This year I actually managed to get a garden going, although weeks past the date that I should have started. I purchased organic non-gmo seeds from AmishlandSeeds.com. I also needed to buy a small indoor greenhouse, which I happily did - at Wegmans. It looks kind of like this, except there is also shelving across the back.
I put it in my garage, went out and purchased lighting to hook up underneath each shelf. Then I had to buy organic soil. I went to Amazon for that task and picked up 4 bags of this stuff.
Once I had seed trays started (late), I went to work, checking, nurturing, etc. I lost a lot of seeds after they came up because my lighting was too far away - they got leggy. Some got the mildew rot. But I still ended up with tons of tomatoes, beans, sunflowers, peppers and more tomatoes. Did I mention tomatoes? Anyway, as said, I got a really late start on the seeds.
This led to late crops, no crops, half crops and bumper crops. My beans are fantastic, I will definitely do them again next year. Every tomato seed I planted came up and since I did not have the heart to throw any away I planted them all. Big mistake since they took up most of my garden. But it was actually good since I didn't have much time to be in there weeding and tending, and they are very low maintenance anyway.
This year I built a trellis in my garden, at the entry way, to accommodate the pole beans and the chinese yard long noodle beans. Now those were interesting!
I loved my trellis most out of the entire garden this year. It added interest and it also provided a place for the morning glories to climb as well.
The first part of the crops to bloom were the purple pole beans. Little purple flowers burst forth at once and soon I found myself with my first harvest by May.
These beans are super sweet and very easy to let go to seed. They are fantastic raw in dips and on salad.
Once the trellis was in full bloom it looked AMAZING. And then the beans just started coming, and coming, and coming and holy cow what was I supposed to do with all of them?
I had noodle beans.......
chinese reg long noodle beans
I had purple pole beans....
and I had green beans, which I later found out matured into shelly beans...
What happens when you forget to, or don't quite see all the beans you should be picking? Well, you get overripe green beans that at first glance appear as though they are meant for trash. But guess what? You can actually save those, take the seeds out of the pods not quite dry, boil them for 30 minutes in salted water. Then cook them for about 5 minutes in a saute pan with onions and garlic and you got yourself a protein packed, and bean rescued harvest for dinner.
shelly beans with garlic and onion
OH MY! This was sooo yummy and I am sorry I didn't keep more of them for cooking. I had my last bumper crop tonight and picked all the beans I had left. Some were completely dry which I will save for seed and the rest for soup. The purple pole beans and green beans went to freezing. I blanced them in boiling water for 4 minutes after I washed and chopped them, and now they are happily in my freezer for later use.
Some of my early crops, I dried on string hung in a sunny dry place and they are ready for later use in a soup or stew (picked that up in Williamsburg while on vacation this year).
As for the rest of my crop, I am about to have a gazillion green tomatoes that I need to bring in and place in a box with newspaper to see if they will ripen up for me. If not, I will can them and save them for something else. They make a great refrito.
Overall, I was totally thrilled with my garden this year. Next year, I will plan better, move things around and will get it in the ground earlier. Right now I have lots of basil and oregano still growing, and my scallions are also doing great. Basil will be cut to dry soon. Oh now the planning begins for next spring!