Garden 2011 Thoughts

Growing food was really difficult in 2011 in Maryland. The weather was brutal. A late frost, an early summer, a hot summer, monsoon-like rains, the edge of a hurricane right when I planted my fall seeds, and tons of bugs. And deer. And rodents. Hopefully this year will be better.

Here are all the things I tried to grow, and how they did. A future post will show what I’m planting this year, and hopefully I’ll even get a garden map and planting schedule up!

Stuttgarter Onion — did wonderful! So tasty. Planted 15, wouldn’t mind more.
— I love garlic scapes!! The little garlics were yummy, too. Already
planted about 3 dozen over the winter, ready to come out in March.
Green onion — I hope to get these to grow better this year.
Purple Broccoli, Romanesco, Collards, Cauliflower — Managed to transplant two of each. No idea which they were. Got no flowers on any of them and never did manage to figure out which was which. The very brief spring was not so good for them, though they all made a great shade for the lettuce.


Mizuna — excellent! I guess it’s more like lettuce. 🙂
Kale — didn’t grow very well. Did over winter, even when it was hit by a hurricane as a seed and then ignored for months.
Going forward, I think I need to do better than throwing all the plants in the ground while trying to beat a fast approaching thunderstorm! Then maybe I’ll know which is which.
Celery — grew all year through winter! Strong taste, but nice. Kept growing. Planted 18 or so. Always had enough to give away. Since it was so successful, I’m going to grow Fennel in 2012!
Snow Peas — Wish they weren’t dwarf plants. Didn’t do so great, would have loved more.
Purple Pole Beans and Dragontongue Bush Beans — had a horrible bean beetle infestation. They didn’t taste that great, either.
Edamame — taste incredible, but you didn’t get much yield per square foot
Fish Peppers — fun, but as it turns out I never cook with peppers I grow myself. Pretty.
Anaheim Peppers– never managed to do much with them. Didn’t have much taste. Probably bad soil for them.
Tomato Lemon — Out of three plants, I got 2 tomatoes. They were lovely, but it couldn’t handle the summer heat at all.
Tomato Red Star — got maybe a dozen. Very tasty, but couldn’t handle summer heat.
I’m going with a different tomato variety, plus I’m going to make sure the soil is balanced and isn’t just growing greens instead of fruits. Hopefully more steady, deeper watering will help, too.
Lettuce: May Queen, Flame, Little Gem — all lettuce did great, in shade of collard plants and celery
Beets — Did okay. Want more. Beets are tasty.
Carrots — We planted a long kind and a short kind. They both did terribly. The dirt was probably too heavy. Will make a
special planter for carrots and beets this year. Small and lighter soil,
but deeper.Tarragon — decently well.

Oregano — was ok, I guess.
Thai Basil — spectacular! Grow a ton. Make pesto. Give to everyone. Happy happy happy. Lets make Pho.
Cilantro — planted too late, all got too hot.
Chives — tasty!
and Yellow Squash — they were so tasty, but got infested with borer
worms. Didn’t last long. Plan is to cover stems with aluminum foil
during borer worm moth times and keep a closer eye out for symptoms. I
did remove all the worms I could find and destroyed the plants, so
hopefully they aren’t waiting in the soil. Will also turn the soil over
Muskmelon — most were eaten by some tiny rodent and never got ripe enough.
— mostly got end rot, but there was one that turned out perfect. It
was the best watermelon I’ve ever had. The sweetness stayed on your
tongue for ten minutes, and the watermelon aroma filled the house. To
taste that again, I’m willing to deal with losing the other 20 melons.
Nasturtium — only had one actually grow. It was weird. I think it was just too crazy hot this year.
Marigold — went absolutely crazy. The baby picked 2 dozen flowers every day.
Snap dragon — I have no idea where the kids planted them. They either didn’t get water or got mowed down.

2 thoughts on “Garden 2011 Thoughts”

  1. So I read some science thing that said cilantro bolts not by heat but by day length – and that only the end of the day counts. I plan to try and figure out how to plant it with evening shade this year.

  2. Hmmm… I tried to actually have it shaded, but I think the other plants around it died, too. I’ll try putting it in the shady back of the garden…

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