A 2009 winner!
The plants in this patch are only about half the normal size but they were growing in my poorest soil with only limited Golden Fertilizer. Minimal insect damage and no disease damage. The leaves and seeds are very nutritious. Next year I plan to grow 100 to 200 Golden Giants and harvest 25 lbs.+ of seeds.
My solar electric fence controller from Harbor Freight sits in the background. I tried everthing to keep the deer out: urine, soap, monofilament, hair, mobiles made from CDs. I found out deer will adapt to everything except electricity. This was one of the best $100 I ever invested ($50 for controller, $50 for wire, insulators, etc.). I've got enough aluminum wire and parts to put up another fence if I buy another controller. I think I may put a second fence just around the corn.
Elsewhere in the garden I captured my third possum. They wiped out my two patches of Cherokee popcorn and started on my Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes by climbing the trellis and tearing things up. I hope this stops the recent garden damage; the traps are still set though.
Outside the garden and growing 'wild', Chocolate Peppermint, Greek Oregano, and Prime Jim and Prime Jan Blackberries; all doing very well.
I planted some Hopi Red watermelon seed in an area of poor soil that previously had failed to grow out several varieties of melons. From the description at Ozark Seed Bank it sounds like a tough plant. It looks like they may set fruit! If they set fruit I'll save the seeds and plant them in more fertile soil next year.
I gathered seed from Matt's WCT, Chichiquelites, Red Chinese Noodle beans and Razorback cowpeas. I'm not sure what to do with the bean seeds as ALL my peas and beans this year showed at least some disease damage. The Red CNBs set a huge crop and died. Are those seeds contaminated?
I ate the first tomatillo I've ever grown. Three previous tries had yielded no fruit. A knowledgeble gardener at I Dig My Garden said the plants are stongly self-infertile and they must be planted in groups. Sure 'nuff.
I ate my first TAM Mild jalapeno pepper, good flavor and not very hot. The plants are vigorous and productive. I've been unable to grow sweet peppers in my garden; I think I'll be using this as my 'sweet pepper'. My hot pepper is a Lemon Drop pepper, a different species that won't cross with TAMMJ.
Jerusalem Artichokes are growing everywhere. I'm not fond of the flavor but it's nice to know I have several hundred pounds I can dig up and eat if I have to.