My post about magically appearing zucchinis made me think it's about time I reported on the progress of this year's vegetable garden.
Most crushing disappointment: the onions. I should never have boasted how well we grow alliums here at Mucky Boots, because this year the onions have been a disaster. Germination was about 15%, so I replaced all my seed and began again, and still only had a 50% germination rate. All of which put me a few weeks behind. And once the seedlings made it into the garden they went on strike, and have done very poorly. In past years I have been harvesting my onions by this time, enough to almost see us through the year, but this year we'll be lucky to get a dozen onions big enough to eat. It makes me want to cry, which I guess is appropriate given it's onions we're talking about. I'm just glad the garlic did fine.
Most frivolous success: nasturtiums. My companion planting book suggests planting nasturtiums among squash plants to attract pollinators. I took this advice to heart and now my wildly vining, sprawling squash plants are entwined with wildly vining, sprawling nasturtiums in vibrant reds and oranges.
Most practical success: Cucumbers. I grew some pretty good pickling cukes last year, but my heart belongs to long, elegant English cucumbers, with which I have had no success. But this year I have four lush, healthy plants flowering like mad and already producing fruit. Best of all, I ate the first one a few days ago and it was the juicy, tasty essence of cucumber-ness.
Most gloat-worthy success: The winter squash. Unlike the zucchini, which produced three and promptly quit (why am I the only person in the universe who can't grow enough zucchini?) the winter squash plants are pumping out more squash than ever before. I have squash growing in beds, between beds, up a strawberry tower, along the ground, and even up the middle of a stand of dried up daisies. There are still a few things that could go wrong before harvest time, but it's looking good, and given my past failures in this department I'm giving myself permission to gloat.
Winners of the "Never Again" Award: cilantro and parsley. I can't grow either. The cilantro bolts the instant I turn my back, before I have a chance to harvest any leaves, and the parsley just sits in the dirt and looks at me, refusing to grow past the seedling stage. I've tried, and I give up.
Winner of the S-L-O-W-E-S-T Growth Ever Award: the cabbages. I don't know what the heck they're doing - I planted early varieties and they're barely starting to form heads. Was it too cold? Then too hot? Too wet, then too dry? They're progressing, just very, very slowly.
Winner of the "I Like It After All" award: broccoli. Last year it was kale, my formerly favourite vegetable to revile. This year it's broccoli, which I had decided, once I regained my sense of smell, I didn't like. But that was supermarket broccoli. My own broccoli, right out of the garden, lightly sauteed so it's bright green but still with some crunch, with a squeeze of lemon overtop? That's an entirely different story.
How has your garden been faring?