Saturday, August 22, 2009

Harvest Time

Wow Ive really been neglecting this blog. Today I want to share some harvest pics and post my notes for next years planning. Im posting the good & bad, how else will I know what works & didn't work :) Everything is planted in containers and on the deck this year, which makes it very convenient and much better attended.

First, the herbs. This year I planted chives, oregano & basil. I really haven't used many of any of these yet so I really need to think about what I need to plant next year. I do like the fresh chives cut up & put in the mashed potatoes we make from Schwans. The basil got attacked again this year by the japenese beatles and I really haven't used much of that either. The oregano is doing great but really haven't used that. But I haven't really started my "harvest" yet of my herbs so maybe I will end up using them. I hope to use the basil & oregano to can with some tomatoes. So I think I will probably plant herbs again next year. I do like the containers better this year than the little herb pots I used last year. Also I think if I cover my basil next year with some netting the end of July that'll keep the beatles off of it. I think I'd like to try cilantro next year to use for salsa.

Next is my patio tomato. This did not do so well. I think from the get go the plant got too much water and the roots didn't get strong enough, Im surprised I got anything out of this plant. Overall I was not happy with the size of the fruit or the quantity. I won't use the patio variety again instead I'll plant either Early Girl (I think thats what its called) or Better Boy next year. Last year I planted Better Boy and got a good harvest but didn't do much with what I got. Im thinking about maybe planting more next year and have a plan to can the tomatoes with some of the oregano and basil and also make some salsa. Since I didn't really get any big tomatoes this year I ended up buying 10 lbs at the grocery store at $.99/lb. for canning.

I love surgar snap peas and they're so expensive to buy at the store so I thought I'd try growing them this year. Well I didn't get much out of it and I think I shoulda had them growing on a trellis. If I try them next year that is what I will do. I think they got dry a few times too cuz the bottom of the plant dried up on me.

Next the zucchini. I like zucchini, it brings back memories of baked goods my granmother would make. I love it fried up with some herbs too. Last year when I grew it in a container I think it got too wet because all the veggies just shriveled up. The plant is looking a little better this year.

And this year it looks like I might get something! So far just one but it's looking like I might get two off of it, a little less than I expected. Im thinking the container might restrict it more than if I planted it in the ground. We'll see how it goes the rest of the year.

Next are the beans. I planted yellow and green ones this year. I started getting beans probably 2 weeks or so ago and pretty much eat them raw as fast as they're to pick. So far I only have a sandwich bag in the freezer of them. I loooove green beans and would really like to have them over the winter to eat so I would definately have to plant lots more. I think I'd like to try the purples ones too. I actually planted these in two different containers so if I want lots more Im going to have to come up with a better plan for them.

Now for the tomatoes! I dont eat raw tomatoes, yet I planted lots (for me at least). Paul eats them though so thats good. I planted a cherry and a grape tomato plant in each of the wash bins, I probably could have gotten 4 plants in each one if I wanted. I can't believe how huge these plants have gotten and how much fruit they are producing! One thing though, I really expected the grape tomatoes to be quite a bit smaller than the cherry ones but they're really close to the same size. Paul hasn't been able to keep up with eating all of these and I really didn't have a clue what to do with them so I did some looking and found out how to dry them. I'll post details on that later. Now, even though I won't eat these raw I will eat them dried in pastas and sauces and possibly even just poppin them into my mouth (yes Im weird, how is that any different than raw). So, if the dried tomatoes work out as good as I hope I think I will try planting 3 or 4 of each of these plants.

And lastly my roma tomatoes. I had picked up a 4 pk of these this spring so I planted all 4 in this pot, I think they're doing alright in here, not too crammed. Im pleased with the outcome of this, the fruit is huge too, the romas I buy from the store are about 1/2 the size of these. I haven't quite figured out what Im going to do with all the romas yet and I should because they will soon be ready to pick. I might do some sauces or salsa with these.

That's all my veggies! I am really enjoying the harvest and would really like to try some other veggies I just need to figure out where Im going to put it all, I don't think my husband would be happy if I used the whole deck :) I really do like the containers though a lot less maintenance, so Im going to have to figure out what to do for more containers too. I wouldn't mind a waist high raised container which would mean Paul would have to make me some & investing in the lumber so we'll see.