My Year in Review is terribly late but finally ready.
I've started on seed orders and will have that list posted when I'm done. So--on to the Review!
2014 will go down as a strange and yet bountiful year. Despite record cold temps over winter , super late last frost (June 13!), and cool summer temps, the garden produced abundantly.
Best Surprise--the BLUEBERRIES. I think the bushes have finally hit their stride.
We gave away 2 quarts almost daily for 3 weeks of the Patriots.The branches were dragging on the
ground from the weight of the berries. I've never seen so many. The taste was intense--my favorite.
Chandler berries--while not as abundant as last year , were still plentiful and HUGE.
The BlueRays also kept on providing--though I did not cover that row. Birds took a lot, but I still got lot from them.
Despite early problems with my CARROTS--I got great harvests. The problem was solved by sprinkling ground up eggshells between the rows. It must have been slugs--which in a normal year wouldn't be a problem-- but we had lots rain this year.
And while I'm on the subject of carrots---Loved the Danvers again (2nd year for them) Tried Dragon and St Valery carrots and did not like either of them.
Copra onions this year were the biggest I've ever grown. Huge! Softball size. Thank you rain!!
I tried YUKON GEM potatoes this year and they delivered on their promise of higher yields, less hollow interiors, and great taste. I will be using them from now on instead of Yukon Gold. I had NO SCAB at all. They were beautiful and productive.
It was my first year of growing shallots. I like them and will be doing those again.
I grew the Afina cutting celery for the first time. Great flavor for soups and stews. I do miss having "stalks" for salads, etc. Not sure what I'll do for next year. Maybe a combo of both.
|Curly Blue Kale and Afina Cutting Celery|
Spinach and lettuce yields were excellent---once I got the slug problem resolved with eggshells.
Oh, they hate slithering over those sharp edges. Good!
And now on to the BAD this year.
Once again, it was the battle with the deer. Despite trying cayenne, soap, deer repellents, you name it, they continued to ravage the flower borders around the house. Like it or not, I'm going to have to fence off these areas or just remove the plants they find so delectable.
The newest area I planted this year ( lilies, hostas, astilbe and tulips) seems to have been a combo of their favorites. They pulled up EVERYTHING!
|These stalks are lilies. Yea. Thanks, deer.|
|This was the Phlox this year. It never got taller than 18 inches....and it certainly never got to have blooms!|
And my flower beds battling it out with the deer was not my only problems this year.
Brandywines on the loser list? Yup. This year was especially bad for "cracking". I only got 3 usable tomatoes from that plant. Don's Jetstars performed admirably, but I hate them--so 'watery" and seedy. I will try "Jetsetter" next year. I was given some of them by friend Miriam and they were delicious and meaty.
All the cherry types I grew were productive and good. The Yellow Pear variety this year really surprised me-they usually split like crazy , but not this year. I was better at watering them--more consistent.
Cauliflower-disaster. Of the dozen I planted, only 3 survived the onslaught of slugs. The three that did produce were beautiful. They are in the freezer for mid-winter soups.
Broccoli--another bust. I didn't grow Packman this year and I regret that. I missed those huge heads. I will be going back to that variety next year. I don't like "shoots"--no matter how plentiful!
Melons--all a bust. Late frost on June 13 , a cold summer, and frost September 13 left me with not enough time or heat to produce a crop. Total loss.
Pumpkins (and squash) ---Same story--what didn't freeze in June didn't have time enough to produce.
It's definately been the year for cold-weather crops and a terrible year for the heat lovers. Overall, I'm pleased. I'd actually rather have it cool. And there is always the Farmer's Market for melons, etc.
I've got plenty of good food stored and am already making plans for next year.
Enjoy the quiet beauty of winter. I'm still waiting for consistent snows for skiing and snowmobiling, but have spent many wonderful days painting, reading, and in the kitchen cooking and baking.