Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Garden Experience - 2017

We had a relatively successful experience with our garden this year.  The following shows 1) what we planted, 2) whether it was first planted in a greenhouse, 3) date it was first planted (unless perennial), 4) days to harvest (based on packet info), 5) estimated date it would be harvested (based on DtoH), 6) actual date it was first harvested, and 7) score (0 = no harvest, 1-9 = poor to excellent, based on a composite of yield. flavor, disease resistance, etc., but mostly yield).  The score could be partly a reflection of the type of weather we had this year (relatively wet), location within garden (shade and soil quality differences), and other variables.

Crop sorted alphabetically GH Plant DToH EstHarv ActualHarv Score
Apple tree No Perenn N/A 15-Jul xxx 0
Asparagus No Perenn N/A 1-Apr 3-Apr 8
Beets 'Red Ace' No 21-Mar 50 10-May 9-Jun 8
Blueberries “Pink' No Perenn N/A 1-Jul xxx 0
Blueberries 'Sunshine Blue' No Perenn N/A 1-Jul 5-Jul 2
Broccoli 'Green Magic' No 22-Mar 57 18-May 16-Jun 7
Bush Beans 'Blue Lake Bush 274' No 8-May 70 17-Jul 28-Jun 9
Cabbage 'Capture F1' No 22-Mar 87 17-Jun 15-Jul 2
Cabbage 'Stonehead' No 6-Mar 67 12-May 12-Jun 7
Cantaloupe 'Sarah's Choice'' Yes 18-Mar 76 2-Jun 13-Jul 2
Carrots 'Nantes' No 21-Mar 70 30-May 18-Jun 4
Cauliflower 'Snow Crown' No 22-Mar 60 21-May 13-Jul 1
Cherry tree No Perenn N/A 15-Jul xxx 0
Corn1 'Early Sunglow Hybrid' Yes 10-Apr 63 12-Jun 28-Jun 7
Corn2 'Xtra-Tender 20173' No 28-Apr 73 10-Jul 14-Jul 9
Corn3 'Hawaiian Supersweet #9' No 10-May 83 1-Aug 11-Aug 6
Cowpeas (not purple hull) No 25-May 80 13-Aug 18-Sep 3
Cucumber 'Dasher II' Yes 18-Mar 58 15-May 9-Jun 2
Lettuce -- blend (stayed in GH) GH 18-Jan 60 19-Mar 20-Mar 8
Mesclun (spicy mix, sweet mix) GH 18-Jan 45 4-Mar 10-Mar 8
Onions, green generic No 21-Mar 60 20-May 13-May 8
Onions, sweet 'Candy' No 21-Mar 110 9-Jul 7-Jul 7
Peach tree No Perenn N/A 15-Jul 9-Jul 7
Pear tree 'Bartlett' No Perenn N/A 15-Jul xxx 0
Peas, edible pod 'Dwarf Sugar' No 21-Mar 60 20-May 13-May 4
Peas, edible pod 'Snowbird' No 21-Mar 58 18-May 20-May 8
Peppers, baby bell 'Bellafina' Yes 18-Mar 80 6-Jun 28-Jul 5
Plum tree No Perenn N/A 15-Jul 27-Jun 2
Potato 'Kennebec' No 24-Mar 90 22-Jun 1-Jul 8
Pumpkin Yes 2-Apr 110 21-Jul 21-Jul 3
Radishes 'Sparkler' No 21-Mar 25 15-Apr 24-Apr 8
Raspberries No Perenn N/A 1-Jun 1-Jun 9
Rhubarb (Victoria) No Perenn N/A 9-Jun 16-Jun 4
Soybeans, 'Tohya' No 19-Jun 78 5-Sep 11-Aug 5
Spinach 'Palco Hybrid' GH 18-Mar 50 7-May 5-May 6
Squash 'Straightneck' Yes 18-Mar 50 7-May 18-May 8
Squash 'Waltham Butternut' Yes 2-Apr 105 16-Jul 29-Jul 3
Strawberries No Perenn N/A 1-May 1-May 5
Sweet Potato 'Evangeline' No 20-Apr 120 18-Aug 1-Nov 9
Tomato 'Beefmaster' Yes 18-Mar 77 3-Jun 28-Jun 6
Tomato 'Better Boy' Yes 24-Apr 70 15-Jun 1-Jul 6
Tomato 'Pink Ponderosa' Yes 18-Mar 77 3-Jun 6-Jul 5
Tomato 'Rutgers' Yes 8-Mar 70 17-May 17-Jun 6
Tomato, cherry type Yes 18-Mar 77 3-Jun 9-Jun 8
Tomato, hybrid 'BHN 589' Yes 18-Mar 75 1-Jun 15-Jul 7
Tomato, roma 'Speckled Roman' Yes 18-Mar 85 11-Jun 9-Jul 4
Watermelon 'Sugar Baby' Yes 2-Apr 80 21-Jun 1-Aug 4
Zucchini Yes 20-Apr 45 4-Jun 26-Jun 2

We have observed that some crops can be poor one year and excellent the next, vice versa.  For example, we planted our beets in a 2" wide, 6" deep trench of worm dirt this year (made by digging with a pick), and they did great; previous years, they have been a near complete failure.  Second example, the last two years, our plum tree was loaded with plums; this year hardly any.  Third example, all previous years, cucumbers had done quite well; this year, planted in a newly installed soil, the same variety hardly produced anything, and died prematurely.

Looking at the comparison of estimated vs actual harvest dates, I noticed that crops planted extra early, especially those first planted in the greenhouse then transplanted to the field, tended to reach harvest considerably later than expected.  Whereas crops planted late, came in more quickly than expected, most notably the bush beans and soybeans.  The two anomalies, to me, were the cowpeas and the peppers (Bella Fina type).  Both remained vegetative longer than expected before reaching the flowering stage, and I'm not sure why.  I honestly don't believe it is because of excessive nitrogen application, which can always be a culprit.  My guess is that it may be a daylength response.