This summer’s harvest turned out better than last year – better tomatoes, cukes and beans. After harvesting over 2,000 pounds in the early first years, then in later years, 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 lb on 1/10 acre, we’ve been lax in weighing/tallying our harvest. I know, I know, record keeping is important. Heck, that’s what got us where we are today. The past few years we’ve gotten busy and are starting to feel, after over a decade of record keeping, “been there, done that.” I still think it would be nice to tally up and see how well (or not) the garden is growing.
We are facing new challenges as the garden grows into its 25th year. The biggest one is mostly with the front yard. Having turned the lawn into edible landscaping two decades ago, it’s grown into a jungle. Young fruit trees have grown older and we are faced with the challenge of more shade in the front yard. Shade is a good thing, unless you are trying to grow sun lovin’ veggies (which gives the most lbs per sq. ft).
It’s certainly difficult to mix edibles, annuals and perennials together. I heard that one of the main proponents of edible landscaping told attendees at one of her lectures that she tears out and replaces edibles every year. The first couple of years they “fit” nicely; but, then, bushes and trees get bigger and their shade circle grows. Yes, there is the forrest farming concept; but, try as we might, no tomatoes will ever grow in shade.
Alas, that means our front yard landscape will undergo yet another phase and stage. We like to show that edible landscaping can be “Pretty & Productive” but that does pose some challenges.
How has your matured garden brought you challenges in your growing efforts?