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about which summer veggies I’m going to grow in Summer of ’07.

Tomatoes

Early Girl gave a steady supply of roughly 3-inch fruit with good, though not spectacular flavor. Costoluto Genovese (Thanks, Don) was my second-best producer, and was not only delicious, but beautifully ruffled. Black from Tula (Thanks Amy) had the most complex blend of flavors and a beautiful dark tint , but production slowed dramatically when summer heat kicked in. If I grow it again in ’07, I will plant it in a more sheltered spot. Maybe I should rig up some shade cloth. And Sun Gold… what can I say except, “You had me at hello and you will always have a place in my garden.”

As always, my desire to stick with what works is in direct conflict with my desire to try something new. Luckily, there’s plenty of time to duke it out in my head. I do plan to try one of the heat-tolerant varieties, a paste tomato, and a few good slicers. And Sun Gold.

Squash

‘Gold Rush’ was hugely successful and delicious. Flavor, to me, was just like a yellow crookneck, but the straight neck shape made for easy slicing. I will definitely plant ‘Gold Rush’ again, but would like to broaden my squash horizons by trying something new. I think what I like about ‘Gold Rush’ is that it doesn’t taste “squashy”. Pumpkin pie makes me gag, and I’ve been too afraid to try many squash varieties. Never tried spaghetti squash because I know the odds of it tasting like spaghetti are very slim.

Peppers

Bell peppers were ok, but a bit bitter. I don’t know that I want to grow bells in the coming summer. ‘Fresno’ chili pepper was just right for homemade salsa and it didn’t seem to mind our sizzling summer temps. I wonder if there’s a consensus out there on the best medium hot pepper for salsa. I’m willing to be swayed.

Basil

Genovese basil seems to be preferred for fresh use and pesto. Mmmmm…. pesto. Renee’s Garden Seeds has a super fun basil selection, including a new container-friendly variety called ‘Italian Cameo’.

In-ground versus Containerized

While containerized veggies and herbs did best early in the growing season, they started looking stressed just when the in-ground plants kicked into gear. If you can do both, do both, but in-ground is probably a better long term investment and requires much less watering vigilance. You want to be able to get outta town every now and then, don’t you?

Ok, now back to the reality of December: rain, leaves, mucky soil, frosts, freezes, Christmas shopping and cleaning for company. Fa la la la laaaaa… la la la laaaaa.

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