How’d your vegetable garden perform during the summer of 2021? Did it produce for you the harvest of your dreams? Thanks to a too-cold, too-hot summer, my own kitchen garden was (and still is) a prolific disaster. Here’s my “farm report,” followed, I hope, by yours:
My kitchen garden suffered from both neglect and bad weather during the 2021 growing season. An unusually-cold May was proceeded by an equally-chilly June. July that brought 17 consecutive days of rain. August delivered hellish heat, dangerous downpours, muggy air, and more mosquitos than I’ve ever seen in my life.
If your summer was anything like mine, please speak up. Misery loves company.
Here’s what the kitchen garden looks like today, September 22:
Butternut Squash. Last year, with near-daily assistance from me, this winter staple cheerfully climbed up and covered a cattle panel trellis. In 2021 I rarely visited the kitchen garden because…mosquitos. As a result, some vines ascended the trellis while others sprawled hither and yon. Now hefty bells of butternut squash can be found here, there, and everywhere. I shouldn’t complain. I’m grateful for the substantial harvest! Related: How to Harvest and Cure Butternut Squash.
Bell Peppers. These are presently ripening to yellow, orange, or red. I will have a decent amount to freeze this year. Related: How I Freeze Bell Peppers.
Acorn Squash. Despite my neglectful ways, the vines managed to climb their trellis. Sadly they did not produce an enviable bounty. Three plants provided just 10 squash.
Delicata Squash. This was my virgin attempt at growing this tender-skinned subject. Sources I trust claimed the plant grows like zucchini. That is, the vines are upright and bush-like. And this, my friends, is why I never write about plants that I have not grown myself. Delicata’s growing habit is anything but “zucchini-like.” The plant trails with utter exuberance just like other winter squash do. With help, I suspect that Delicata could be trained vertically on a trellis.
The seven plants produced a respectable crop. And that’s a good thing, because I love Delicata squash! Its colorful skin is tender and edible. No peeling required. Related recipe: Maple Glazed Chicken Dinner featuring Delicata squash.
Potatoes. I dug up a few of the ‘All Blue’ variety recently, and they are gorgeous. The remaining crop, which includes ‘Yukon Gold’ and ‘Red Norland,’ will be harvested in late October, when my cellar is cool enough to store them. Mercifully potatoes have a can-do attitude. They do not require constant coddling from the gardener.
Zinnias. Now that autumn has officially arrived and the squash and potato vines have died back, the zinnias are the stars of the kitchen garden show. Would you believe that I never once deadheaded the flowers during summer? Now the crop is providing colorful stems for indoor vase arrangements. I have them in yellow…
Now back to my original question: How’d your garden perform during the 2021 growing season? Talk to me in the comments field below. xKevin