Friday, November 27, 2015

Garden Totals

I just did bunches of math....

Total pounds last year = 138
(The relevant blog post from last year said 147, but I added them up again and got 138.)
Total pounds this year - 142

That looks really good, but totals were down in almost every category except cucumbers and beans.  (We forgot to log leeks, which was too bad, as we actually got some this year after completely disregarding the directions on that package and popping seeds into the ground months after they were supposed to be started indoors.)  I was particularly bummed about the tomatoes, which were 86 pounds from six plants instead of the 102.94 pounds last year from 5 plants. But the tomatoes did not go as planned all summer--our transplants were snipped off by birds (we think), and so we bought tomato plants from the garden center in June, plus we had way too much rain.... not ideal.

We added quite a few new beds, but more than half of them were planted in flowers.

We also spent quite a bit this year: $369.29, instead of last year's $192.24. However, I don't think that number is quite accurate.  There were entries in the log like this one: "Menards-? $38.56."  Somehow I doubt that all of that $38.56 went toward the garden but since we didn't keep track carefully enough....

Our cost per pound for garden produce was $2.59.  Granted, it is organic and local, but still, that seems high.  Belovedest did a better some of using stuff while it was fresh, and the grocery bill did dip a little, although it varies so much anyway that it is hard to tell.

We did do some "capital improvement" --i.e. stuff that only has to be done once--like the tomatoes cages.  Next year we hope to build a new garden shed, so if that gets factored in we are going to have very expensive tomatoes!

We did do much better with spices this year, though.  We had at least 12 baby food jars filled with ground oregano, thyme, and basil, as well as freezing some basil.  I'm planning to use many of those as gifts for Christmas this year.

Next year:

  • Harden off tomatoes more carefully and wait to plant them until the seedlings are bigger.  Protect from birds.
  • Try Bolero carrots for fall growing and long-term storage
  • Let carrots grow longer!
  • Skip planting lettuce when it is hot.
  • Find a different cultivar of yellow wax beans.  These were too stringy.
  • Grow some beans specifically for drying.
It's definitely a learning experience.  I am hoping that when I am home and freelancing full-time that will coincide with our having mastered our learning curve and then we can really be productive.  

It was fun and healthy, too, which I shouldn't forget amid all my penny pinching!


  1. The flower beds will attract bees which will help your garden plants. And learning is good, as is fun & healthy stuff! :)

  2. Birds don't usually eat tomato seedlings, blame rabbits and (if you have one) groundhogs. Sprinkle red pepper or even ground black pepper over them as you plant, keep it on them for a couple weeks and the rascals will leave them alone. Sorry the advice was too late for 2015 but it will work this year as well.