We’re Off and Running

garden harvest

It is hard to believe I am about to start seeds for next summer. It seems like we just pulled the garden out and turned off the water. After taking inventory of existing seeds, I placed my order, then added on, and added on again, including new equipment. There will be a few changes in the garden next summer, but it will largely be a return to what has worked and elimination of what has not. That does not preclude a bit of experimentation.

As for the changes, the only squash we will be growing is the banana squash. We roasted some of the pumpkins we grew last summer and they lacked any real flavor. The banana squash on the other hand, have great taste. We have used them in place of other winter squash and even in place of pumpkins in pumpkin bars – no one knew the difference (other than they tasted great). Another big change involves the flowers. The flowers we planted last year grew ok, but they didn’t have that WOW factor and were not good for cutting, a primary objective. We will also be returning to winterbor kale and trying Siberian kale in place of the Tuscan kale we grew last summer. The Tuscan kale was hit hard by aphids, snails and slugs where as the winterbor plant was largely unaffected by any of that.

Another big change will impact the tomatoes. We had such great success with the two hybrid varieties we grew that we are going to try a few new varieties. They are not just new to us, but new to the market. The varieties we grew last year produced great harvests, tasted good, and are reportedly disease resistant. The new varieties should have the same general characteristics as well as mimicking heirloom varieties in taste and appearance. Because we have such limited space and grow a number of nightshade plants, our ability to rotate where we plant different plants to break disease build-up is very limited.

Next week I will start a few habanero seeds, the Cupid peppers, the Siberian kale (the winterbor kale is on back order) and the Shishito peppers. I will also start a new for us pepper – Aleppo pepper. I have used dried Aleppo pepper for a few years, ever since a friend introduced us to the exotic taste. I decided, why not try growing it myself? the Aleppo will take the place of the Carmen peppers we have grown in the past. Although the Carmen is one of the best tasting bell peppers I have tried, we never found a significant use for them. Without success in growth and a significant use, a plant isn’t allowed to take up valuable space.

Stay tuned friends, we are just getting going for 2016.

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