I'm sorry I haven't kept updated posts on the garden this spring. Unlike the 2 previous cool, wet seasons this year has been a great year for gardening. Some newcomers to the garden that are doing great:
Marengo Romano Pole beans. Fantastic! 42 days after putting the seeds in the ground the plants are over 9 feet tall and flowering profusely, even setting some tiny pods. Lush, healthy plants.
Old West Virginia Heirloom melon. After bemoaning my inability to grow cantaloupes in my garden a West Virginia gardener on idigmygarden.com sent me seeds to this melon with the comment: "I bet these will grow for you." They do!
Indian Stripe and Huando tomatoes. I had resigned myself to just growing Matt's Wild Cherry tomato as it was the only productive tomato of 20 or so that I've tried. Again 2 idigmygarden.com members suggested trying these. They are growing great and setting lots of fruit. Huando is a local variety from Huando, Peru. Indian Stripe is an heirloom grown by an Arkansas gardener.
Horned melon, aka Jelly Melon. I started these indoors and transplanted them after about 8 weeks. They promptly acquired brown spots and wilted. I read in Susan Ashworth's book that they are very resentful of being transplanted so I wrote them off. After 1-2 weeks of looking about to die they suddenly started growing again. One plant is now over 7 feet tall and well branched, lots of flowers about to happen.
Clary Sage. Another gift from an idigmygarden.com gardener. Planted last summer, it grew into a 2 foot tall plant with big leaves. It flowered this May and yesterday I harvested some ripe seeds; I'll harvest more in a few weeks.
Everbearing Strawberries. I must mention that everbearing strawberries are doing great on my poor, heavy soil with leaf mulch. Ozark Beauty, Tribute, Pretty and Pink, and Sarian F1 (from seed) are all doing great with no care and a few berries to munch on every day. I sure am glad I bought one Pretty and Pink plant at Lowe's 2 years ago. Pretty pink flowers and a wonderful flavor. It seems to have been taken off the market; I don't know why.
This is the 5th gardening year in my Boston Mountains garden and I can report discovering varieties that grow well for me in almost every category. In the 4 previous years I've lost many varieties to disease; these are tolerant/resistant to local diseases. I've also had many crops that simply refused to grow for me. Most greens and all cole crops just sit there. Until now cantaloupes would not grow for me. Sweet peppers don't grow well, though many hot peppers do quite well. All herbs and spices that I've planted have done well except for common thyme. Interestingly creeping thyme is doing well. It is a thick green carpet that creeps out a few inches each year.
Baring a crop failure I'll have seeds for 2011 from:
Allium ------------- Tokyo Long White bunch onions, Garlic Chives (aka Chinese Chives)
Amaranth --------- Golden Giant
Beans -------------- Marengo Romano, Red Noodle, Hopi Red Lima, Royal Burgundy, Razorback cowpea
Greens ------------- Ragged Jack Kale, Mixed Mustard Greens, Edible Chrysanthemum, Blood Sorrel
Herbs, Spices ----- Lime basil, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea), Clary Sage, Toothache Plant
Melons, Squash -- Old West Virginia melon, Hopi Red Watermelon, Seminole pumpkin, Kikuza squash, Horned melon
Misc. ---------------- Ground Cherries, Chichiquelite berries, Purple tomatillos, Goldenberry, Litchi Tomatoes
Okra ---------------- Lee
Peas ---------------- Alaska, Super Sugar Snap, Neighbor Steve's snowpeas
Peppers ----------- Tulip (aka Bishop's Hat, Balloon pepper), Neighbor Steve's Anaheim, Long Thin Cayenne
Tomatoes --------- Indian Stripe, Huando, Matt's Wild Cherry