Sunday, August 14, 2011

Garden Update IV - Beans!

Two buckets of beans from the first picking.  The beans are phenomenal this year.  The year of the bean!
The plants are big and luscious, and producing at an alarming rate.  I'm picking every third day, and it takes about 7 hours to pick, cut, wash, and blanche them.  My back is not loving the beans!  Thankfully the blueberries are easy picking this year, and I don't really need a lot of them, so that provides some relief.

I planted a variety of beans, after the bean failures of the past three years, hoping to find the magical variety that would love my soil, rain, and short growing season.  mother nature decided to play a big trick on me though, and give us a hot humid summer.  Isn't she cruel?  lol.  So my data is a bit skewed, and I plan to plant a variety again next year, in hopes of similar results.

McKenzie stringless green pod-  good germination, slower to start producing, smaller plants, production increased mid season.
McKenzie tendergreen improved-  good germination, good production
McKenzie classic contender-  ok germination, smaller plants, ok production
McKenzie greencrop-  poor germination, small plants, long tender beans, excellent taste
Pike dwarf green stringless-  poor germination, long slender beans
Pike labrador-  poor germination, lower production
Matchless tendergreen improved (Dollarstore!!)-  excellent germination, excellent production, very large plants, sure didn't do that last year...
Saved seed-  excellent germination, excellent production, huge plants!!

I get almost as many beans from the matchless and saved seeds as I do from the other four rows!  Fascinating!

Three buckets of beans on the last picking.  I have 21 bags of beans, about 5 cups each, frozen for winter so far.  We've eaten another 6 meals worth.  Once I get 36 bags frozen, I'll start shortening my rows, allowing the last two plants of each to go to seed.

The broccoli is also doing well this year.  Five small bags frozen so far, plus one meal.  Not enough for a dish of broccoli by themselves, but nice sized servings for chicken rice casserole or stew.
 No heads yet on the cauliflower.

The beets are doing better this year than in the past, onions are doing great, potatoes look good.

Carrots are still buried in the weeds.

Peas are sad, mostly due to escaping turkeys, poor germination, and total neglect on my part.

Lettuce is still small, though we've been picking away at it.  Turnips didn't germinate well, and aren't growing well either.

In the greenhouse, the corn has tassles!

The tomato trees are loaded with big green tomatoes.  Please turn red!  Please!  Please!!

And something weird is happening at the base of the crazy pumpkins.  They almost look like they got hit by frost, yellowed, wilted, missing leaves.  But that's the part that's in the greenhouse.  The part outside is vibrant and healthy.  And the temperatures dropped before this happened, so there's no way it got too hot in the greenhouse and fried them.  At any rate, I can now see in and around them.

Cucumbers are just starting to produce.  Swiss Chard has been eaten again, and again, and is ready for another meal.  Broccoli is starting to develop heads.  Brussel Sprouts have tiny little heads all up the stalks.  Cauliflower is big and leafy, but no heads.  If I could find my herbs, they would probably be ready to start drying.

To be continued...