“Your Field’s Yield,” Ensign, Apr. 1977, 67
If this is the first year you’ve ever planted a garden, you will probably be much wiser by fall. The problem of relative abundance versus short supply may even strike you as being funny at first. However, while it may be hilarious that you can supply the whole ward with cucumbers, having only enough peas for four meals and none to freeze is no joke.
Determining what to plant and how much is tricky business. Garden books may give some guidelines, but they can be miserably off the mark, too. When the advice reads, “A dozen tomato plants can supply all the tomatoes one family can use,” they probably weren’t figuring on your family, or on a year’s supply of tomato juice and spaghetti sauce. Then, too, family tastes differ. What is just a smidgen of broccoli to one family may be all another family would eat over a five-year period.
It may be a bit late for this year’s garden, but there is something you can do for next year. Keep a record of this year’s garden: how much of what crop you planted, either in length of row or by the plant. This is relatively easy since the notation has to be made only once. Keeping track of the yield is harder and takes real perseverance. Keep the record in a handy place (perhaps taped inside a kitchen cupboard door) and make regular notations.
At the end of the harvest season you can total up exactly how much each planting yielded. Next spring when you plan your garden, that record will be the most valuable tool you have. Carolyn E. Wright, Oregon City, Oregon