So 2012 was a good year in the garden, but not our best. We ended up with 637.25 pounds of produce, which is about average for us but far short of last years record 750 pounds. I won’t bore you with a breakdown of our total in this post, if you are interested in seeing the detail of our 637 pounds you can go to our 2012 Garden Totals page by clicking here.
Last week I gave you a breakdown of all the new crops we grew in 2012. In this post I thought I’d give you a run down of some of the real “winner” crops for the year along with a couple of the failures as well. Let’s start out with the “Winners”:
The spring of 2012 was our best year for peas!! We love home grown peas and we have been looking for a harvest like this since we move to Riverton. The climate where we lived was just different enough that it really took me a long time to figure out when was the best time to plant peas.
This year we finally got it right. We planted in the main garden on March 24th. I think the combination of location and the new drip irrigation system did wonders for our pea harvest. We ended up with just shy of 28 pounds of peas this year. That’s twice the yield of 2011 and our biggest harvest ever.
In addition to the spring pea crop we were also able to have a successful fall crop as well. Again timing was everything, we planted the fall peas on July 21st and we had a small crop ready before the frost and cold weather came in October. Nothing spectacular but enough to keep us happy!
Our melon crop was a real highlight for us this year. We love all kinds of melons and we decided several years ago that we would pretty much limit ourselves to only eating our home grown melons or melons from the local farmers market. The supermarket melons are just not up to the same standard so it’s home grown for us. This year we dedicated more space to melons than we have in years past and it paid off big time in our yield. We harvested a total of 106 pounds of three types of melons.
Cantaloupes were are smallest producers this year. We had a total of 18 pounds only about 6 melons from 3 plants. To be honest that was about right for me. Maybe if we would have had 2 or 3 melons we would have been happier, but I think we will shoot for that 20 to 25 pound mark from now on.
Crenshaw melons were our next largest producer we ended up with about 21 pounds of these. We had 3 melons that didn’t quite ripen and we were in the midst of moving and I just ignored them and left them in the garden. Had I brought them in and let them ripen on the counter we would have had over 30 pounds. We love this melon and will be growing it every year now. If you’d like to read more about them you can click here.
Watermelons were our biggest producer. We had 67 pounds of water melon and we could have eaten even more. We can only grow crimson sweet melons in Utah because of our short season. These are a small “refrigerator” type melon. Most weight in at between 5 to 8 pounds with our biggest this year being 13 pounds. I have no idea how many melons we harvested, I would say around 15, plus we lost 5 or 6 others when I goofed and left the water running over night and caused them to split.
We doubled our production of melons this year and couldn’t be happier!!!
I’ve only been growing sweet peppers seriously for 4 or 5 seasons and I finally got it right this year. We had almost 24 pounds of peppers, which meant we had plenty for fresh eating and we have a freezer full of them for the winter months.
We are not big pumpkin eaters. We grow our pumpkins for decoration and jack-o-lanterns and as winter feed for our chickens. We had a good crop this year despite the struggle we had with wilt. 87 pounds is a good year for us. Not our best but very good! Given the fact that we most likely won’t have chickens again for a while means we won’t be growing nearly this main in the future!
We had an average year for tomatoes. 102 pounds is about the same as last year, which given how hot and dry we were this year is really not to bad! We did have tomatoes 6 weeks earlier this year than we ever have before because of the addition of Early Girl tomatoes to our line up!
As usual our carrot crop shined again this year. In fact carrots are the only fresh veggies we still have right now. We had 52 pounds of carrots total this year. That was a good solid year!
Not everything was roses this year in our garden. The biggest looser for us were the potatoes. We planted them in a new bed on the south side of the house and that bed was just to hot and dry for potatoes. Our totals were down almost 175 pounds for the year, and that made the biggest difference in our annual total. Had our potato crop come in even close to last years totals we would have had a record year!
Our onion crop was also a big disappointment this year. We only had about 20 pounds this year compared to 70 in 2011. Part of that was on purpose. 70 pounds was a lot of onions, but we were hoping for 40 or so pounds this year, but the early spring heat really effected our crop. We ended up with a lot of small really strong onions. Oh well there’s always next year.
We also had a good year with broccoli and cabbage and got spring and fall crops of each! Our fall lettuce crop was fantastic again this year and we did really well with several of our smaller crops like cucumbers, zucchini and patty pan squash.
One of the biggest highlights of the year came from our seed starting. Every plant in our garden was either sown from seed or was planted with starts that we grew ourselves. The only exception to that was the 1 early girl tomato start that I bought from a local nursery, I also bought 6 broccoli starts in the fall because I was afraid mine were started too late. But it ended up that my starts produced and the nursery stock didn’t. Anyway I was super proud of my starts this year and the fact that I didn’t have to rely on the local nursery for my starts!!
Well 2012 has come to and end and Stoney Acres is going through a ton of big changes. Next years garden will be at a whole new house (good news coming soon on the new house). And we will really be starting from scratch but I’m looking forward to new changes and fun new challenges for 2013!! Happy New Year!!