Here we are with one day left in 2018. It's been one of those years & I'll be glad when it's firmly in my rear view mirror.
In my last post I wrote about what went wrong and what went right this past gardening season. Regardless of the proportion of each (because no year is all good or all bad) one thing is for sure – the harvest will be impacted.
This year, the losers outweighed the winners by a fair bit…but there were still a lot of winners (hurray!). The great thing about having a variety of veg in the garden is that a growing season where absolutely everything does badly is a rarity. Usually, conditions that are not favourable for one type of veg (i.e. peppers and melons will sulk in cool temperatures) are relished by others (lettuce & broccoli thrive when summer temperatures are on the lower end).
|Eggplant was one veg that appreciated our hot weather this summer|
Pictured above: Farmers Long
Even if you completely neglect the garden, you’ll probably still get a good harvest of the more tenacious crops that can hold their own such as chives or mint. And who hasn’t heard of that ubiquitous squash growing spontaneously from a compost pile with zero intervention?
Chamomile is one crop that, once in the garden, needs no coddling
and self-seeds for years to come if given the opportunity
This Year’s Losers
So on to the losers – ‘cause I like to get the bad news out of the way first 😊. All percentages reflect the change from 2017.
The biggest losers this year were: Potatoes (-61%), broccoli (-62%), turnips (-65%), lettuce (-58%), carrots (-81%), garlic (-54%), scapes (-78%) and sugar snap peas (-74%).
|The broccoli harvest was down both due to the hot temps|
and not harvesting frequently enough
We still harvested enough shelling peas this year to freeze a couple of bags
This Year’s Winners
Now on to the good stuff – and what makes us keep at it in the face of the inevitable difficulties, disappointments & failures that every gardener goes through (some years more than others!).
This was the first proper year of harvesting asparagus. The patch is in its 4th year (from seed) so I limited the harvesting to only 3 weeks & am more than pleased with the over 7kg (15 lbs) picked. Next year I’ll be upping the harvest period to 4 weeks and will hopefully see a nice jump in the harvest. Fingers crossed the asparagus beetles didn’t do too much damage to the roots.
The asparagus harvest was beyond my expectations this year 😃
|My hands down favourite new addition|
to the tomato lineup this year was Mexico Midget - nom, nom!!
My winter squash stores also include a couple of Tromboncino that hung on the vine a bit too long. Apparently, these guys are equally good used as a winter squash so I cured them and will be trying them out over the next couple of months.
|Butternut squash together with a couple of Tromboncinos that went past their fresh stage.|
Other winners this year were cucumbers (+41%), eggplant (+94%), summer squash (+29%) and onions (+257%! – I wrote about my successful onion experiment HERE).
|Ailsa Craigs...'nuf said|
With everything that went wrong this year & the rather big decreases in the harvest for a good number of veg, I’m rather surprised that I still ended up harvesting over 400 lbs. worth of produce – 209 kg (461 lbs) to be exact. I honestly thought that I had harvested around half that.
So, when I really think about it and put things in perspective, 2018 was not as bad as I originally assumed. In fact, it was pretty darn good...considering. It's funny how certain events can overshadow others until you sit down and really take stock (a worthwhile exercise for every gardener and, IMHO, life in general too).
And that is that - another year done and a new one about to begin. Cheers & wishing everyone a bountiful and floriferous 2019 with many garden adventures....preferably of the good kind ;)