Other Notes from the Summer

We’ve already covered the vine crops, the tomatoes, and the peppers, so I’m just going to fill in my comments on some of the other things we grew this year.

Yard Long Beans – Both varieties of the Chinese Long Beans were very vigorous and productive. They were producing long past the time we were interested in eating more long beans!

'Kermit' Eggplant

‘Kermit’ Eggplant – These eggplant were definitely a shock to the system for the average gardener! The golf ball size fruits that were green and white striped were hard get used to. That said, the plants were quite productive and the fruits didn’t have any bitter flavor in the skin. A great option if you don’t want to grow the huge eggplant.

Summer Lettuce – This was definitely a bust. The ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ and ‘Concept’ lettuces did grow, but they pretty much just sat there through the hottest part of the summer, only to bolt when it cooled down. I think these lettuces can work some years, but this year wasn’t one of them!

Cosmos – The cosmos were easy to grow and beautiful in the short term. However, they died early and were looking rather leggy. We think that they were perhaps getting too much water.

Gomphrena – The gomphrena was beautiful all summer! Covered with flowers, they were a bright spot in the garden for weeks on end. The stems have also made for great cutting flowers, which was the point of the garden.

Citrus Marigold

Citrus Marigolds – These were disappointing to me. They never took off like I’ve seen them do in the past, and I’m not sure if they got zapped in the “too wet then too hot” double whammy or if they just aren’t a great option in Kansas. I’d like to try them again, definitely.

Bells of Ireland – Okay, so our first mistake was planting these at the wrong time of year. They should have been seeded in March, not May. That said, they still did flower, even though they didn’t look as nice as they could have looked.

'Cherry Brandy' Rudbeckia

‘Cherry Brandy’ Rudbeckia – This rudbeckia was pretty trouble-free and a very unique color. It wasn’t quite as prolific with flowers as I would have liked, but it would definitely be worth another try.

Bupleureum – Again, we should have planted these last fall or in early March. They grew very slow, and didn’t tolerate the heat. They tried to bloom, but it just wasn’t going to happen.

Bunny Tails – Another cool weather plant, these were soft and fuzzy and looked great until July, when the decided they’d had enough for the summer. They were a huge hit, especially with kids, until they keeled over.

Hyacinth Bean

Hyacinth Bean – Compared to all the cool weather plants, the hyacinth beans took awhile to really take off and grow. However, the wait was well worth it, as the lattice is now covered with bright purple pods.

Obviously we had more learning experiences with the flowers than great successes this year! Did you try anything new this year that didn’t pan out?

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on October 6, 2010, in Around the Garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. During the summer I was very frustrated with our Zinnia’s. We found that they must be a grasshopper favorite. Right now they are doing great and providing great color to our back yard.

    I was hoping that your lettuce trial would have had better results…the idea of summer lettuce is great!

    We have only tried Hyacinth Bean once…I’m adding it to our list for next year. Thanks for sharing all of this with us! Very useful information for the home gardener.

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