Mine was terrible. I have a Ruth Stout-type of garden in the best place on my property for a veggie garden. The year before, I had the most wonderful garden full of veggies. This year it got off to a dismal start and pretty much stayed that way all summer.
I am just learning about permaculture and I would like to know how your yield was different compared to mine. If I knew more about permaculture would I have gotten a better yield considering the cold weather we were delt this past summer? How was your yield compared to a more normal year (as far as weather is concerned)?
In Seattle definitely a below-average year: - carrots were really hard to germinate - potatos harvest poor - tomatos set good fruit but many didn't ripen or split - garlic started out great, but suffered a lot from rotting in the soil - slugs were the worst ever - beans were below-average
I had lots of fruits. Raspberries were good. Currents were good. Amelanchier were good. I had good sugarpeas, lots of broccoli and that's it.
My complete failures were: Tomatoes died because of too much rain or insufficient protection. Salads were run over by slugs. Carrots did not germinate. Onions did not germinate. Sunflowers broke because of too strong growth in the first part of the season and windy weather afterwards.
Everything else was below average.
Life that has a meaning wouldn't ask for its meaning. - Theodor W. Adorno
As far as doing things differently to better deal with crazy weather ... I plan to do more starts instead of direct seeding; also more low tunnels for early spring planting; and monitor my garlic more closely so I can dig them up before they start rotting.
I already bought wildtomatoe seeds (L. esculentum var. humboldtii), they are said to be more rain and blight resistant. Direct seeding (except for the sugar peas) failed completly in my case. Broccoli was propagated. Salad, too. What ever. This year will be better. I mean: I dumped so many countless slugs in the trash can like never before.
Life that has a meaning wouldn't ask for its meaning. - Theodor W. Adorno
Here in Klickitat, nothing except the garlic grew well until July, when the sun finally came out. Then things started to pop, but the remaining growing season just wasn't long enough for good production. And we never did get any hot weather.
Next year I am building a make-shift plastic house for the tomatoes and peppers. Even when it is summer-hot, our nights are cool, so I think even in a regular year, I will get better yields with some night-time protection. We'll see.
tomatoes - poor potatoes - good garlic - amazing hot peppers - amazing( record yields for me ) snow peas - amazing beans - good tomatillos - great fruit trees - good berries - great onions - horrible ( gophers) corn - poor carrots - poor
and i will have to say that anything that did poor or not so great in the regular garden, did much better in the forest garden. i actually got more tomatoes out of the FG than the regular one, far less care.
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
great under cover tomatoes cucumbers eggplant had more than I could handle every thing that was in the open not good at all. had some soil problems too so that could have had something to do with it. Looks like this year2011 is going to be real wet too. So will put in another cover /green house hoop house walking cold frame or large garden umbrella what ever you would want to call it. Basically just supported plastic like a tarp or green house plastic or glass depending what I have any thing that I can anchor above the planting area. This keeps the rain off then when it stops raining daily I pull it off and things do great. My maters last year got chopped off at 7'tall! one plant got chopped off twice. So covering works really great here for me. Also use low tunnels inside my high tunnels. I'm in the Columbia Gorge
In my 22 years of gardening in the Northwest, 2010 was the absolute worst year ever. I was actually glad it was the also the only year in the past 2 decades in which I didn't even try to grow tomatoes or peppers. It was also an awful year for fruit- almost no peaches, Japanese plums, cherries, pears, blueberries or apricots. Even apples and grapes were almost complete failures. The grapes seemed to flower in July- 6 weeks later than normal, and far too late to ripen most of the mid to late season varieties. Currants, European plums and huckleberries did well, but that was about it. On the other hand, it was about the best year for mushrooms ever! It was a banner year for morels, especially in burn areas. Chanterelles started early and fruited in massive quantities for several months. Hedgehogs, yellow-foot chanterelles and black trumpets were incredibly abundant this past winter. I found Oregon truffles in and around my garden a few weeks ago. This past winter was also a good one for my winter vegetable garden- I had tons of kale, collards, cabbage, radishes all winter long. I'll probably be using clear plastic tents over my tomatoes and peppers this summer if the cool, wet, dark weather continues. (I live in Oregon's Coast Range.) I'm looking forward to morel season, though!
Last summer? Did we have a summer? The leaves on my maple tree started turning color before my tomatoes did! Around Seattle, the sound of the Blue Angles (SeaFair week) always is a reminder that the wild berries are ready to pick. This year it was 4-6 weeks afterwards before any berries were ready. and much lower yields than in previous years. Snow peas did very well as always. That is a crop designed for our climate...especially if you pick a Dr. Jim Bagget (Oregon State U) bred variety. Plant your last crop in Oct/Nov. They will go dormant in Dec, but begin anew when the soil warms in the spring...I have picked peas here in early June, when others are just watching theirs break soil!
greens did well. brassicas did well. root crops (potatoes, beets, carrots) did well. cucurbits were middling. fruit, with the exception of plums, did terribly. had the first chestnut failure in half a century according to the local expert. corn was a total loss, partly due to elk.
the plums, probably our most prolific fruit, didn't seem to blink an eye at the bad weather. they were productive as ever and there's some sort of plum dessert under construction about eight feet from me right now. most of the other fruit trees flowered early in the warm late winter, then dropped fruit after the following cold snap. it was really disappointing because all the trees were absolutely covered with flowers, but they hardly produced at all.
the weather was weird enough that one dwarf Gravenstein apple tree flowered in late August. and ripened fruit.
raspberries did alright, but not great. blueberries were underwhelming, but not a total loss. wild blackberries are ubiquitous enough that even a bad year yields more fruit than could ever be used.
some of the weird stuff: wasabi was happy and is currently flowering prolifically. akebia didn't set any fruit. groundnut vines grew, but didn't flower and tubers were small. crosne was uncharacteristically sedate. sea kale didn't do much at all. jinenjo was very slow. day lilies didn't even flower. achira didn't flower. chufa held steady, but didn't expand.