Results in the 2021 Garden

Crop output

Results in the 2021 garden varied by crop. Pretty typical to be honest. Weather varies year to year. So do outcomes. But there were still some surprising results in the 2021 garden. The early spring rains made an impact.

Fall Flowers arranged in a ceramic pumpkin
Flowers from the 2021 Garden

Legumes

I am still having trouble with my pea plants and their output. Plenty of rain this year and an early last frost date in the spring couldn’t alter the production. However, green beans of various kinds more than made up for this. I had plenty to put up and plenty to let mature to dried status.

Those reading in the spring know I had trouble with my peanut starts. The few that were transplanted did well.

Furthermore, peanuts planted straight into the ground had some success as well. I attribute this to a longer growing season than usual here. Since I can’t expect that to happen twice in a row, I hope for better success with the peanut starts next year. Soaking the seed prior to planting in seed pot is a must.

Tomato Results in the 2021 Garden

The tomatoes were a bit of a disappointment. My goal is to raise enough paste tomatoes to keep the family provided with salsa and spaghetti sauce. If I have enough left over, I even make ketchup. The results in the 2021 garden were abysmal. One batch of salsa. A few pots of spaghetti sauce were consumed immediately. Never enough to put up.

The one success was a slicing tomato. The Cherokee Purple Heirloom tomatoes which grew so erratically in 2020 were perfect in 2021. Perhaps the rains played a part. They were plentiful for the first half of the season.

Biggest Successes

Potatoes and sweet potatoes were among the biggest success stories this past summer. Both crops provided enough to store into the early winter. The root crops netted good size specimens without too many weird shapes.

Herbs also brought good results in the 2021 garden. Dill and basil provided enough to use fresh and to dry for the winter months. The lemon balm escaped the freeze in one location and is still being harvested.  One pot of mint is also thriving. The basil in the Big Garden was nipped by temperatures right at the freezing mark a few days before the hard freeze.

The cucumbers were a success when measured by number. However, I planted a new variety that I just wasn’t happy with. The Parisian cucumbers were very spiny and were only conducive to pickling. And pickling whole for the most part.

So next year, I plan to go back to some tried and true.

Biggest Failures

Mother Nature deals out hardships from time to time. Add on top failure by this farmer to act quickly and you have some poor results in the 2021 garden. I am sure glad I don’t depend on what I can grow to be my sole source of food. After this summer, I have an even greater appreciation for modern conveniences such as the local grocery store.

One watermelon, three cantaloupe, three acorn squash, one very small pie pumpkin. Eggplant that never reached normal size. Beets that germinated at about a one in ten rate. The list goes on and on. I am still scratching my head on why I had such uneven production this past year.

My biggest failure was not spotting the squash bugs on the white pumpkins. The two vines were loaded with pumpkins. Squash bugs not only destroyed the vines but also the fruit. I may need to skip growing any squash next year. This devastation occurred when I was gone for a week. Unbelievably quick.

2022 Season

Next year is just around the corner. I have about a third of my garlic planted. Some of the smaller potatoes were put into a container. They have sprouted and I am trying to grow them indoors. Still no greenhouse in sight. I am making some adjustments on when I will start my seed to see if that will change any of the outcomes. There is always hope for next year.

Large single cabbage head in the garden
A cabbage head survived the cabbage worms.
Cantaloupe vine in garden with two fruit
Small yield on the cantaloupe vine.
Puny watermelon with one small melon
One tiny watermelon.

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