Friday, October 7, 2011

Next Year's List

Next year will be bigger and better, right?  I'm a great experimenter in the garden, and have been doing it enough years now, that I have a pretty good sense of (1) what works, (2) what doesn't and (3) what looks like I need to try it next year.  You may debate the merits and virtues of need versus want here if you need/want to.

So I thought I would make up a few lists.

What I would like to try next year:

Vegetable Garden:

Cheese Pumpkin
Larger Jack-O'Lantern Pumpkins
English Cucumbers in the Greenhouse - more early and late tomatoes and peppers in same
Jalapeno Peppers - love them in cheese filled, bacon wrapped h'ordeveurs
Purple Carrots
Upside down basket/container with Sweetie Tomatoes
Romanesco Veronica - grew this a couple of years back, really liked it, thought I had 24 plants of it this year    -  mislabeled seed package - it was cheap early broccoli
Salsify, also known as oyster plant - grew this as a child, thought it would be fun to try for my veggie loving family

Romanesco Veronica Cauliflower
Cheese Pumpkins

Flower Bed:

Amaranthus - Love Lies Bleeding    
Dutch Iris Bulbs (had a couple of these this year, and most impressed with them)
Many more nasturtiums
More delphinium (from seed)
More Coleus
Shorter, multicoloured sunflowers in back of perennial bed
White Daffodils
Morning Glories and Nasturtium in Hanging Baskets ???
Orange, yellow, red Callobrochoa (Million Belles) in baskets
Sweet Potato Vines
More Blue Flowers (pansies, ageratum or any other suggestions my reader's might offer)
Heavenly Blue Morning Glory


What did I find really successful this year?

Vegetable Garden:

German Fingerling Potatoes
Cylinder Beets
Sweetie Tomatoes

Flower Beds:

Heavenly Blue Morning Glory (need to get more and earlier blooming though)
Perennial Sweet Pea (I hope they do not become invasive - although they are isolated right now)
Tulips - I bought a swat of tulip bulbs last fall (actually I virtually stole a lot of them - few cents a bulb).  We had tulips from May 1st to mid June - unbelievable, and amazing colour and variety.
Red Hot Poker - a new plant to me - very short season, but fun and colourful
Perennial Sweet Pea

What I was not particularly impressed with this year:

Vegetable Garden:

Tomatillos (did not like flavour and the plants have the look of an invasive weed)
Cucumbers ( Missus does not like seeds, and since we've reduced our sodium, dills are no longer on the menu)
Parsnips - although I think they will grow yet     
Cheap Early Broccoli - see above tale on Veronica
Gourds - have had good luck in the past, but this year, virtually no yield ??

Flower Bed:

Castor Beans - got them in too late, only just nicely growing now - plant earlier next year
Too much pink - am going to go more orange and yellow in my scheme next year - it was like Barbie World this year.
Dahlias - going to scrap - too much foliage, not enough blossom, plus winter storage etc
Gladiolus - one of my favourites, but too thrip infested to even blossom properly - bye bye to all my                       varieties that I imported from Russia and saved for years   
Perennial Phlox and Echinacea - will keep, but very mildew/rust infested this year - chopping block next    year if I don't see major improvement - you've been forewarned
Golden Glow, Outhouse Flower - tall and straggly and infected with mildew - most turfed out already  

I'd love to hear what worked for you this year, what you'd like to try and what will never again see the light of day in your particular garden.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.       


  1. Planning for next year - that is what I call an optimist.

  2. Will never try the hanging containers that show pictures of a burgeoning crop of lusicious red tomatoes. They were useless and with the desert sun, they are now falling apart and can not be reused. A waste! I haven't given up getting things to grow in the desert, but my spirit is certainly once again jaded!

    As far as flowers go: Anything that doesn't die gets to live again and get neighbors. That amounts to roses, lilacs, geraniums, and a few other odds and ends. Gotta love the desert. We're tending towards xeriscape!

  3. Gardener: I don't grow many vegetables in my garden, but I'm a shareholder in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, where they try out a lot of different varieties. They grew purple carrots, and I got really excited when I saw them but, guess what? They taste just like orange carrots. That image of Romanesco Veronica cauliflower is really compelling; I'd grow it just for its aesthetic interest--the florets look to be perfect examples of fractals!

  4. For a blue perennial, I like Jacob's ladder. Butterflies like it too. I find the Gypsy sweet peppers set fruit really well even early in the season. They are pale yellow, ripen to red.

  5. Sweet Potato vine is an Aphid factory, grow it but keep it in a container away from everything else. It is stunning if you can keep the aphids out of it.

    Every year is favorites blue would be Salvia Victoria Blue, a annual that doesn't look like much until she blooms..then she continues all summer, great for a pop of color in a perennial bed. For a Purple..Helitrope.. you will love it. It smells like vanilla!
    Zinnias..especially Dreamland..I love the Coral color..Melampodium 'Derby' a roundy moundy little plant that will be covered with yellow daisy like flowers.
    Have you kept a garden diary? :)

  6. I have tried those tomatoes in the upside down container..they just got blight and croaked:(


Much appreciated comments from my friends: