Here’s my report for the 2019 garden season in case of any of you want to grow them!
LETTUCES-Normally I plant cold season lettuces in early spring so they don’t bolt but in summer. This past season I also planted Summer Crisp (Batavian) varieties. They did well in OUR summer. They didn’t bolt or get bitter and had lettuce all summer and fall too. I love all lettuces but now have found varieties that grow in heat. Check out Johnny’s Seeds.
WINTER SQUASH-Butternut winter squash (any variety) doesn’t attract squash vine borers SVB (their stems are solid) OR squash bugs. So for that reason alone, I will plant more butternut squash as my winter squash. I’ve grown Italian Violini butternut, Tahiti butternut, and Waltham butternut through the years and all did well with no bugs (at least in my garden). How great is that?!
SUMMER SQUASH–Friuilana zucchini also doesn’t attract squash bugs although I’m not sure about squash vine borers so I keep it covered with row cover before the flowers come and then uncover them and by then the SVB is gone.
GREEN BEANS-This past season I grew Emerite pole french filet green beans. They are one of my favorites. The Emerite beans did well and taste great.
DRY BEANS-I grew a few varieties of dry beans that I got from Italy but you can find many of them from Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans online.
Rossa di Lucca-(a dark pink bush bean with stripes) that did fantastic (I got them from our local Santa Fe Farmers Market at Zulu’s Petals Farm)
PEPPERS–Jimmy Narello peppers are our favorite sweet Italian pepper and Shishito peppers and both did well.
CUCUMBERS-My all time favorite EATING cucumber is Poona Kheera, hands down, and I grow PICKLING cucumbers-Parisian for cornichons, Boothby Blonde for Bread n Butter. All did well.
CARROTS-I grew Atomic Red and Cosmic Purple this year- nice, sweet, colorful carrots
BEETS-Chioga and Cylindra beets did fantastic this year.
CABBAGE-I’ve grown Kalibos cabbage the last two years and it is fantastic, producing huge conical shaped heads of red cabbage that are sweeter than most cabbages.
TOMATOES-Eight tomato varieties did really well and 17 did not fare so well. So they ones that did well this year were: Black Cherry, Cherokee Carbon, Cherokee Purple, Large Barred Boar, Original Goliath, Paul Robeson, and Grosse Verte Rose, Sungold.
UNSUCCESSFUL VARIETIES this year
DRY BEANS-I grew a few varieties of dry beans that I got from Italy but you can find many from Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans online.
Borlotti bean didn’t do well but has in the past. Will grow again.
Zolphino beans-started out great but a gopher got them all. Zolphino beans are hard to find in the states (I got mine in Italy) but can be found at Uprising Seeds this year. Will grow again.
Tomatoes-17 tomato plants did not do well-poor production. This very well might have been my fault with not enough water as some varieties that didn’t do well this past season have done great in years past. So I’m not counting most of these out this year.
Cour di Bue-puny vines, poor production although the Italians swear by them. Will not grow again
Dark Queen-new to me but did not do well. Will try again.
Captain Lucky-died of unknown cause. Will try this year again
Brandywines-No tomatoes-not enough growing time-too short a season here. I give up.
BKX-died of CTV (curly top virus) Bit by Beet Leafhopper. Will try again.
Santorini-Greek tomato-too small and not sweet enough-will not grow again.
MIXED BAG (some success and some not)
Georgia Jet sweet potatoes- Have a short season (90 days to harvest) and the harvest was fantastic BUT I let them go through one hard freeze and many of them rotted I believe because of that. Will grow this year but will harvest before the first frost, not even waiting for a hard freeze)
Ananas Noir-normally does well but not this past season. Will grow again.
Virginia Sweet-normally does well but not this past season. Will grow again.
Big Zac-normally does well but not this past season. Will grow again.
Lucky Cross– This is my all-time favorite tomato that normally does well but not this past season. Will grow again.
I do like your posts and advice on growing veggies. And, this one lists some of the good vegetables. Thanks.
Thanks Larry- This was only for this year/ What works well for you?
Awesome review, thanks! I’m going to look up some of these varieties you’ve mentioned and consider some for my 2020 garden. I have most of my space dedicated to some more unusual veggies as I am learning how to cook stir fry and ramen soup and want to try some of these oriental varieties, but I bet I can squeeze a few other things in as well :))
On the squash bugs and squash vine borers, I followed your advice and only grew Waltham Butternut and Rugosa Violina Butternut winter squashes and grew Rugosa Friulana summer squash. I did NOT cover them and they did not get squash vine borers, but I did have squash bugs even though I had not had them the previous two years. That being said, the squash bugs did not pose a big problem since I pulled the Friulana in late July because I had already harvested enough summer squash for two to three years that I dehydrated. Then the squash bugs seemed to move over to the butternuts and they were beginning to really make their presence known by the end of the season. I still got a wonderful harvest of super yummy butternuts though, which I roasted and dehydrated for food storage for the next couple years. Maybe, if I don’t grow squash in 2020 the bugs will forget I am here 😂. Perhaps we have extra hungry, robust squash bugs in Abiquiu? By the way, your description of the Friulana Squash was spot on. What a lovely, firm, and bountiful squash that is!
What a a great review! Many thanks! I haven’t had problems yet with either squash and the bugs but next year you might consider putting medium weight row cover completely over them (you can water right thru it) and hold it down with rocks or whatever you have to help keep the squash bugs out. I leave it on till the female blossoms come out (they have a little fruit at the base of them vs the male flower which just has a straight stem but no fruit). Then you have to take it off for flower pollination to happen with the bees which is usually in July so at least you could get a couple of months with out them!
Good luck next year and let me know if you grow any unusual crops that do well!
Waltham butternut squash and Parisian cucumbers – at least they did well. (The butternuts seem to do well for everyone.) I was surprised by how well Parisian cucumber did for us. I know our seasons must be off from yours.
Most of the other varieties I am not very familiar with. I don’t know why Brandywine is still as popular as it it. I thing that most of us who try to grow it are disappointed by it.