This evening, I picked the first of the French Filet string beans.  This is the bush variety (as opposed to the Blue Lakes, which are pole beans) and I had to search through the closely spaced leaves to find the ripe ones.  We didn’t do anything with them except to wash them and cut them into bite size pieces.  Raw, they were a nice addition to a salad along with lettuce (our mesclun patch is still producing) and two of the few remaining tomatoes.

Our first string bean harvest allows a nice segue into more recapping of the current season.  The string beans, and the Sugar Snap peas before them, did very well in our garden and we will plant them again next year.  But I think we need to devote more space to them (at least one full-length row) so that there are enough ripe legumes at any time to make a sizeable meal.  This year, we either ate the beans a few at a time or waited until there were enough, taking the risk that some would be overripe.

Of course, if we allow more space for peas and beans we will also have to give up room for other things.  I can’t think of anything we planted this year that I would not grow next year; therefore, we may have to expand the garden.  We probably don’t have enough space to add another full-size planter but we could grow some vegetables in pots or directly in the ground.

Of this year’s vegetables, zucchini would be the most suitable candidate for in-ground growing.  Zucchini plants can be very large—our single vine ended up using as much space as two did earlier in the season—and they tend to sprawl.  Before we pulled it out, our zucchini took up almost half of its planter.  “Don’t Fence Me In” would be the zucchinis’ theme song and it is easy to see why they are often grown in free-form patches.

As for pots, the eggplant and bell pepper plants might do well in stand-alone containers.  Unlike the zucchini, they do not spread out very much.  In fact, the eggplant in particular grew upward as much, if not more, than it did outward.  Neither the eggplant nor the bell pepper grew very large (which may be a characteristic of their respective varieties or due to poor soil conditions) and their smaller size would make them easier to move around as the solar exposure changes.

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