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Veggies That Produced Well....And Those Which Didn't

Okiedawn OK Zone 7
13 years ago

Since our warm-crop season is collapsing around us in an avalanche of cold air, freezing temps, potential frost, etc., I thought I'd go ahead and assess the veggie garden's performance for 2009.

Here goes:

POTATOES & ONIONS: A couple of crops produced poorly because of the foot of rain that fell in one day long after they were planted and growing. They were: Irish potatoes and onions. I still have a few of each left in the root cellar, but they were way down in production compared to previous years. I've got at least a year's supply of onions in the freezer, though, and haven't dug the fall potatoes yet.

TOMATOES: These, too, struggled with wet roots after the heavy rain and their growth stalled early in the season, but they made up for it later in the year. I have thousands of bite-sized ones dehydrated for winter (picture raisin-type tomatoes), frozen puree' and frozen stewed tomatoes for cooking, and canned tomato sauce and salsa. We easily have enough tomatoes put up for winter to take us through to next summer. Still have a few dozen green ones on the vine that I likely will pick today.

PEPPERS: The best year ever for both sweets and hots and I have been at my wit's end trying to freeze, can, pickle, jelly and dehydrate them all. We probably have a 2- or 3-year supply of peppers stored away, and my plants are still covered, although I am going to pick a lot of them today just in case it is colder tonight than forecast.

COWPEAS: My fall plants haven't produced a thing, and likely they will not, unless we have a sudden heat wave. It's been too cloudy and cool for all of Sept. and Oct. However, the summer plants produced copious amounts from early July through this week, so I cannot complain. We ate all we wanted fresh (3 or 4 days a week) and I have a lot in the freezer.

MELONS: Did really well and we had a good but not great harvest. I didn't plant as many as usual though. We did enjoy them while they lasted.

SWEET CORN: We fought the raccoons for the spring corn and they got some of it and we got some. I still have some in the freezer. The fall corn has produced smaller ears (one variety is done, the other likely will freeze out) but the raccoons didn't get it and we did.

PUMPKINS/WINTER SQUASH: I didn't plant many of these, but the ones I planted did really well. I still have a lot of almost-mature ones on the vines. I would have planted more in the spring had I not been expecting our 19-month-old drought to continue here at the time I made planting decisions. Clearly, the drought ended a short time after I planted other more drought-tolerant plants in the winter squash's usual spot.

OKRA: Produced early and often and is still producing, albeit more slowly. We had all we wanted to eat and plenty to freeze. A really great okra year.

GREEN BEANS: I never got around to planting them in spring because it went from too cold and rainy to too hot overnight here. I put in a lot for fall and have been getting a pretty good harvest. I've got a few bags in the freezer and hope to get more if we don't freeze tonight.

BROCCOLI & CABBAGE: The same weather that was so hard on the potatoes and onions made the broc and cabbage go bonkers. We harvested lots and lots and have tons of broccoli in the freezer. We ate all the cabbage.

GARLIC & OTHER HERBS: All produced very well and I need to harvest some more of the leafy herbs and hang them to dry.

SWEET POTATOES: Weren't that great this year. I planted them late and in heavier soil than they like and it stayed too wet. Maybe next year will be better for them.

I probably am forgetting some things, but those are the highlights of the veggie season. All in all, I consider it a successful veggie year.....we have a little over 200 jars of various veggies canned and in the root cellar (tornado shelter), along with the last few onions and potatoes. We have about 100 packages of frozen garden veggies in the freezer...maybe more...I didn't keep track of how much I put in there.

There were no tree fruits because of the early blooms that got frozen by several late freezes.

The pecan tree in the front yard is loaded but we haven't harvested any yet.

All in all, a better-than-average year thanks to all the rain. In 2008, we had about 23" of rain. This year, we've had about 43" of rain so far. What a difference the abundant rain makes!


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