There’s not much happening outdoors this time of year, so I’ve selected a “thinking back” topic for this Saturday. Although there were several new crops as well as old favorites in the 2018 potager, here are the top six vegetables I was happiest with and enjoyed growing most in 2018. They were the most productive in terms of space required, and all had high-quality flavor:
French Baby Leek “Primor”. I’d never successfully grown leeks before, and assumed they were difficult. What a surprise to find that they are easy to do from seed, didn’t require a bunch of trenching, and produced a big amount of edible material in the same space that a shallot or regular onion would require. Flavor was good, they were fun, and I’ll definitely grow them again. Seed source: Renee’s
“Katarina” Cabbage: What a pretty cabbage and so wonderful that it is a smaller, 2-serving size, so it takes a smaller space to grow. The photo was in early May, just as the heads were forming. Ready to eat quickly, the heads are 5-6″in diameter, dense, and last for two months in the refrigerator without losing quality! Good flavor, tender, and later plantings seemed to hold up when the heat arrived better than “Gonzales” and other small cabbages. I planted too many at once, thinking that they would be smaller, so there was enough to make 7 qt. of kraut, which turned out great. This will be my cabbage of choice from now on. Seed Source: SeedsNSuch
“Gangbusters” Spinach: This gorgeous spinach was the winner over all six of the varieties trialed in the potager this year. It out-produced the others in the early plantings, held longer without bolting, germinated quickly in late summer for a fall crop, and is now thriving under the cover of the polytunnel. Many of the leaves were larger than my hand, slightly savoyed, and maintained the deep green color without yellowing. Seed Source: Renee’s
“Velour” Bean: This was not only one of the prettiest beans I’ve ever grown, but also extremely productive. The first picking was huge, with a second identical picking soon after. The beans are deep purple, straight and slender with good flavor on tidy plants that didn’t flop until the weight of the abundant crop pulled them over. Definitely in the roster for next year, but they’ll be in the starting line-up rather than as a substitute!
“Polbig” Tomato: This is a determinate that I grow for an early crop because it will set blossoms even in cool weather, and tolerates cool soil. Every year it has out-performed its challenger for earliness, size, color, and flavor. And because it produces its crop early and is finished by the time the indeterminate tomatoes are beginning, its space can be used for other crops mid-season. Seed Source: Pinetree
Butterscotch Squash: Despite its vining nature, this smaller butternut-type is perfect for the small family. Highly productive, with deep orange flesh, good texture and flavor. Although I thought we’d never use them all, the basket is emptying faster than I expected because they are so versatile and tasty. There will definitely be more of these squash plants in the potager next summer. Delicious! Seed Source: Pinetree
Gardeners in other parts of the world are still digging away. To see what’s happening visit The Propagator, who hosts this meme.