It’s almost June, and I can now make some assessments of the spring crops. There are some things that I’ll grow more of next year, and some things that don’t seem worth planting again.
Radishes: The regular radishes were great, especially when they were small. I didn’t care for radishes before this, but these were great. I also planted watermelon radishes, and they were a total failure. They never fattened at all before bolting. Next year I will plant only the regular kind, or maybe also some french radishes like the ones pictured here. I’m also going to make sure to do successive plantings so the radishes don’t all mature at once.
Arugula: Definitely a success, although ditto on needing to do successive plantings. The arugula variety I planted was quite spicy, so I might also look for a mild type just to balance things out.
Chinese Broccoli: Great germination rate, but the stalks were kind of stringy. I might try regular broccoli or cabbage next year.
Kale: It’s been growing pretty slowly, so I haven’t tried any yet. But I like kale a lot, and supposedly it overwinters well. The kale stays in the picture.
Peas: The sugar snap peas were the first to mature, which is a point in their favor. The yield wasn’t especially impressive, though. Still, it’s great to have that early crop, so I’ll plant a row of it again next year. The snow peas had lovely purple flowers, but the pods got tough really quickly. The small, tender pods seem to require harvesting every day, which I can’t do since my plot isn’t right near my apartment. I think I won’t plant them next year. My English shell peas (Wando variety) haven’t matured yet, but I can already see they’re going to have a great yield. Definite keepers.
Swiss Chard: The baby greens have been great in salads, and now that the plants are growing up they look robust and healthy. Plus they supposedly can last through the summer without bolting with proper maintenance, and can overwinter to some extent.
Lettuces and greens: Lots of successes. Black-Seeded Simpson and Sweet Valentine Romaine were especially tasty and prolific. Mizuna and chicory are nice for bitter greens. Mache failed completely and spinach was only so-so, but that probably has more to do with the particular variety not being suited to this climate. Overall, though, I think I planted about the right number of linear feet of salad greens this year, but perhaps I could have staggered the plantings a bit more.
Collards: I haven’t harvested any collard greens yet, though I could have, so I’m still counting it my spring crops. Harvest is in the plans for this weekend. The plants are gorgeous and very healthy, and a friend told me they overwinter well. These can stay, although I’ll have to pull out a couple of plants that are crowding my rhubarb.
Strawberries: I’m keeping these tasty babies! I’m still going on the theory that they’re Tri-Stars. I’d even plant more strawberries if I had the space. Perhaps I’ll plant some alpine strawberries, like the ones pictured here. They don’t send out runners, so they can go anywhere in the garden.