Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Garden Overview & Totals ...... Part 1

This was not the best gardening year for any of us...but, I'm not going to complain too much! This year there was a lot of work getting the plots going. It looks like next year is going to be a lot of work too since the Community Garden is moving.

The total weighed harvest from the gardens to date is a little over 720 lbs. Considering the fact that last year I harvested more then 400 lbs. from 230 square feet of actual garden space and this year I harvested 720 lbs. from about 1000 square feet. It was not the best year. OK, that's the end of my complaining!

I will do this post the same as I did it last year, in alphabetical order. This may be a bit lenghty and boring. But, is part of my garden record keeping.

Asian Veggies: I planted three varieties of Asian veggies this year; Pak Choi, Baby Choi & Chinese Tatsoi. The Baby Choi and Tatsoi did better then the Pak Choi. Due to a fluctuation in temperature, the Pak Choi bolted very early. I was extremely pleased with the Baby Choi's production. I presently have all three of these varieties growing in the cold frames and it looks like we will harvesting some soon.

    Pak Choi - 1 lb
    Baby Choi - 7.625 lbs.
    Tatsoi - 1.0625 lbs.
    Total - 9.6875 lbs

Asparagus: Two new asparagus beds were planted at the plots. One bed was planted with Jersey Supreme Hybrid and the other bed with Purple Passion. Both beds did well and are prepped for the winter. Hopefully the moving of these beds will be a success come next year.


Pole Beans: I planted two varieties of purple pole beans; Dean's Purple Snap & Blue Coco Snap. These were planted late at the end of June due to the fact that I didn't get a place ready for them at the plots. Then we had the hurricane, which blew the tee-pee down. We did manage to get 3.375 lbs. from them but not enough to freeze any. Next year I am planning to sow them on time and also add two additional varieties, Chinese Red Noodle and Red-Seeded Asparagus. It's going to be a beanless winter :(

Fava Beans: This was the first time that I planted Fava Beans. The variety was Precoce A Grano Violetta. Unfortunately ants got into the plants and we were only able to taste a few. They were absolutley wonderful! I am looking forward to planting some Fava Beans next year.

Lima Beans: The limas were also planted way too late. The variety sown was King of the Garden Pole.
Due to the very late planting and all of the rain at the end of the season. None were harvested.

Dry Beans: The dry beans were planted as a second crop and in empty spaces I had both at the plots and the home garden. Due to the excessive rain late in the season, I feel the harvest was about 50% less then it should have been. We did loose one variety entirely. But, we do have enough stored for some home made baked beans and some soup & chili.

    Great Northern Bush- 3 lbs.
    Jacob's Cattle Bush - 13 oz.
    Coco-Rubico Bush - 6 oz.
    Kidney Bush - 1.5 lbs.
    Trail of Tears Pole - 10 oz.
    Sadie's Horse Runner - None

Broccoli: This was the worst year I have ever had for broccoli. I would say it was a total failure. The spring broccoli bolted due the heat and the fall broccoli has been basically destroyed by the ground hog at the plots. Two varieties were planted; Walthan 29 & Calabrese. I have added some new varieties to the list for next year and also some Broccoli Raab. A few will be planted at the home garden in the spring next year since I'm not sure if the plots will be ready. It was disappointing...but, I have never really had a problem in the past. A total of 1.1875 lbs is all that has been harvested so far this year.

Brussels Sprouts: This is my second attempt at growing brussels sprouts and quite frankly my last for a couple of years. I only harvested a handful last year. This year I thought that I would not have any to harvest. After a recent visit to the plots, it looks like there may be some after all. I planted Long Island & Falstaff. These plants are heavy feeders & take up a lot of room. I am planning to try them again once the soil is established at the plots.

Cabbage: The cabbage did OK this year. Three varieties were planted; Chiefton Savoy, Red Acre & Tet Noire. I only planted 3 of each since I wasn't planning to make sauerkraut this year. They all produced small heads and it was enough for the two of us. I even managed to freeze 3 nice portions of Braised Red Cabbage for use over the winter.

    Chiefton Savoy - 3.75 lbs.
    Red Acre - 4.875 lbs
    Tet Noire - 4.25 lbs.

Carrots: The early planting of carrots did well. I planted Chantenay Royal, Parisienne, Danver's Half Long & Scarlet Nantes in the spring with a total harvest of 5.875 lbs. The later sowings did not do well. The seedlings kept dying from the heat. We only have 4 carrots growing right now! Hopefully I will be able to produce more carrots next year since they are a definitel staple for cooking.

Cauliflower: This was another crop that had a difficult time this year. I planted three varieties; Early Snowball, Silver Cup & Igloo. They also had a difficult time with the extreme early heat and the fall crop...well, the ground hog. The total harvest was 2.21875 lbs. Not nearly enough for us. I have always had success with this crop in the past. I will also plant a few in the home garden next spring and may look into some different varieties.

Celery: I always plant Golden Self Blanching Celery. The celery did very well this year. I planted some in the home garden and some at the plots. The home garden celery was harvested first and was absolutely beautiful! I thought that the celery at the plots was going to be a failure and procrastinated in pulling it. I am very happy that I did. It turned around and gave us a nice harvest. I also managed to get 3 small shoots from these plants that are now growing in the cold frames. I also noticed a couple of days ago that there is some celery growing out of the bottom of one of the compost bins! Another note, the celery this year was not nearly as strong as celery I have grown in the past. Total harvest 10.4375 lbs.

Ground Cherries: I recieved some Aunt Mollie's seeds as a free gift from one of the seed companies last year. I planted two in pots on the deck at home. They didn't really seem to ripen as they should. The dang squirrels definitely enjoyed them! I'm not sure if I will try them again next year.

Corn: I planted some Japanese Hulless Popcorn for the first time at the plots in two Three Sisters Plantings. They were planted a bit late and the very small harvest has yet to be tested. I'm planning on planting the popcorn again next year in the same fashion and am adding a variety called Strawberry. I so enjoyed the popcorn that my mother planted and I'm not giving up!

Cucumbers: What a time I had with the cucumbers this year! I usually have way too many and end up pulling most of the vines when the pickles are made. The plan was to sow Japanese Climbing & a Slicing variety in the home garden. The Little Tykes & Gherkins were to be sown at the plots for pickle making. Well the first planting at the plots failed and all I had left was more Gherkin seeds, which turned out to be an actual spiky Gherkin variety. That was not the description of the seeds.  At home, I usually plant the cucumbers where some of the early peas were planted. It usually works well as I won't have to make pickles at the same time the tomato glut comes in. The cucumbers at home didn't do well and died early. This happened to a lot of people in our area. It must have been the weather. We did harvest enough for some pickle making. Later I found some from a local farmer and we are good in the pickle department. Next year I am going to plan a little differently for the cucumbers. There have also been some new varieties added to the list.

    Japanese & Slicing - 7.34375
    Gherkin - 1.47 lbs.

Eggplant: There were four varieties of eggplants planted; Black Beauty, Early Black Egg, Rosa Bianca & Lunga Violetta Di Firenze. Only the Rosa Bianca eggplants were the normal size. The other three varieties were less then half the size they normally are. The harvest was enough to make eggplant caponata and were we also able to freeze some. The total harvest was 17.344 lbs.

Garlic: I don't know what I was thinking when I planted the garlic. I only planted 55 cloves. That's hardly enough for "The Italian". The varieties were Siberian & some Misc. varieties that got mixed up over the years The heads were smaller then normal. Hopefully we will have enough to get through the year since we were still using the stored garlic from the previous year long after this years was harvested. This fall I purchased new garlic for planting and should definitely have enough for use and planting next year.

    Garlic Scapes - 10 oz.
    Garlic Heads - 5.125 lbs.

That's it for Part 1. Part 2 to follow and it will begin at Greens.


  1. Great post, Robin. I know you consider this part of your record keeping but I enjoy posts like this as it helps me as I consider what my own sucesses and failures were.

    I know we're in different zones but it's nice to see the details for your area. Good job!

  2. I always love reading these posts too. It is fun seeing how others did over the year. Usually I've done some of my round up posts, but this year I think it just won't happen.

  3. Robin, you are the master of record keeping. I'm impressed with the overall details. What kind of scale do you use to weigh the harvest? I usually start out good but as the garden work piles up, I space off keeping the records because the excuse is "too tired". I like your method of keeping it on a blog which would be a more safe place than on my computer as it seems that every three to five years a memory issue happens. I'm with the other commenters about seeing the facts of your harvest. It inspires me to do better and encourages me that I'm not the only one with a struggling garden this year.

    Have a great garden planning day and hopefully next year will be a bountiful harvest.

  4. Thanks Tami, I really hope that these type of posts are beneticial to some of you gardeners out there. Although we are in different zones, we are both on the east coast and have experienced some of the same weather trends this year.

    Daphne, I'm glad that you enjoyed the post. I really need to improve on my record keeping a bit! Maybe you will get around to posting some round ups this year. If not, it is something that you can always do in the winter when we all have cabin fever!

    David, I did a little better this year keeping track of my harvests. "The Italian" made me a spreadsheet which he copied the varieties off of my Garden spreadsheet. I started out good, weighing the different varieties and putting it on the sheet. Later on, everything got clumped together and most was put on the spreadsheet. There were some differences between the spread sheet and my Harvest Monday posts. So, I had to double check. Next year I'm really going to try harder to keep better records. I also put all of my records and pics from the garden on a disc at the end of the year just in case this old computer fails!

  5. Great post! I love reading how each variety fares, and you give me some great ideas. My garden this year was almost nothing, but I'm getting back out there now. I hope that next year will be a great gardening year! I know it always seems that we can do more with the record keeping and actually being out in the garden, but you have inspired many!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love these types of posts too! It's great records for you, and great info for US. Glad to see I'm not the only one having trouble with Brussels sprouts. I'd LOVE to have them turn out.....but they don't appear to like me....

  7. I should be keeping records like this! How smart of you!

  8. Thanks Lori, It was a really tough year for everyone! Here's to a great gardening year for everyone in 2012!!!!!

    Sue, There are a couple of veggies that don't like me and Brussels Sprouts are definitely one of them!

    Mrs.P, I glad that you liked the post and found it helpful!

    Thanks HolleyGarden, I keep pretty good records of the amounts that I harvest. The rest of the post is from memory though.

  9. You had lots of successes along with a few failures. I think most of us did this year. Love that you share the bad with the good. You definitely made me want to try celery next year.

  10. I always appreciate the year end recaps - particularly when the focus is on growing conditions, timing, and methods as opposed to just the varieties and comparisons - as most of us select varieties really well suited to our growing regions - but the rest of the story usually applies to everyone and is of great interest.

  11. Our faith in Brussels sprouts has been restored this year after two bleak years

  12. Granny, It was a tough year for all of us. Hopefully next year will be better. Celery has never been difficult for me to grow. It has to be started early since it does take awhile to grow. I'm sure you will be very successful growing it!

    Thanks Laura, Writing the garden overview is really beneficial to me and I'm happy that it's beneficial to others too. It's amazing how much I remember when I am writing it.

    Sue, I am going to try Bussels sprouts again...but not next year. It's going to be tough getting the new Community garden set-up.

  13. The catalogs are starting to arrive, a perfect time to consider the season before — thanks for all your great notes!

  14. Your Welcome diaryofatomato! Thanks for stopping by! I'm going to have to hop on over to your place!


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