Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How Did They Grow? Reviewing Five New Garden Varieties in 2013

Every year I like to pick out new garden varieties to try out for the following season.  It keeps gardening interesting and allows me to experience different vegetables and compare them to what I am already growing.  For 2012, I chose 5 different plants that I picked based on productivity, uniqueness and compactness.  You can read my original post here where I picked them - "One Way to Beat Garden Boredom."

So here were my picks with the garden packet photo on the left and my produce on the right...

 I chose this zucchini because it was a compact plant and because it was described as having a pleasant nutty flavor.  What was the result?  I would give this squash an A+ for productivity, compactness, disease resistance and delicious flavor!
It tasted great no matter what size it grew to and we gobbled this zucchini up all summer.  I had one plant that withstood all the fungus our wet and cool summer provided and it was faithful to give us lots of zucchini!

My small amount of beans are located in the right photo, bottom middle.

This yellow wax bean caught my eye because of its unique markings and that fact that it was an heirloom made it a fun try in the garden.  What was the result for 2013?  I would give this bean a B - as it was a good tasting bean but it germinated very poorly even after two plantings.  Of course, some of this could be the season or it could have been the seed lot, but it was very spotty in germination and I had a lot of blank spaces in the garden.  The plants that did grow were semi productive.  This was a fun plant to try but I don't think it'll make it to the garden in 2014.

This little pepper plant looked adorable in the seed catalog and its little fruits were too hard to resist!  How did it grow in my garden?  Well I planted some in the garden and some in containers.  I would say they both grew equally well.  How did they fare?  I would give them a B.  They weren't as productive as the catalog photo but they did put on a decent amount for fresh eating.  I didn't get enough to can even though I grew at least 8 plants.  The taste was okay, not too sweet, the skins a little tough but not bad.  I will grow these again because I like having snack peppers to eat while working outside.  I would classify these as a novelty plant and not a heavy producer.

My Tumbling Toms got hit by late blight.
4. Tumbling Tom Yellow Tomatoes:
I grew these because I love how they are made to tumble and what fun to grow them in containers too.  The yellow variety was a nice change from the usual red tomatoes.  How did these little gems do?  These tomatoes get a C as a grade.  Unfortunately, they were difficult to germinate as well and the plants that did make it succumbed to blight and leaf spot. They managed to give me quite a few tomatoes, not as many as in the seed catalog photo, but enough to enjoy them.  Our wet cool summer wasn't a help for these tomatoes, but I am willing to try them next year hoping our summer temps next year will produce better results.  I really want to grow these as I loved growing vegetables in a vertical space.  Stay tuned to see how they work!

5. Small Wonder Hybrid Squash:
Last but not least was this smaller variety of spaghetti squash.  I grew it for its relatively compact vines but especially its smaller fruits.  It was listed to be very productive.  The result?  This one gets an A+!!  I have so many of these squash ranging in size from a softball to a small pumpkin.  They taste great and they did very well in the garden.  They held up well despite the fungal disease going on because of the wet weather and I have more than enough for winter.  I loved these and am going to include them again for 2013!  It was a rough year for many garden crops because of the weather and whatever made it through is definitely a keeper!

And that was the results of my 2013 Garden Trials.  Overall, I was very happy with my newest additions and most of them will be making a comeback in 2014.  It's great to keep a record of your garden plant varieties so you can make the best choices when it comes to planting time.  It's hard to believe, but you don't always remember what plants grew the best in your garden.

What was your favorite garden plant for 2013?


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  1. Where did you get the seeds for the zucchihi and the small wonder squash? Char in Grand Junction CO?

    1. You can find the sources on where to buy all the seeds if you click on the post "One Way to Beat Garden Boredom" highlighted at the beginning of this post. Click on the caption under each photo... :)

  2. My favourite 2013 plant was Swiss chard. It grew so well and didn't require any special effort on my part.