Winter is the time to reflect on what worked and didn’t work from last year’s veggie garden and what we might do differently. I always walk around at the end of the season in the fall and write notes on my phone about each variety and then transfer them to my computer to help my pea brain (which seems to be shrinking) remember things for the next season. By writing notes I can refer back the following year. I use to keep notes in a little notebook but now do it electronically (I’ve made it to the 21st century!) Either way works-the point is to observe and write down what happened. My notes are specific for this past season and my garden, not necessarily true for all seasons or gardens.
HERE ARE THE PRO AND CON OF NEW VARIETIES I tried!
CONS-Let’s start here. Why not? That way we can end this post on a good note.
Cape Gooseberries-I seem to be a sucker for anything that has the name ‘berry’ in it although it is not related to berries but rather it is in the tomatillo family but supposedly sweet. What a waste of time and water for me this past season. I had high hopes for them but they were a dud. Won’t grow them again.
Potatoes-Yukon Jack variety-harvested mostly teeny weenie spuds-the size of my thumbnail! Next year, I’ll buy farmers market varieties and not grow any potatoes.
Watermelon-Anguria variety- sweet but only got two from two plants. Now I’ve grown watermelon before and did better but not this year. Not worth the water.
7082 cucumber-Not terribly productive-won’t grow again.
TOMATOES-Quite a few tomatoes did marvelously but a few were duds and these were all the new duds for me last season. I will review all the tomatoes in another post but read on for the duds (at least for me):
Giant Green-Didn’t matter when I harvested them but they were always mushy although sweet. Also not many. Won’t grow again.
Lilian’s Yellow-they were nice-all two of them. With the cost of water, I need more than two per season.
Blush Plum-not great taste. Just ok and I need superior taste to grow in my garden. There are several Blush tomato varieties but this one is called Blush Plum from Restoration Seeds. I’ll pass next season.
Honking Black Cherry-Nothing honking about it. Just normal size Black Cherry and not as productive as the original variety. No go.
PROS-I actually had a great season last year but you might now get it from my notes above. So let me praise the NEW winners from last season.
Purple Kohlrabi-what a great vegetable! Besides being tasty it is very beautiful and looks like a space ship-way cool. I used it in a vegetable gratin and it was very tasty. My friend Lava told me they were good and she was right. I will grow more next year.
Cauliflower-Never grew this before and what a nice surprise! Both Cheddar (orange) and white varieties were very productive, no bugs and because I had two different varieties, I had two different harvest times which meant I didn’t get all of them at one time-a bonus! The cheddar ripens sooner. I never looked at the seed packets to see harvest times till later. Nice surprise. Will grow again.
Salmonberry-Only in its second season, I thought I lost it over last winter but it came back. Hopefully it will survive again this coming season and produce berries!
Badger Flame Beet-What a great beet! A definite winner– orangish outside and yellow inside-Almost too beautiful to eat. It has great flavor. Will plant again!
Espelette pepper-Super prolific! A med size thin wall red pepper with medium heat first followed by a touch of sweetness. I once got a jar of Espelette powder (from France) and it was not nearly as hot so I suppose it depends on the growing season. I grew it to make powder. A definite keeper but have enough powder for an army.
Habanada pepper-A small sweet orange pepper like the Habanero but with NO heat. Two plants gave me more than I needed. Will grow again.
Petite Marseilles-A small sweet yellow thin walled pepper that I grew in a pot that did not produce a lot but might be worth a retry this year.
TOMATOES-I grew 27 plants last year of which many are repeats so these are the only new varieties that were outstanding
Ruthje cherry tomato-hails from Germany and my friend Lava told me about how good they were and she is right! I will DEFINITELY GROW these again. They were a super sweet cherry tomato that is as sweet as Sungold. Not many tomatoes can say that.
Black Sea Man tomato-Wonderful black tomato-full of favor with earthy overtones. Reminds me of Black Krim, only way more productive. A winner!
NEITHER GOOD OR BAD
HONEYBERRIES-Ok, I always want to grow blueberries but they need acidic soil which we do not have here in the southwest. Our soil is very alkaline. So I read that honeyberries (which look like a elongated blueberry and taste similar), don’t need acidic soil and can handle the cold winters. So I got two PLANTS and they were not happy. Didn’t die but didn’t do well either so the verdict is out on them. Hopefully they will survive our winter and do well next season. The verdict is out on these but I hope they will make a comeback!