Year-End Evaluation

The Last Tomato

The Last Tomato

Despite the Groundhog and the late start, it wasn’t all that terrible of a gardening year. We had a continuous flow of veggies for our needs, but there were none to freeze and not a lot to give away.

Getting rid of the pear tree and maples provided more sunlight that meant earlier and better yields.

Next spring I will need to have the groundhog professionally relocated and may have to erect some additional fencing to protect against the rabbits. (Where are the coyotes when you need them?)

The other thing will be to get the tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and eggplant in as early as possible in May, to get earlier yields.

Here is a bunch of ideas for next year:

  1. Spring greens. Setting out lettuce and spinach plants worked much better than seed. the Red Romaine did really well. Arugula from seed would be good as well as the Lolla Rossa lettuce. Maybe radishes again and broccoli and broccoli rabe.
  2. I really don’t use kale or collards until fall so there is no use wasting space on them in the spring garden. There should be room for the Swiss Chard by the herbs.
  3. Tomato plants that are already bearing may get stunted, those planted early with very small tomatoes might be OK.
  4. Early Girl never performs well, and there are probably better hybrids to plant. Brandywine did good. As far as heirlooms, German Johnson, Oxheart, and Mortgage lifter were outstanding performers. I’ll probably get most of the tomatoes from Countryside.
  5. The white eggplant from Countryside did very well, as did the full-sized ones from Home Depot. Ichiban was a total flop.
  6. The regular Tomatillos from Countryside yielded very well, but the pineapple variety did not.
  7. The banana peppers yielded better than the bell peppers this year.
  8. The zucchini did poorly in their location west of the horseradish, not helped by the voracious groundhog. Should try a different location next year.
  9. The basil did well by keeping it severely trimmed. I never let seedheads even start to form. It would probably good to set additional plants out in July or early August. The clump basil was attractive but the yield was small. I probably had almost 15 plants.
  10. The cherry and grape tomatoes did well, it might be worth putting in a couple more plants.