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Post  Mikesgardn on 1/25/2011, 8:29 am

Here in the mid Atlantic area, my garden has yielded 1/2 pound of vegetables per square foot in bad years, and 2 pounds per square foot in good years. I primarily garden in the summer months, so I could do better. Has anybody else kept track of their yields for comparison?
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Post  ander217 on 1/25/2011, 12:30 pm

No, but I wish I had. Last year was a rough gardening year for us, and I'd like to know how it would compare with a good growing year.

How do you calculate for variances in growing different crops from year to year? The produce from a square of lettuce wouldn't weigh as much as a square of potatoes, so to get an accurate average wouldn't you have to grow the exact same number of squares and varieties for each crop every year? Or do you measure a standard sampling each year?

I think for us it would be easier to compare only one crop at a time. For example, in 2009 four squares of potatoes produced x lbs. compared with 2010 when four squares of potatoes produced y lbs.
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Post  boffer on 1/25/2011, 12:51 pm

@Mikesgardn wrote: Has anybody else kept track of their yields for comparison?

Ander makes some good points.

I, too, find that my yields vary immensely due to the weather. Since I can't do anything about the weather, I don't keep close track of yields. The numbers may be interesting, but I don't know how they can help me.



This is my detailed harvest record for the last two years:

2009 was a good weather year for me. It felt like a part time job handling the harvest: eating fresh veggies every day, preserving some, and giving produce away to everyone we knew.

2010 was a poor weather year: it felt like we hardly had any fresh harvest to eat on the weekends. We didn't can veggies, nor give any away.

(It works for me, but it drives some folks crazy!)



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Post  Lavender Debs on 1/25/2011, 1:03 pm

@boffer wrote:(It works for me, but it drives some folks crazy!)
Short road
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Post  Lavender Debs on 1/25/2011, 1:09 pm

@ander217 wrote:snip ...How do you calculate for variances in growing different crops from year to year? The produce from a square of lettuce wouldn't weigh as much as a square of potatoes, ... snip
I am going to try the Dervaes (Little Homestead in the City Blog) do, they simply keep track of the total weight of everything from year to year rather than just single crop weight.

Did I say "simply"? Too often I think, "I was going to weigh that," as I swallow it down.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/25/2011, 1:52 pm

I hate to say it to those that are book/numbers nerds.......like myself. But, sometimes we micromanage things.

I can appreciate wanting to know what a certain square produces. But, there are just so many variables from weather to aging seed to slightly different soil from square to square to water and evaporation....God forbid rainfalls both light and heavy during different stages of growth.

I like to play poker, and this is similar in that we would need a HUGE sample size (in this case years) to make our numbers close to reliable. If you are a true "numbers nerd" (and I use the term with love and affection), you would also be familiar with standard deviation and the havoc it wreaks over a course of 25 growing seasons, much less one to the next.

Now, if we all kept track of ourselves....and shared....in a somewhat controlled environment, we could really leverage our time. But, we would all have to watch and record the exact same parameters. And, it would still take many years to be reliable.
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Post  ribsyhuggins on 1/25/2011, 7:29 pm

if want know if your harvest per square foot is in ,poor range ,good range, or great range you need to look at a chart that spells out what those ranges are fora particular crop.
If what know what those value for each veg type I would look at
spreadsheet found in the book "How to Grow More Vegetables:" by
John Jeavons
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Post  Megan on 1/25/2011, 7:55 pm

I think that's a bit harsh, ribsy. Granted, it's good to know what is *possible*....but a great harvest in a bad year (bad climate, etc.) could be far less than a so-so harvest in a good year. Best to take it all into context, imho. Very Happy
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