December 21, 2009

Summer Garden 2009: A Review

I know it probably seems a little late in the year to be doing a summary of my summer garden. But in fact, I was able to keep on harvesting right up to December 1st, following our 2nd frost of the year.

Even though my garden was late and a little haphazard, it occurred to me early on to keep records. I figured dates and amounts would help for future gardens, as well as notes of the problems and pests I might encounter. However, I'm terrible at keeping track of my records. I have 5 notebooks of weaving, spinning, and knitting notes and inspirations, but I can never find one when I need it! So I started a garden journal blog and have been able to keep records and notes to myself. It's been handy for "to do" lists and wish lists, planting dates and gardening links I want to remember. You can take a gander at it here. Not interesting reading, but it's been useful to me and I always know where to find it.

I've kept track of weekly and monthly totals including rainfall and amounts planted, harvested, and preserved. Just the other day I finally got the last of the summer garden details in, so now I can go back and analyze, in time for planning next year's garden.

In general, I harvested:

-16 and 1/4 pints of blueberries from one bush
-77 cucumbers weighing 15 lbs 12.2 oz (that was 4 hills)
-Over 5 and 1/2 pounds of green beans from 75 feet worth of rows
-Almost 5 pounds of okra from a 21 foot row
-16 yellow summer squash totaling 5 and 1/2 pounds (another 4 hills)
-7 small butternut squashes from 2 hills worth
-Almost 52 pounds of tomatoes (that was 177 count) from 8 plants
-Over 12 pounds of figs
-Only 23 ears of sweet corn from a 31 foot row of triads of plants
-And my one little green pepper plant gave me 17 peppers

I preserved:

-1 acorn squash in cold storage
-7 pints dehydrated blueberries
-7 butternut squash in cold storage
-1 pint cut off the cob and 5 ears frozen of sweet corn
- Cucumbers - 7 pints bread & butter pickles and 7 pints dill pickles
-Of figs, 4 pints jam, 5 pints canned, and 1 qt dehydrated
-3 quarts canned green beans and 1.25 quarts dehydrated
-3 cups chopped, frozen green peppers
-8 pints, frozen okra
-5 pints spaghetti sauce made and canned from my tomatoes

Biggest disappointment:

My winter squashes. Especially the pumpkins which produced flowers prolifically but produced only two small pumpkins, both lost to worms. I did manage to get the seeds from one of them. I got butternut squashes, but they were small, probably due to poor soil. I have 7 of them in cold storage (an unheated back room). I ended up with only one tiny acorn squash (which was tasty in chicken stew).

Biggest problems:

Were powdery mildew and worms in my cukes and squashes. I need to take precautions for these things next year. I also had bean beetles and squash bugs, but was able to keep these pretty much under control with Pyola spray from GardensAlive!

Seeds saved:

-Table Queen acorn squash
-Clemson spineless okra
-National pickling cucumber
-Waltham butternut squash
-Small sugar pumpkin
-Casaba melon (from a melon given us by a neighbor)
-Gray mammoth sunflower

With all of this information tucked away, I'm ready to start on next summer's garden plans. Considering that the soil is better prepared, I should have better yields. Plus I plan to continue to keep garden records and improve upon them as well.

For the full blown version of my 2009 summer garden review, click here. I've been keeping track of my fall garden as well, and will post those results once I finish harvesting from it.

Summer Garden 2009: A Review
copyright December 2009 by Leigh at


Julie said...

I think thats such a good idea to keep a record. I have a book that I keep record of everything I plant in my yard and garden. It really helps me remember if it doesn't grow very well in our area and if I liked it or not! Boy you had alot even with being late planting.

Nina said...

we moved in August so gardening was interesting. At the old house the dyeplant garden was left with unharvested woad and weld having finally naturalized. I wasn't able to bring any with me due to timing. The herb garden was mainly left as well. The lavender was winter killed and replaced: I brought those plants with me. I was also able to get the sage plant and a rosemary transplanted. There were 4 tomato plants which had fruit just starting to ripen when we left. The best was the leek bed which I left. It had huge, wonderful, tasty leeks in it. I hope the new owners liked them. At the new house I was able to plant and harvest arugula and a few woody radishes. Two pounds of hardneck garlic was planted as well for harvest next summer. The new garden bed was laid out as well. Not much to show for alot of work last summer though.

Theresa said...

Green with envy here in gardenless Oregon! For a late garden you did remarkably well and have some great seeds for 2010!
I owe you a recipe Leigh, and I promise I'll get it up on my blog soon.

Benita said...

Nice records and results! I plan to keep records next year when I start my garden. Did you keep track of rainfall and temperatires, too?

Renee Nefe said...

I think it is a great idea to keep track of your progress. Although some issues that you had this year will be totally different in your new garden...the pest info will still apply I think.

I think your garden turned out very well, so I can't wait to see next year.

Annie said...

You made me jealous, Leigh! In my garden I didn't have a single fig this year. And unlike you: I love them fresh! My garden wasn't a great success anyhow. We've been away for too long, I think. I love your garden blog!

Renee Nefe said...

re: the home coming. Yes it did seem as if it took forever to get DH home. But we were only at the airport for 2 hours. I so don't think it's fair that we have to pay for the time it took to FIND a parking spot. sigh

The longest part was the paperwork. He had to let them know any ailments he was having so they would pay his medical, and also sign up for his vacation time. DH is a very slow reader and he reads paperwork takes a long time.

Leigh said...

Julie, those are the kinds of notes that are really helpful. My online journal is helpful, but I like having pages to turn and to turn back to.

Nina, that's a really hard time of year to move! I hope the new owners of your old home enjoy gardening. I know what you mean about all that hard work preparing for new gardens. Next summer it should pay off though.

Theresa, thanks! For the compliment and the promise of the recipe. Any chance you'll pop in a few plants next summer?

Benita, good idea. Yes, I did keep track of rainfall and temps. I eventually dropped the temps because I couldn't figure out how the information would be useful in the future. The rainfall I keep so I know when to water. It's interesting though, to see those totals each month and for the summer. If you can think of a good reason to keep track of the temperature highs and lows, let me know!

Renee, yes, you're right about that. It will be interesting to compare the two gardens a year from now.

Annie, I'm sorry to hear about your figs! I hope you have a good crop next year. I agree about having to be around to tend a garden. Vegetables aren't as hardy as weeds, which need no human attention to thrive!

Renee, I'm just glad for you and Darly that he's home!

Tina T-P said...

Maybe I can wrangle a few amish pumpkin seeds from The Shepherd for you. They make wonderful pie and the cooked pumpkin freezes great! T.

Sharon said...

Ditto Theresa - green with envy, but here in the cold high desert where the deer ate helped themselves, we are still harvesting potatoes and they are delicious.

Leigh said...

Ooo, Tina, tell him to look at what I have saved to see if he's willing to trade for anything!

Sharon I am jealous of those potatoes! Would really, really have loved to have gotten some of those into the ground this year. I'll just have to wait until spring, *sigh*

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

WoW girlfriend, your feedin' my OCFD (obsessive compulsive flower disorder) I grow and acre of flowers in various gardens. One includes 38 rose bushes. My garden here on the Ozarks Ponderosa grew very well givin' this farm chick much enjoyment.

God bless and have a wonderful Christmas!!!

Leigh said...

Nezzy, and acre of flower gardens sounds heavenly! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment.

Katrien said...

Wow I am so impressed! And then to think how much more you'll grow as more of your garden comes to life!