Every garden should have something fun and positive associated with it, beyond the obvious enjoyment of growing food.
Whether it is a garden flag, gnome or other decoration, a pond or whirligig, it makes working in the garden so much more like play. And that’s what is should be, after all.
Fun can also come in the form of trying something new, or what we often refer to as "the experiments." This is an admittedly loose definition for whatever we may want to do in the garden plant-wise.
Garden Geek? Yeah, you got that right. Quite probably, Uber Geek. We can live with that.
So we have had fun with kohlrabi, Vietnamese fuzzy gourds, luffas, Jerusalem artichokes, and a slew of other veggies you don’t find in a typical garden. Have you ever seen a gherkin grow? Wasabi arugula? Don’t get me started. There will be more on these at another time. Have you ever tried to grow your own ginger, planted cranberries, or bought an avocado tree to grow up North? Entertainment at its greenest.
Some good lessons were learned while we were having fun. Some, of course were learned the hard way. A word to the wise: If you are going to experiment with perennials, use pots. Trust me on this one.
We have also enjoyed pushing the season here in our garden. This year it was by planting zucchini.
Okay, I know what you are thinking. Zucchini, really? What fun is that?
Try planting it 2 months later than you are supposed to. That’s a lot in a growing season that is only 4 months long. So what happened when we planted seeds at the end of July, when the end of May is the norm?
Well, zucchini happened. Zucchini when all the other summer squash had quit for the year. Lots of beautiful young baby zucchini in mid-September. Zucchini when everyone else was tired of zucchini. Baby zucchini at the same time as the tomatoes!
Okay, I’ll share our secret weapon. You see, it was a well–thought out experiment. We planted a zucchini that is called ‘Cashflow’. A hybrid deliberately bred to produce more fruit, and sooner. This plant actually produces female flowers before the males, and often the males are twins. Serious zucchini production.
Now I won’t say it is the best-tasting zucchini. For that we grow Costata Romanesco, a wonderful Italian heirloom that does not produce a lot of fruit, but the flavor is unmatched.
But for zucchini in September? Yep, we’ll consider this experiment a success.
Gardening Jones is a Pennsylvania-based vegetable gardener. Read more at her blog.
Shop for discounted vegetable-gardening books and supplies at GardenersHub.com.
Experiment with vegetable placement with the book Carrots Love Tomatoes, a customer favorite.
Have fun in the garden by raising your own chickens. Learn how with the Backyard Chickens Guide to Coops and Tractors.