2018 Container Garden Recap


It felt like the overall garden yield was a little low this year. That’s sort of true, though we didn’t we weigh the beans we harvested. As a flat guess the beans must have represented somewhere around 30 pounds, and they blocked the tomatillos from being as productive as they could have been. The yearly totals:

Year Yield, Pounds
2013 228.0
2014 269.4
2015 282.5
2016 194.3
2017 238.6
2018 195.5
Average 234.7

That feels about right. A somewhat below average yield by weight for the year. The weather didn’t really cooperate and there was some user error involved with the placement of the beans. Overall most everything ripened more than usual, so even if the yield was a little light the end result was basically a win.

The Recaps:

The Peppers:  We grew two boxes (12 plants total). The pepper boxes fell over mid-season and we lost a few that way. We’re not going to use Ultomato cages on the tomatoes or peppers anymore — too many failures.

180909 peppers

9 Carmen,  17.7 pounds:  Almost two pounds per plant is a very acceptable output relative to what we’ve seen historically.  Our Average Per Pepper Plant through 2016 was 1.9 pounds. An average year with riper than average fruit. Sign me up!

2 Jimmy Nardello, 1.8 pounds:  A decent yield for a very nice frying pepper.

1 “Hot” Pepper, 0.7 pounds:  The plant was mislabeled at the Seattle Tilth Plant Sale (one of two mislabeled plants this year, which is a record for us. Usually it’s zero or one). The fruits have the appearance of somewhat smaller Serrano. They’ll go into the freezer with the other Serranos.

The Marketmore Cucumbers, 31.2 pounds:  One box, 4 plants.  About half of the cucumber trellis wound up being buried by the beans. Overall the cucumbers had better “shapes” than most years and maintained the good shapes for later into the season. For yield comparison – In year one we harvested 56 pounds from one box, every year since has been been between 28 and 44 pounds. I’m perfectly fine with 2018’s yield and quality.

The Tromboncino Zucchini, 14.3 pounds:   One box, two plants. Last year the yield was 3.8 pounds because I screwed up and planted too many plants. In other years 20-26 pounds has been the norm. I think the Tromboncino really didn’t like the weather this year, though we did have a lot less mildew than usual on the leaves. A couple of more decent sized zucchini and the harvest would have been about average.

The Tomatillos, 24.9 pounds:  Two boxes, 4 plants. The tomatillos we sort of buried by the beans to the point where at mid-season one of the two boxes was giving up. Historically, 12-20 pounds for one box seems about normal. It wasn’t a total washout, and we have lots of roasted tomatillo puree in the freezer.

The Tomatoes:  We got one mislabeled tomato which as a best guess was a Hungarian Heart. Overall the tomatoes ripened really well this year. For reference, 10-20 pounds per plant, or 30-40 pounds per box is about the normal yield:

180909 harvest

Oregon Spring, 28.4 pounds:  One box, two plants. As usual, the Oregon Springs were early producers and provided a good tasting tomato with a good overall yield.

Paisano, 16.8 pounds:  1/2 box, one plant. We tried these as a “twist” on the usual Romas. I think the flavor and color was a little less intense than the Romas. However, they were heavy enough to collapse the Ultomato cage. We may grow these again, though I’d also be ok with just giving up that space to more Romas or something else. They shared a box with –

Taxi, 5.2 pounds:  1/2 box, one plant. Historically we’ve gotten ~25 pounds per plant. I think maybe the Paisano out-competed them somewhat and maybe the Taxis didn’t love the weather and maybe they were a little buried and maybe didn’t get enough human attention.

Hungarian Heart, 5.1 pounds:  1/2 box, one plant. Bleh. We didn’t pick them. We didn’t particularly like the taste. The yield was poor. Moving on, these shared a box with –

Cherry Bomb, 5.9 pounds:  1/2 box, one plant. We tried these as a substitute to the uber-sweet Sun Gold. We loved the taste of the Cherry Bombs! The yield could have been better, though I’m inclined to overlook that due to the taste and try them again next year.

Black Krim, 19.5 pounds:  One box, two plants. The Black Krims were really late this year, though they all ripened. The yield was a little low for a full box, but that’s been an ongoing theme for this entire blog post. We love them so we’ll grow them again next year.

Roma, 23.9 pounds:  One box, two plants. The romas had an excellent year from the ripening and taste standpoint. The yield was down..

The Unweighed:

The Basil:   It started slowly, but when it got established it did quite well. We harvested aggressively and it responded by getting even healthier. We also made a point to do the final harvest before it got bitter. Learning!

The Beans:  We grew two boxes of Fortex beans and one box of Rattlesnake (after I couldn’t find the Cranberry seeds.) I lightly fertilized all the beans to start the year and we got handfulls and handfulls of the Fortex all summer. The season-end Fortex and all of the Rattlesnakes were saved for dried beans. We also grew Maxibel bush beans in one whiskey barrel. Overall it was more beans than we need. Next year will probably be one box of Fortex and one of Rattlesnake, and we’ll grow them on the north side of the trellises so that they don’t bury other plants.



Visit Dave at Happy Acres Blog, host of Harvest Monday.


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