Reflecting on 2022 Harvest

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

larry_stewart

Master Chef
Joined
Dec 25, 2006
Messages
5,404
Location
Long Island, New York
Having gotten my first garden catalogues for the next season today, I figured its time to reflect on the last season to see what the wins were ( and do the same for next year), and try to improve on the losses, failures and things that just did average. Just want too premise withers 3am, cant sleep, so there will likely be a lot of rambling and spelling / grammar errors . My apologies in advance.

Successes, over achievers and things I'd like to duplicate for next year.

- String beans - Significant amount harvested. Was harvesting basically the whole growing season. Most important thing I did right was timing my succession planting which allowed them to continuously be available.

- Cucumbers/ Kirbies - What made this unique, is that less = more. I always try to sneak extra plants in. If the packet says plant every 8 inch, I plant every 6. Rows sometimes too close together. This year I finally listened to the pros, and with less plants, I got more. I did succession plant. The second planting , not great, but did extend the cucumber harvest a bit. Have to work on that.

- Broccoli/ Cauliflower/ Cabbage- The spring planting was my best year ever. I followed a strict fertilizing protocol, that I saw online, and it was either luck, or just the right thing to do. I grew all the plants in containers, as not to take up space in the main garden. The only change Id make would be using containers that are a little larger. The smaller ones dried up quicker, and I almost lost a few plants when I had to skip a day or two of watering. The fall broccoli is running out of time. Should have got them in 2 weeks earlier.

- Peas - Spring peas did great. Planted 3 different varieties , in 3 different locations. Some varieties / locations better than others. Fall planting not as successful. Had time to grow, just plants were stunted a bit, and pods not as full.

- Garlic - Rebounded after a few years of too much water/ poor drainage. Picked a few weeks early to avoid rot, along with having amended the soil for better drainage. Moved one of The beds this year to try a new location ( more because I wanted a new location for peppers and eggplants ( some of my losers of the year). It is a gamble, as I hope the garlic does well in its new location. Also went back to growing only one variety this year ( The German White Hardy). We'll see if I made the right choice.

- Onions - All though not superb, it was my best onion year. Decent sized, a few different varieties . One bed did better than the others. Ditching one variety that didnt do well, and doubling up on the varieties that did do well, which should make for a better year this year.

- Tomatoes - Did so well, that I may actually cut back on amount of plants grown. going with less plants, but using my more productiie plants. Kinda following my cucumber. method of less is more. Partially cause its just way too many tomatoes, and also to free up some space.

- Potatoes - Crazy amount. They almost always do well. Biggest change I made this year, was finding more room to place my extra seed tomatoes that I bought. If.

- Mushrooms - Crazy good year. This is the first year I really dove in with multiple varieties. Not too much you can do other than keep damp, wait, and hope for good. weather conditions. What I love best about growing mushrooms, is they grow where no other crop will. Shady, constantly damp areas.

- Radishes, Arugula & Lettuce - Always do well predictably, both spring and. fall crops.

- Squash -Some varieties did better than others, but tall in all they did well. I now have an area where they can grow and expand without affecting their neighbors. (. Zucchini was an exception, complete failure).

- Chard & Kale- Almost always does predictably well. Like the string beans, I was very successful in succession planting. I still got aa bunch out there. Wont change a thing. Not crazy about kale, but I overwinter it, so its one of the first things I pick, doesn't take-up any room, as I harvest it before the other stuff goes in.



Average and Failures:

- Eggplants and Peppers (Failure)- Eggplants I should be used to, as I only have a. good year 1. out of every 3 - 5 years. Peppers, on the other hand, have always been a slam dunk. Sometimes bigger harvests early, other times late , sometimes even consistently throughout the season. This year was a bust. Not sure what I did or didnt do. Im changing locations on both . Also got my hands on the mother lead of aged horse manure, which I used to amend the garden soil, along with homemade compost. Im hoping this changes make a difference for both the eggplantss. and peppers

- Okra (Failure) - Can't explain it . A crop that has always been consistent, just crapped out this year. Not sure what, if anything Ill do different, other than just. pay close attention.

- Beets (Failure) - I stink at going beets. Why I grow them every year is beyond me. Just like torturing myself.

- Zucchini ( Failure) - Another one where I do the same thing year after year. Some years lll pick 100 +, and other years 3 ( like this past year).

- Carrots & Leeks (Average) - Both consistently average. Im sure Ill try to keep figuring out what different I can do to improve. Definitely not bad as the beets. There is hope.

- Peanuts & Sweet Potatoes (Average)
- To their defense, I did put them both in less desirable spots of the garden. Fun crop to grow and pick, but dont care too much about how much I get. Sweet potatoes take up. a lot of room, so I have to put them in a place where they can expand and not affect their neighbors.

- Rutabaga (meh) - Fair. at best, but they in after most everything come out. Never expect much, which is basically what I get.

- Popcorn - Did poorly, but better than I expected. Wasnt going to grow it again, but it was so much fun popping my own pop corn, that I likely will do it again.

Anyone have any success, failures or just want to reflect on their past season?
 

Marlingardener

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
262
Location
unincorporated area
We had a significant drought this year.
The sugar peas did well because they were up, harvested, and gone before the rains stopped. The leaf lettuce did the same, along with the broccoli.
Our Roma tomatoes did very well, to the point that I can provide the entire state with Marinara sauce if needed! Cherry tomatoes did fairly well, but the Celebrities were not as prolific as usual.
We did not get one bell pepper--the plants just died off, despite watering. Same variety we have planted for years. No idea what happened.
Green beans did pretty well, but we had a short harvest.
Onions were small, as were the potatoes.
Garlic was great--we pulled it in early June and let it dry in the barn. We have enough to last us until next year's harvest (and then maybe longer).
Mantra of the dedicated gardener--There's always next season!
 

caseydog

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
5,796
Location
Dallas
Sadly, no harvest here. The drought and about sixty days over 100 degrees killed everything, except my five year old oregano plant, and it just barely made it. I grew some basil in a pot in my kitchen window, and it did okay.

CD
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,039
I read your synopsis of the year and thought, do I want to type out all our failures this year, lol? Not really. A great year is 100 qts or more of thick tomato sauce, a lousy year is 60 qts of thin tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, and this year, it was lousy. With that, we didn't make salsa (we'll use previous stores of it) or sauces, like a hot sauce, or vegetable soup with tomatoes. But as a high note, it's almost the end of November and we haven't bought store bought tomatoes yet.

We did okay overall but squash-bust, cucumbers not so good, zucchini few and far between. Our red bell peppers did well. Our yellow bell peppers did well too. Lettuce, kale, herbs, were good. Green beans, lots. Sunflowers and amaranth, okay. Carrots, small. Garlic was great, onions were lousy. Asparagus we've been growing from seed then wintersown, we've been doing for 4 years and now our harvests are bigger and more consistent.

This fall we tilled and shoveled the aged composted manure we had trucked in. That usually makes a good bit of difference.

Then, today Mr bliss came downstairs from his beekeeping videos to make lunch for himself and brought me a map of our 2023 east garden, all mapped out and which veg plants go where, already!
 

larry_stewart

Master Chef
Joined
Dec 25, 2006
Messages
5,404
Location
Long Island, New York
I read your synopsis of the year and thought, do I want to type out all our failures this year, lol? Not really. A great year is 100 qts or more of thick tomato sauce, a lousy year is 60 qts of thin tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, and this year, it was lousy. With that, we didn't make salsa (we'll use previous stores of it) or sauces, like a hot sauce, or vegetable soup with tomatoes. But as a high note, it's almost the end of November and we haven't bought store bought tomatoes yet.

We did okay overall but squash-bust, cucumbers not so good, zucchini few and far between. Our red bell peppers did well. Our yellow bell peppers did well too. Lettuce, kale, herbs, were good. Green beans, lots. Sunflowers and amaranth, okay. Carrots, small. Garlic was great, onions were lousy. Asparagus we've been growing from seed then wintersown, we've been doing for 4 years and now our harvests are bigger and more consistent.

This fall we tilled and shoveled the aged composted manure we had trucked in. That usually makes a good bit of difference.

Then, today Mr bliss came downstairs from his beekeeping videos to make lunch for himself and brought me a map of our 2023 east garden, all mapped out and which veg plants go where, already!
Ill probably start planning how many plants, which varieties, what Im goin to start from. seed, what seeds im going to get ... in. the near future. I do some crop rotations but some things I jus leave as is. I was so detailed in everything I did this past year, that its should make everything easier next year as what to do and when. Key word. there is " should". I dont mind the failures, I just mind unexpected failures. Something that I've never had problems with, just doesnt do well , for no obvious explainable reasons. And beets, just cant do it. part of me wants to give up on them, but the other part sees it as a challenge and doesnt want to be defeated. Carrots were kind of the same, but I figured out a few things, and nowI. went from failure to predictably crappy ( which is a step in the right direction).
 

pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
3,738
Location
Woodbury, NJ
I had more than I could use, of most things this year, but only one keeper, out of all those new varieties - a tomato, Oaxacan Jewel, a potato leaf variety which produced incredible numbers, and had the best heat resistance of any of the tomatoes, including the cherries - it kept flowering in high 90s heat, while all others had dropped their blossoms. Surprisingly, it had great disease resistance, too, which is unusual for the PL varieties I've grown. Only drawback was the BER in the beginning, but that was because tomatoes grew in clusters - when I trimmed them to 2 per node, the BER didn't appear, plus the tomatoes would get larger. It was very early, too - 7-6, which is earlier than I've ever seen on PL.

No other new varieties were keepers, and, as usual, I had a bunch of them! The summer was second hottest on record, and most things didn't like that, any more than I did! The peppers love the heat, but that's about all, and I got more than I can use, despite no keepers. Still got a lot of eggplants - dehydrated most of them - despite the plants slowing down greatly, due to the heat. The cucumbers didn't do well at all - probably due to disease, spread by that spotted lantern fly, which is becoming worse, every year in this area. Okra and bitter melon are 2 other plants those get on, as well as basil.

Next year, I'll only grow Polaris butternuts. They are the only ones that produce several good sized squash per plant, and store for a long time.

As always, garlic and shallots did well, as well as all those scallions I grow; I don't grow onions, though given the price of them lately, I might this season, as long as I can find some good storage varieties.
 
Top Bottom