Veg In Review: 2018 Season

Though there are still a few carrots and rutabaga in the dirt, I think its fair to say the growing season is over for most of us. That means its time to make heads or tails of it all and make notes for next year.

Let’s get to it!

What Worked:

  • The peppers had an extraordinary year. The best pepper growing year I’ve ever had. I planted them outside (rather than in pots in the greenhouse) but waited until it was good and warm overnight, rather than just focusing on warm daytime temps.
  • All winter squashes (primarily acorn types) did great. Some better than others, but still a great harvest. I usually have good luck with these so this isn’t a huge surprise.
  • Rhubarb! It had a solid year and I got great harvests out of it. The plants are at full maturity so I’m looking forward to another great harvest next year.
  • The fennel did pretty well, especially considering it was my first year growing them. They were tasty but many were tough and required much trimming to make them edible.
  • Cucumbers did excellent as well this year. Too well! I was drowning in them! I’ve yet to find the ‘perfect’ number of plants to put in. I’ll try three next year.
  • Melons. I grew them as a sort of cover crop beneath the tomatoes and it worked like a charm. The fruits were small and (of course) all ripened at once, but they were incredibly delicious and far outpaced anything you get in the store.

What Didn’t Work:

  • Every. Single. Tomato. Variety. Ugh, what an awful year for tomatoes. I did harvest some, but only about 25% of what I would have expected with 8 plants. Old tried and true varieties whimpered along with new varieties I selected and a few from the Seed Trial. Too hot, too dry, too much of everything that tomatoes don’t like. Of course I’ll try again next year, but if these weather patterns persist I’m going to have to think long and hard about it.
  • Zucchini. For much of the same reasons above, I found my zucchini plant producing closer to 10-20% of what I would expect. They tasted great, but such dismal production. Chalking this up to weather.
  • Eggplants! I’ve always grown them in large pots in the greenhouse. This year they languished and didn’t produce even a single fruit despite regular watering and fertilizing. I don’t even know what to chalk this up to. I’ve grown great, huge, productive plants this same way in years past.
  • Peas. They got off to a sluggish start and the weather turned hot so quickly they didn’t seem to know what to do. We got a meager harvest, but they were delicious as usual.

What was just Meh:

  • Carrots. They are always meh here. Never as sweet as you’d like, never as sweet as store bought, and seemingly not worth the effort/space. Yet I always grow them, hoping for a sweeter year.
  • Spinach. I’m bad at succession sowing so there is only ever one great harvest. I enjoy it, but I’m never sure it is worth it. Perhaps I need to try to get better as succession sowing?
  • Bush beans! This is the first year I’ve had any real luck with bush varieties- they were delicious and prolific. But, this is another crop I’m unsure about the ‘worth’ of- they don’t take up a ton of real estate, but you need to harvest so many for a dinner that I feel like we only got 4 or so meals out of the plants we had.

I’ll get into the plans for next year in another post… but I’d love to hear what worked and what bombed for you all this year.

4 thoughts on “Veg In Review: 2018 Season

  1. What’s the variety shown in the photo? Tomatoes did ok here in Indiana, but not as well as usual. Peppers & eggplants were terrific though, so it makes the tomato problem more perplexing since they like the same conditions. Lettuces were amazing, and spinach is still going gangbusters. Potatoes in pots were not very productive, but that’s probably my fault for over-fertilizing.

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    1. I had the same problem! Why did the tomatoes struggle so much when the peppers a bed down flourished? What is your trick for lettuce? Mine is always bitter and never flourishes. The squash in the photo are very undersized (but delicious) Long Island Cheese.

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  2. Not a great year for me.Too much travel the end of May and beginning of June and then I love to grow veggies but don’t like picking them so much. Butternut squash did well if you go by the number I got but many of them had funny looking spots. Trying to down siize is difficult too. It’s so much fun to brag about the yield but how much can 2 people eat?

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    1. We struggle with this too- its just the two of us here to and I don’t love canning so yield is always a bit of a double edged sword with us. I want good yields, but I surely don’t want to be drowning in anything. I’ll put up with processing tomatoes, but that is about it.

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