FOOD So we can at least starve slowly......Garden results...2020

20Gauge

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I am on vacation this week, so not a lot of posting, but the wife is updating her garden results, so I though I would list how well we did in 2020. Frankly it was a poor year to say the least. 2019 was much better with almost 10k in peppers. We were able to produce enough salsa, ( main purpose ) and additives to our food to last the year and can 12 pints of chopped peppers.

In 2020? We did about 1/3 of that. In fact the whole thing died before the end of the year. So we replanted this year and are beginning to tally the results. We did not have the January - April burst that normally happens to over wintered plants, but they are starting to come in nicely.

Also of note: we are now averaging about 4 pounds per plant on tomatoes. This is a huge improvement for us. We normally only get one tomato per plant. We can now grow them decently for our needs. We do not plan on making sauces /etc, but rather use them as additives to salads, meals. So we plant specialty versions. The goal is to be able to produce 10 pounds of fruit per tomato plant in the future.

2020 Results......

Lightning Mix
18​
Ring of Fire
18​
Leutschauer Paprika
1​
Haskorea
10​
Dragon Cayenne
1860​
Gaint Jalapeno
83​
Red Hot Chili
43​
Tabasco
1261​
Fresno Chili
120​

Spicy Bell
191​
Lunchbox Orange
7​
Purple bell
61​
3673​

Net results???? We would starve slowly if we depended upon what we grew to eat.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
I am on vacation this week, so not a lot of posting, but the wife is updating her garden results, so I though I would list how well we did in 2020. Frankly it was a poor year to say the least. 2019 was much better with almost 10k in peppers. We were able to produce enough salsa, ( main purpose ) and additives to our food to last the year and can 12 pints of chopped peppers.

In 2020? We did about 1/3 of that. In fact the whole thing died before the end of the year. So we replanted this year and are beginning to tally the results. We did not have the January - April burst that normally happens to over wintered plants, but they are starting to come in nicely.

Also of note: we are now averaging about 4 pounds per plant on tomatoes. This is a huge improvement for us. We normally only get one tomato per plant. We can now grow them decently for our needs. We do not plan on making sauces /etc, but rather use them as additives to salads, meals. So we plant specialty versions. The goal is to be able to produce 10 pounds of fruit per tomato plant in the future.

2020 Results......

Lightning Mix
18​
Ring of Fire
18​
Leutschauer Paprika
1​
Haskorea
10​
Dragon Cayenne
1860​
Gaint Jalapeno
83​
Red Hot Chili
43​
Tabasco
1261​
Fresno Chili
120​
Spicy Bell
191​
Lunchbox Orange
7​
Purple bell
61​
3673​
Net results???? We would starve slowly if we depended upon what we grew to eat.
What are you doing about plant rotation? Peppers and tomatoes are both nightshades. It sounds like your soil is getting tired.

We generally count on a half bushel of tomatoes per plant. A good year can increase that by 50%.

But true "survival" gardening means more than condiments. It means beans, corn, winter squash and potatoes. Onions and garlic tucked into corners. Greens, etc in other corners.

It's not easy.

Summerthyme
 

nehimama

Veteran Member
I had to rip out my zucchini plants. They produced ONE zuc, then got all puny, yellow, and faded away. I think it was just too much rain over a period of days. Tomtoes are doing so-so, but I recently discovered two volunteer plants in the yard close to the planter boxes. Those volunteers are from the 2020 tomatoes, which did really well. I'm hoping there's enough summer left for those to set fruit and ripen. The cucumbers and green beans are ZOOMING, and the okra is close behind. Hope springs eternal, and all that.
 

20Gauge

Has No Life - Lives on TB
What are you doing about plant rotation? Peppers and tomatoes are both nightshades. It sounds like your soil is getting tired.

We generally count on a half bushel of tomatoes per plant. A good year can increase that by 50%.

But true "survival" gardening means more than condiments. It means beans, corn, winter squash and potatoes. Onions and garlic tucked into corners. Greens, etc in other corners.

It's not easy.

Summerthyme
As we were using planters, it turned out we failed to fertilize correctly. That issue seems to have been fixed this year. Everything is growing and producing well.

I am used to the half a bushel from tomatoes also. But in SE GA and being in a swamp it a bit different from what I am used to. It rains or is 100 degrees for much of the summer. Right now we are going through a heat index of 114 degrees. IT really screws with the tomatoes.

We are just happy to go from a tomato to 4 pounds per plant. We will get better.
 

20Gauge

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Truthfully, we are not trying to feed ourselves 100%. What we are going for is to add to what we eat. Improve the quality by growing things we like, but make cost a bit more or simply not be available. Especially these days.

We eat a lot of peppers. So we targeted that first.

We like to eat tomatoes, so we are learning to grow them, but are searching for that specialty that is tasty / expensive and generally not available.

We are also trying other things, mostly chives, etc. We have has a few issues with them also. Last batch got eaten to the ground and we had them protected. Not sure what happened, but we will replant and reorganize.

It is a challenge and fun.

The current project is chickens....

Note: we do replace a portion of the dirt each year. Just for that reason. We try to keep it fresh.
 

AlfaMan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
We don't have a garden, got a little plot where we grow flowers, some tomatoes in pots, etc . Our sunflowers didn't do very well (most either didn't come up, or the birds had lunch on the seeds when first planted); the ones that did come up were smaller than years past and one or two have already died off. I planted some smaller, more colorful ones too. These haven't put out a single flower, however they've grown to around 6 feet tall or so. Strange.
The watermelons we planted last year though came back on their own though. And they're going crazy again; already got two of them on the vine. The hibiscus plants were rocking and rolling until we got some bugs on them. The leaves ended up looking like fine lace doilies....But they're recovering and blooming again.
 

Sherrynboo

Veteran Member
My garden has done great this year! I have put up so many tomatoes that i am tired of looking at them. Last year my peppers were not happy and didn't produce but this year they love the spot they are in and I am inundated with bell peppers! I use a lot of old chicken manure and they are planted in an area that has a lot of that in it. The green beans are hanging in there even with the higher temps. Cukes haven't done well but I don't like them anyway so i don't care.
 

CaryC

Veteran Member
As we were using planters, it turned out we failed to fertilize correctly. That issue seems to have been fixed this year. Everything is growing and producing well.

I am used to the half a bushel from tomatoes also. But in SE GA and being in a swamp it a bit different from what I am used to. It rains or is 100 degrees for much of the summer. Right now we are going through a heat index of 114 degrees. IT really screws with the tomatoes.

We are just happy to go from a tomato to 4 pounds per plant. We will get better.
Same kind of temps here. As you probably know, water helps a lot.

We have 2 tomato plants (Better Boys) in a raised bed. Do Miracle Grow twice a month 1st and 15th, and then when we have gone through a dry spell with high temps I put about a 3/4 of a gallon of captured rain water. Almost daily. They are loaded in tomatoes.

For those that don't know. Heat draws moisture out of the top of any and everything trees, weeds, and tomato's, and as the moisture leaves the top of the plant, it creates a vacuum and it draws up the water from the roots/and surrounding dirt. When that dries out it still takes it from the plant and it withers.

Especially if one used raised beds, it seems to dry faster. However with raised beds it should be where you can tend them better with water, etc.

If your using the old truck patch method, with mule and plow, you probably will just have to take nature as it comes. Rule of thumb: Get all you can, can all you get. (that means one year you may have an abundance in one produce, and little in another, take it all and can it. next year the production may be reversed etc.)
 

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
As we were using planters, it turned out we failed to fertilize correctly. That issue seems to have been fixed this year. Everything is growing and producing well.

I am used to the half a bushel from tomatoes also. But in SE GA and being in a swamp it a bit different from what I am used to. It rains or is 100 degrees for much of the summer. Right now we are going through a heat index of 114 degrees. IT really screws with the tomatoes.

We are just happy to go from a tomato to 4 pounds per plant. We will get better.
Check you local plant/grow days. For many locations that consider something "summer" it is planted for "winter" in central west coast florida.

Due to the swamp surrounding you may have a different microclimate from the rest of the region.
 

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Also, the "water beads" tend to help containerized beds. They absorb too much water and keep the water from evaporating when the plants need it more. Also, for those with wetter soil, keep your beds aerated. Too much rain compacts the soil and rootlets can't reach out for nutrients.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
Anyone gardening in the Southern states really should get a copy of Florida Survival Gardening by David the Good (I think his last name is really Goodman, but he writes under his youtube screen name). It's excellent. Also, watch his youtube videos. His family moved to southern Alabama last fall, and he's already producing about half of what they eat, on really poor soil, rented property, feeding nine children (and one on the way). He's a good gardener. He also has a logo that says, Compost Your Enemies! LOL!

Kathleen
 

Just Plain Mom

Veteran Member
Truthfully, we are not trying to feed ourselves 100%. What we are going for is to add to what we eat. Improve the quality by growing things we like, but make cost a bit more or simply not be available. Especially these days.

We eat a lot of peppers. So we targeted that first.

We like to eat tomatoes, so we are learning to grow them, but are searching for that specialty that is tasty / expensive and generally not available.

We are also trying other things, mostly chives, etc. We have has a few issues with them also. Last batch got eaten to the ground and we had them protected. Not sure what happened, but we will replant and reorganize.

It is a challenge and fun.

The current project is chickens....

Note: we do replace a portion of the dirt each year. Just for that reason. We try to keep it fresh.
20Gauge, my husband is SO jealous of your Chile crop. He eats at least one with every meal, sometimes plus salsa. This year, our plants didn't do well at all. He thinks it's the soil (and that summerthyme is right, it's tired).

Neither our chiles nor our peppers did well, at least yet. The tomatoes are starting to produce, but it's underwhelming.

On the other hand, we started the year with LOTS of spinach--enough to share--bok choi, lettuce and cabbage. The several days of ice and snow ended that.

The early part of the summer was cooler (for Texas) and rainier than most. We are up to our eyeballs in zucchini and yellow squash (and that's a good thing) and melons. Husband planted a few onions, and just brought those in; they are lovely (but I am allergic to them),

Thankfully, a neighbor has shared tomatoes with us. Thank God for good neighbors!!
 

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
Most people dont understand what it takes to have a true survival "garden". Field corn, potatoes, beans, squash etc. Its calories that count. Carol Deppe's The Resilient Gardener is a great book on the topic.
I'm looking for a copy off-line but there is a "guerrilla gardening" book for Florida. I could buy it on amazon but I want to look at it before I plunk down money on something that may not apply to my neck of Florida.
 

rob0126

Veteran Member
Truthfully, we are not trying to feed ourselves 100%. What we are going for is to add to what we eat. Improve the quality by growing things we like, but make cost a bit more or simply not be available. Especially these days.

We eat a lot of peppers. So we targeted that first.

We like to eat tomatoes, so we are learning to grow them, but are searching for that specialty that is tasty / expensive and generally not available.

We are also trying other things, mostly chives, etc. We have has a few issues with them also. Last batch got eaten to the ground and we had them protected. Not sure what happened, but we will replant and reorganize.

It is a challenge and fun.

The current project is chickens....

Note: we do replace a portion of the dirt each year. Just for that reason. We try to keep it fresh.
We tried 3 different heirloom tomato varieties to see what grows good in buckets in our area.

the san marcos keep producing but are not big.very sweet.

the pink brandiwines started to produce but the main stem broke in a huge windstorm.otherwise they were looking to do well.

the german queen produced zero. not one tomato. stem broke later too.

S GA
 

parsonswife

Veteran Member
We would starve with our garden. Small backyard with 6 raised beds. Every year I try something new...this year was carrots, celery and sweet potatoes. Limiting it all so thing we buy every week. Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes zucchini...

Our Romas all got blossom end rot and I was too busy working that I didn't fix that early. Cherry tomatoes (in the same bed and soil with the Romas) are great. Slicing tomatoes have all split (again the watering/113 degree issues)

Onions all bolted

Big problem was lack of bees and the heat wave. either no female flowers and no bees. I usually hand pollinate but again had no time/energy/too hot go want to go out there

Because of the water shortage and cost of water bill I have cut out some of the regular items too.

TO DO LIST
Need to start dehydrating more store bought stuff like the peppers/celery from the bulk resturaunt dealers
Need to learn to pickle cucumbers and asparagus
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
For tomatoes, I'm a big believer in indeterminates. They do very well this far north with our super long day-length..sometimes my plants in their cages are taller than me, and agree...1/2 bushel/plant is not unusual.

Added...tomatoes in pots/tubs.. The soil gets too hot..even up here (N MN) in summer for them to thrive. Put your tomatoes in the ground and they will do a lot better.
 
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nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I was dehydrating a lot of fresh stuff and kind of got side tract. I've got a lot of frozen vegetables that need to be dehydrated, just can't get motivated.

God is good all the time

Judy
 

AlaskaSue

North to the Future
Ah, tomatoes, how I love them and how hard they are to grow with no warm greenhouse. I did put a container with 4 plants on the south-facing deck off my bedroom. All have had flowers and I do hand-pollinate but there are plenty of bees here to help. Nonetheless, only one plant is bearing, and just 3 (really nice) tomatoes.

I know a couple just north of me in Willow with a high tunnel who grow just hundreds of tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and corn in there. They are very successful and now I want a high tunnel (which many folks use on Kodiak Island too).

I‘d love to see pics of your tomato patch 20gauge, sounds amazing! :)
 

Mprepared

Veteran Member
the pink brandiwines started to produce but the main stem broke in a huge windstorm.otherwise they were looking to do well.


S GA
The pink brandywine is my favorite tomato, but because of our short growing season I would have trouble getting them to ripen, so I quit growing them and then this year of all the things we have had this crazy heat. I would have had tons of brandywines.
 

Mprepared

Veteran Member
TO DO LIST
Need to start dehydrating more store bought stuff like the peppers/celery from the bulk resturaunt dealers
Need to learn to pickle cucumbers and asparagus
I need to start dehydrating things too and I hope I will when it cools off. I have my own peppers to dehydrate. I have made fermented dill pickles and a real treat. I am going to have too many cucumbers soon and I may make ice box pickles.
 

Mprepared

Veteran Member
I do not have a huge garden. Since my husband died it is shrinking. Last year the garden was horrible, so this year I got cow manure and spread it and I realized this year I think I never water enough. This year early we had a lot of rain and I saw a difference in plants and when the rain stopped I watered a lot more. I have a lot of beans, zucchini, yellow squash, kale, collards, peppers, but not bell, they do not look good yet. The cucumbers have crawled all over the place and I put a fence to climb and stay off the bean fence. No cucumbers yet, but this morning I saw the flowers and they have opened and tons of bees. I am hoping I can get this all cleaned up before it freezes and snows and get shredded leaves and the rest of this manure spread this fall and I have barrels my neighbor gave me when he moved and I am going to fill with grass clippings, leaves, and i have 2 rabbits left and have their droppings and bedding, and this cow manure, so I will make compost and I am thinking I want for my Christmas present from family is a battery Mantis tiller. All I get from family is I do not need to garden or need just a box to plant in. I am going to EXPAND the garden. LOL
 

Kathy in FL

TB Fanatic
We tried 3 different heirloom tomato varieties to see what grows good in buckets in our area.

the san marcos keep producing but are not big.very sweet.

the pink brandiwines started to produce but the main stem broke in a huge windstorm.otherwise they were looking to do well.

the german queen produced zero. not one tomato. stem broke later too.

S GA
Regarding broken stems. Many tomatoes do better in a cage or tied to a stick ... growing up the tobacco sticks pulled double duty. Part of the year they had the leaves on them in the smoking/drying barns and part of the year they were used to tie up tomato plants. The supports allow the tomatoes to put more energy into production rather than having to spend it thickening their primary trunk. It also keeps the leaves up out of the dirt and keep them from breaking as the fruit swells.

I never knew people to not "stake" their tomatoes until I started doing it and a neighbor asked what I was doing.
 

To-late

autonomous
What are you doing about plant rotation? Peppers and tomatoes are both nightshades. It sounds like your soil is getting tired.

We generally count on a half bushel of tomatoes per plant. A good year can increase that by 50%.

But true "survival" gardening means more than condiments. It means beans, corn, winter squash and potatoes. Onions and garlic tucked into corners. Greens, etc in other corners.

It's not easy.

Summerthyme
boy you got that right.
some years my garden produces lots. No pests of anykind.
this year only the tomato’s are producing.
squirrels and bugs got EVERYTHING else.
even my pumpkins aren’t blooming.
I always get pumpkins.
 

CarolynA

Veteran Member
I'm having a pretty descent garden this year. I'm at 3.300'+ in the Sierra's, super hot this year, drought, gophers, bugs, wildlife, soil like cement. I'm growing almost everything in Earthboxes or big pots inside the vegetable fortress (big dog kennel). In spite of all this the garden is really good this year. Last year we had too much smoke & nothing set fruit. I grow enough to barter with neighbors for eggs.
The bear learned how to climb the fence and get grapes. The deer got the Nectarines. Chipmunks got some of my pepper plants. However, the tomatoes are going gangbusters. Best cucumber crop in years. The zucchinis did great until we had a heat spell but they are starting to produce again. Also had the best apricot crop I've ever had. The apple and fig blossoms got killed by a late frost but a few came back. All in all, we're happy with the results. Gardening here is always a huge challenge!
 

Bps1691

Veteran Member
Most people dont understand what it takes to have a true survival "garden". Field corn, potatoes, beans, squash etc. Its calories that count. Carol Deppe's The Resilient Gardener is a great book on the topic.
Don't forget turnips, carrots, onions, garlic, and lettuce.

You want a mix of things like lettuce that you can seque3nce plant and that grows quickly to fill your belly in the early season. The root crops are for fall harvest and carry over into the winter months.
 

Bud in Fla

Veteran Member
My garden here in Fl this year was the worst I' ever grew. I've had gardens in SC, NC, AK & WV before moving to Fla and did well everywhere. It's almost impossible to grow a decent garden in this area. Wish we'd known that before moving here. I've planted in the ground which is nothing but "sugar sand" here and raised beds. My gardens have gotten progressively worse here. Nobody I know had a decent garden here this year.
 

Freeholder

This too shall pass.
My garden here in Fl this year was the worst I' ever grew. I've had gardens in SC, NC, AK & WV before moving to Fla and did well everywhere. It's almost impossible to grow a decent garden in this area. Wish we'd known that before moving here. I've planted in the ground which is nothing but "sugar sand" here and raised beds. My gardens have gotten progressively worse here. Nobody I know had a decent garden here this year.
Bud, please take a look at David the Good's videos on gardening in Florida! I think it will be a big help to you.

Kathleen
 

twobarkingdogs

Veteran Member
I'll throw out my garden results for n.ga here to add to this thread

Onions/shallots did great. Garlic good but some of the bulbs did not size up as large as I would have liked them

Potatos, yukon gold. Did good. Not great but a decent harvest

Green bell peppers did great. Lots of peppers per plant

Tomatos were the worst year I have ever seen. Not sure if it was all of the rain we had or the temps but if I got 4 or 5 tomatos per plant then I was lucky.

Squash/zukes did great. Lots of fruit per plant

Bush green beans did great. Lots of beans per plant and I did succession planting so I'm still getting production

Ginger did great and I'll have more then I need to eat and for seed next year

Strawberries were great. Lots of berries and lots of runners per plant so next years seed stock

Blackberries were great. Lots of berries

Blueberries were poor. A late frost killed most of the blossoms

Different mixed herbs did good. Lots of growth and basil currently going to seed

Sweet potatos are still in the ground and growing so it will be a month+ before I know anything but the plants are looking good

I think that covers it

tbd
 

Esto Perpetua

Veteran Member
I don't really have a garden just a backyard that I plant veggies around the perimeter.

This year has been dismal. Don't know if we aren't watering enough, fertilizer issues or what but the plants are very puny, especially the ones we bought!

Am wondering if there are issues with seed stock...

Probably just us though. Severe health issues and very busy this year due to that.
 

parsonswife

Veteran Member
I remember reading that the ww2 victory gardens were basically a flop....gave people something to do to be productive and add a bit of flavor to their diet but not a successful endeavor for most.

Every little bit helps but will have to rely on barter and friends gardens
 

thereisnofork

Senior Member
Update on the dense corn planting. It's been several weeks since the last photos. I'm fertilizing at least twice a week to get the ears of corn to grow with the Miracle Grow Plant Food 18-18-18. Giving it 3 heaping tablespoons per gallon. The tallest plants are over 8", the smallest on the backside with little sun is about 4.5" tall. Corn is just forming, still at 1 ear per plant on most of them. Some plants are just starting to add ears of corn.
 

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thereisnofork

Senior Member
Also, just for your entertainment. The weather in Seattle area has been pretty warm and most flowers/plants have already lost their blossoms. So we started feeding the bees sugar water. Similar to what the bee keepers do in the spring, this helps the hive last longer. We think we have 3 different hives feedings, small Italian bees, some black body bees, and then some of the golden bottom bees (as well as a few bumble bees). Our catnip and lavender is still blooming so they feed on that as well. The video was too large so just a photo. We had a large wild hive south of us get destroyed for a new construction project, so we are happy to see the new bees coming in.
 

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