(Welcome to Olivia from Portland. She is the first of a group of bloggers trying out for a place on the Apartment Therapy editorial team, covering different cities in the Northwest. Comments welcome!)
Cooking from the garden: arugula and pecorino pizza.
Planting a container garden is all about usable foods and efficient use of space. As this has been our first gardening season, we've been making note of what we do and don't want to plant next year....Things I WILL plant again:
1. Radishes. Radishes got the prize for the quickest turn-around time (from seed to harvest) in our garden this year. They're also great for small spaces, and a colorful addition to summer meals.
2. Basil. In terms of ROI, basil is the cash cow for home cooks! We're cringing at the thought of how much we would have spent on basil this summer without our plants.
3. Golden cherry tomatoes. Possibly our favorite thing to sneak out into the garden to eat! We planted roma, grape, cherry, golden cherry and early girl and would replant any of them again. Tomatoes are another large volume harvest, and can be canned and frozen for winter use -- no complaints here.
4. Sugar snap peas. Granted, they take up a lot of vertical space, but if you have room on an the east side of your container box, they make a great north/south wall without blocking sunlight from your other plants. Snap peas are another veggie that produce large volume harvests. You can also freeze them for use later in the year!
5. Butter lettuce & arugula. We were pleased with our early summer use of salad greens. Now that it is late summer we're replanting for a fall harvest, and we'll definitely be planting both greens again. Planting lettuce was a weekly grocery bill saver. We tend to use a few different types of lettuce each week, so it was a money and time saver to just run out to the garden for a few leaves.
Things I WON'T plant next year:
1. Squash and bush cucumber. Although excellent for cooking, both vegetables took over half of their respective container boxes. These guys need their own boxes or wide open spaces to grow!
2. Parsley. Parsley was officially the last item to be harvest-able. We were eating radishes three weeks after planting, but three months later, the parsley is barely ready!
3. Beets. We were sorely disappointed in our beets this summer. Like the parsley, beets are slow growers. Next year we'll be using the space for something else, and hitting the farmers market for beets.
4. Green pepper. The suspense is just not worth it! We only harvested two green peppers this summer. So after months of watering and weeding it was rather anti-climactic. Next year, we'll use the space for more tomatoes!
4. Jalapenos. We harvested three jalapenos this summer, and just like the green pepper we'll be visiting the farmers market, especially since jalapenos are less than $1.
Gardeners: what's on your replant (or "never again") list?