At the end of each garden season, I look back, relishing the successes and evaluating the failures. In the balance of things, I think I had a good year, despite the cold, wet May & June and the cold September & October.
Watermelons: Failure & Success. I picked the last five yesterday. Two were unripe; they got tossed. Two were ripe! I sliced them open and gave them to neighbors. One is in my fridge; I'm betting it's ripe. I will end my second year of growing watermelons on a positive note, and I will learn from my many mistakes so I can have a better watermelon season next year.
Pumpkins: Failure. A freeze took out one plant; hail took out two others. I replanted and lost all of them during the hard freeze in September. I left the pumpkins on the dead vines, but they didn't grow afterward, just turned orange. Six small pumpkins from five plants total. I won't grow pumpkins next year.
Tomatoes: Failure. My worse year ever. Two of four plants became diseased. I was dissatisfied with the flavor of the variety I tried this year so will try something different next year. The only positive note was the volunteers from last year that sprouted up and began producing. I might get one or two tomatoes from this before the end. Those were very tasty!
Corn: Success! I ate corn all through July and August. If picked early enough, it was extremely good. This short season variety is genuinely short season: 50 to 60 days. I left one plant, fastening it to the fence with a bungie cord, and I will get seeds from it.
Strawberries: Success! I can't wait until next year. That bed is covered with 8" tall plants that have thus far resisted all our freezes.
Frankenchilies: Success! My second-generation Frankenchilies consistently and heavily produced big Anaheim types ranging in length from 6" to 11". I am incredibly jazzed about next year, when I plan to have one bed devoted to first-generation (if these old, old seeds are still viable), second-generation, and third-generation Frankenchilies!
Habaneros: Success & Failure. They don't like the cold so did nothing until July. However, they are now producing and maturing, and I'm betting I'll get a bucket-load of Habaneros over the next week.
Super Chilies: Success! I've dried enough of these puppies to make a serious contribution to my chile powder project. Best of all, an odd cross showed up in my two dozen plants: A NuMex Big Jim/Super Chile cross that makes the coolest looking, best-tasting 4" peppers I've ever grown. These are definitely going in my chile powder, and I can't wait to try a whole bed of these next year.
Conclusion: To those of you who aren't saving seeds, I highly recommend you at least give it a try. Sometimes, you just don't know what you'll get. It also adds a special zest to gardening that I've never before experienced!
Next year is going to be terrifically exciting
So, how was your year?