Now that my seedlings are all coming up, I figured I should post about what exactly I've got growing in my vegetable garden right now. As usual, I'm focusing on the summer standards--tomatoes, peppers, squash--as well as mixing in some new crops I've never grown before. Specifically, I'm growing:
Maule's Red Hot Peppers
Wenk's Yellow Hot Peppers
Austin's Red Pear Tomatoes
Hartman's Yellow Gooseberry Tomatoes
Mexico Midget Tomatoes
Listada de Gandia Eggplants
Golden Zucchini Squash
Guatemalan Blue Squash
Small Shining Watermelon
Empress Beans (snap bean)
German Butterball Potatoes
Stowell's Evergreen Corn
I got all my seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, which has a mouth-watering selection of heirloom varieties. Man, I love a good seed catalog!
Last year, my corn grew fairly tall and produced a few ears, but none of them made it to the eating stage before mysteriously withering or being attacked by bugs. This year I've got them in a sunnier spot in the lower raised bed, and I planted more rows for easier pollination. Plus, I grew peas in that spot last winter, which theoretically enriched the soil with lots of lovely nitrogen. So, if my corn sprouts can avoid being scratched to death by certain chickens (ahem), I think they have a good shot at producing edible ears this year.
I've had some decent luck with eggplants in the past, although I've lost a few to blossom end rot, and some others when they suddenly got a yellow tint. I think it's because I left them on the plant too long. Is that right, gardeners out there? This year, I'm trying them in containers and in the ground. And I made sure to add a calcium-rich soil supplement to help avoid that evil blossom-end rot.
The new crops for 2009 are strawberries, watermelon and potatoes. The potatoes seem extremely happy in their grow bags, the strawberries are doing okay and the watermelon seedlings have come up and are making new leaves.
I've noticed my watermelon is growing more slowly than the other squash, which have been leafing out at a rapid rate. I'm not sure why. Hopefully it's because of the variety and not some issue with my soil. I'm really hoping to harvest some sweet, tasty watermelons in a couple of months. So, if you've got any tips for me, let me know.
As usual, I got way too many seeds for my small gardening operation. I just really enjoy growing new and interesting heirloom varieties. (How can you possibly choose just one kind of tomato when they offer 60?) I've already got an excess of seedlings growing in my little pots, so certain friends and neighbors of mine can expect to find a free Mexico Midget or Hartman's tomato plant on their doorstep any day now. Hope you like them!