Friday, November 30, 2012

Broccoli flowers

Oops, I forgot to harvest this purple peacock broccoli floret, and lo and behold, it blossomed! But no worries. I steamed it up and ate it anyway, along with some less mature shoots, and it was delicious.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sandy, Nor'easter knock out my garden

Last two bell peppers
After a hurricane and blizzard, I guess it's safe to say the harvest season is over. Just don't tell my lettuce or broccoli plants, they're still growing. Some of the herbs are plugging along too, though the basil was whipped away by high winds. I pulled the last two bell peppers from the vines before Wednesday's nor'easter, and frankly I couldn't believe they survived Sandy!
But all in all, it's time to shut down the watering system, clip the rose bushes and close up shop.
It was a tough season. Our tomatoes had too many problems to list. Okay, I'll list a few: Rust disease, blossom drop and all around lousy production. The broccoli, though still trying, never amounted to much. The cucumbers failed. Even the pepper plants were under-performers. Only the Japanese eggplants came through in a meaningful way.
So, what's an urban gardener to do? Why look forward to next spring of course. We've already decided to go back to our old faithful tomato varieties of Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Aunt Ruby's German Green. Just one season without them proved how valuable those strains are, at least in this growing zone. The newbies we tried out -- the Azorean Red, Black from Tula and Green Zebra --  just hated the heat. We had an early spring harvest and then nothing until October! I may try broccoli again, but I'll wait until fall; it prefers cool weather. And I'll remember to plant Kirbies instead of cucumbers. The smaller fruit seems to do better in pots.
I know it seems like a long way to planting season, but it's never too soon to start looking forward to it.