Container Garden Recap 2020

2020 was not kind to the garden. The weather was marginal for much of the summer and the wildfire smoke finished off a prime part of the growing season.

To quote the 2019 Recap

20-25 pounds of produce per box is pretty normal. (“Normal” is around 30 pounds of tomatoes per box, 10 pounds of peppers, and 25 pounds of tomatillos.)

This year we grew fewer boxes overall, and the yield per box was way down as well:

“Slicing” Cucumber (2 boxes, 6 plants):  22.5 pounds

Taxi Tomato (1/2 box, 1 plant):  9.4 pounds

Black Krim Tomato (1 box, 2 plants):  8.1 pounds

Oregon Spring Tomato (1-1/2 boxes, 3 plants):  23.0 pounds

Roma Tomato (1 box, 2 plants):  8.6 pounds

Which all adds up to a very not awesome 71.5 pounds. Talking to friends and neighbors the universal quote was “It was a bad year for tomatoes, and the garden overall.” It’s good to know it wasn’t just our garden that underperformed. Evidently I was so Not Impressed that I didn’t even take any pictures after the initial planting.

We also grew Fortex (haricot vert) pole beans, which we never weigh (they’re fistfulls of “spontaneous” for dinner). They did well, as beans always do. The basil had a good 2 or 3 weeks while the weather was warm and sunny — the color improved and the basil plants looked visibly happier. Fortunately we’d spread the oodles of tiny basil starts among four boxes, so we had ample basil all summer.

To be fair I could have been more attentive to the garden, but I’m not sure it would have made a big impact on the final outcome. The weather was lousy. It may be it’s time again to cycle out some of the potting soil in the boxes, which we think was last done in 2017 or 2018.

Given all that: We made enough tomato sauce that it should still take us to next year’s harvest. The cucumbers, beans, scallions, and basil were all welcome. We’ll take 2020 as the absolute floor that the garden will provide and hopefully next year will be much better.

And for posterity, this is post 1,500. (Probably for the 2nd time after the hosting issues and server migration lost a year’s worth of posts.) So that’s something.

One thought on “Container Garden Recap 2020

  1. My tomatoes (Indigo Rose) performed pretty well, but they never ripened due to smoke and cool temps. I’ll be relocating my boxes this winter, to get more sun, but even by my crappy-veg-gardener standards, this was a bad year.


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