Evaluating the garden year

A jumbo pink banana squash--one of last year's winners.

A jumbo pink banana squash–one of last year’s winners.

The new seed catalogue will be out in a little over a week, so it’s time to consider which new plants did well and which didn’t last summer.

It’s difficult to really evaluate varieties I hadn’t tried before, because last summer was so devastatingly hot and dry, but I got a feel for them by how my tried and true varieties did.

Tomatoes were a bust—all varieties—it frosted extremely late, and then was just too dry. But I did find that one of the new varieties I tried—bloody butcher—was extra sensitive to the neighbour’s herbicide overspray. So that one’s off the list for next season.

Same went for the yard long red noodle beans—they didn’t recover from the overspray until March, and then it was just too late.

The blue corn was preferentially eaten by the rats, and none survived past seedling stage. Doesn’t mean I won’t try again next year, but I’ll need to protect it better.

Jumbo pink banana squash was a winner, though. Not only was it a spectacular plant in the garden (anything that can grow half a metre in one day has my vote), but the fruits were equally spectacular. They have good flavour and texture, too. The only real drawback is that it’s difficult to fit one in the oven, because they’re so big.

The purple carrot, pusa asita, was also a winner, though its germination was spotty, like all the purple carrots seem to be. The colour was worth it though, as the purple goes all the way to the centre.

And the fire candle radishes were fantastic—delicious, spicy, and slow to bolt.

I’m looking forward to the arrival of the new catalogue and the chance to try out some new varieties for the coming year!

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