi" that doesn't bolt even if its gets big - super for grilling. Yummy, yummy, yummy .....

Cabbage. Another super crop. I grew Savoy (Alcosa), Napa, and Red (Super Red 80). These worked well both as spring and fall crops. I love these three varieties for cole slaw and salads. Also braised along side a roast. I don't eat that much cabbage, but a few heads are really nice to have as they are one of the prettiest plants in the garden.

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Anonymous auntie beak said...

so envious of your cruciferous crops! what do you do to keep the flea beetles and cabbage loopers at bay? ALL my cruciferous veggies look like delicate green lace by august. i have never been able to grow brussels sprouts.

that said, i am very reluctant to use anything that might harm pollinators. help?

November 16, 2012 10:01 PM

Blogger Mal's Allotment said...

Your beet experience is the same as mine. Perhaps soil conditions that brassicas like are not so good for beet? (We ate most of ours in one pot of soup)

November 17, 2012 12:57 PM

Anonymous Patrick said...

Thanks for the valuable shopping list. I hail from Australia where we grow large heads that have incredible texture. Make a good candidate for edible landscaping, don't you think?

November 27, 2012 2:46 AM

Anonymous retiredgardener said...

Enjoyed your videos. I have followed your gardens for a while now. They are amazing! You have had quite a good harvest. We had the hottest summer I can remember. The wildlife loved my peas and beans. Cucumbers fizzled in the heat.. Tomatoes only did so-so. Green onions did better than anything else. I just have some fall spinach, green onions and garlic left in the garden now. I am so sad the summer is over and cannot wait for spring.

November 28, 2012 10:12 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Pam has left a new comment on your post "2012 crop review":

Love your crop reviews. I made a note of the Bok Choy varieties.

Beets are frustrating for me too. When I started them in early Spring, they didn't mature until dog days of summer. I decided that may do better if planted in the fall. In early October, I soaked the seeds of 4 varieties before planting them - Red Cloud (55 days), Early Wonder (60 days), Golden (55 days) and Chiogga (55 days). Red Cloud and Early Wonder have one set of two leaves, very small. The Golden beets are still germinating! (First and only frost was 11/30) Next year, I'll plant in beets early September.

I wanted a nice big crop of beets this winter but have no idea when these will be ready. No time soon. Maybe Spring.;-(

I watched your video about planting peas. I'm in Zone 8 - it's recommended that we plant a crop around Dec 1 so I planted English peas today. Another experiment! I think we learn as much or more from our failures as from the successes.

Take care,

December 05, 2012 5:11 PM


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