The Fails and What's Next
Sometimes the growing season is just not well suited to certain species. That was the case with the peppers I started this year. I actually had really terrible success germinating the three pepper varieties from OSC that I started. Of these mixes (Portugese, Caribbean and Mexican) I believe that 4 or 5 of the 15 started survived to transplant stage. Of those I had 3 fruit from 2 Caribbean peppers. I also started the following purchased at Seedy Sunday from Wild Rose:
King of the North, Early Jalapeno, Sweet Salsa and African Devil
These plants were started at the end of March, and we only yielded a handful of peppers from about a dozen plants. I will be starting them much earlier this year, so that they're hardier and larger when the time comes to move them outdoors. Some day, we may add a greenhouse to the garden, so we can extend our growing season for plants like peppers. And wouldn't it be amazing to grow citrus?
I direct seeded cucumber (pickling and english) in the same bed as the spaghetti squash. A few of the pickling cucumbers managed to grow around the squash - maybe three cucumbers total. I'd really hoped to make mom's dill pickle recipe and had the fresh dill to do so. The only thing to do is try again this summer.
I planted beans among the squash - two of the three sisters. The beans may have served the purpose of fixing nitrogen for the squash, but they weren't able to compete, and we only harvested a couple of meals worth of green beans and none of the mottled red drying beans.
In September I planted strawberries and rhubarb in one end of the new garden beds, and 60 garlic from a local, organic garlic farm. Mulched them all with bark mulch and leaves, and hope they'll make it through the winter.
I missed having fresh potatoes this year, and I'm still not sure where the best place to plant them in 2020 will be. The new garden is quite shallow, and won't provide me with opportunity to hill the plants. In years past I've had great success with potatoes planted directly in bales of soil mix - but that's a super expensive way to grow potatoes. We've been researching potato towers, but it seems that those tend to overheat and have low yield.
I'm also planning to grow onions and leeks, and might get brave and try asparagus (though I'm the only fan) and fennel. I think I'll also give corn a try, possibly planting the full three sisters together and see how that works.