2015 Garden Summary

Submitted by jimwcoleman

This year, a very strong El Nino weather pattern set up halfway through the growing season. Though we never had triple-digit temperatures, we (Seattle area) set new records for the number of days over 90 degrees, and the longest span of time without measurable rainfall. There were drought conditions (ranging to severe) up and down the entire west coast.

It was perfect weather for corn, and I did harvest a good corn crop. Chiles and peppers also did very well. Tomatillos were everywhere and I could barely keep up with the harvest. It was a good year for beans. The garlic and onions did well, but weren't the size I had expected. Kale did well. I got a head of red cabbage late in the season. Strawberries came on late but when they did, they did so in amazing quantities. I did not plant zucchini this year, but harvested a bumper crop of butternut squash. I did plant yellow snap peas and they thrived all season! And, lastly, the Scarlet Red Runner beans did very well, too.

Tomatoes were a disappointment. They were cracked and some had blossom rot. I had mulched them heavily with grass clippings and kept them watered, due to the heat and drought. I may have overdone the watering, considering all the mulch. Additionally, the tomatoes ripened late in the season and, is typical with an El Nino pattern, our season was a bit shorter as the cool days came in earlier than usual.

Another (easy) mistake I made was to plant everything too close together in an attempt to maximize space. This became problematic later as I could not get in to harvest, maintain plant health, desucker tomatoes, etc.

Our best growing season ever was 2009. But this was probably the second best, despite the problems with the tomatoes.

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