Planning crop yields

Q. I was curious about the per crop yields you’ve had each year. If I’m remembering correctly from the pamphlet that came with our oven, you grew a lot more corn in the early years, and more onions later (or something like that). I was wondering if those changes were intentional (one can only eat so much corn! or maybe other crops make more economic sense than corn, for example) or due to climate or pest problems… or…?

A. Good question. As with any living thing our garden is ever changing. During the past seven years our garden/yard has undergone revision after revision as we struggle with finding what works and what doesn’t. Without extra plots or land to experiment with, it’s tough to grow so many crops in such a little space. Some years we hit it right and some we don’t – either because of weather conditions or being busy with other sustainable projects. We stick with growing what comes easy and can produce the most pounds per bed. Since we started keeping records, you are correct to note that our corn amounts have decreased. Though we dearly love corn (we grew “giant corn” on our 10 acres in Florida), we downsized the raised beds and focused more on crops that are “cut and come again.” Another factor that has to do with our not planting so much corn is our neighbor’s monstrous pecan tree. This tree is affecting the dynamics of our garden and the amount of sun it receives.

With “one time harvest” vegetables like corn, carrots, onions one needs space to truly have successful succession plantings. We do it on a much smaller scale and every year is a learning experience.

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