2021 – The Stats


A bit late (halfway through 2022!) but time to look at the stats for 2021.

Highlights include:

  • beetroot in the garden was massive, not sure why I sowed seed at the plot too. Not as much as the year before but being in the garden meant it was easier to get to as needed.
  • broad beans had a bad start as I sowed them way too early the year before which meant just as the flowers were coming out it all got hit by the bad weather, cold, and wind. Saying that, they recovered really well giving us the largest harvest we have had. So much so that this year I decided to grow just a token amount of plants as we had so many.
  • cabbage grew really well as it always does (primo) but we are not great cabbage eaters and so didn’t manage to use a lot of them. There is only so much coleslaw you can eat. We decided this year we wouldn’t grow any cabbage
  • celeriac have never been as good as the first year we tried it, this year they didn’t really grow and so we decided not to grow them again
  • carrots I thought had not done well but actually weight wise we had a really good year.
  • cherries I have noticed we normally have a good year followed by a bad year. This was a bad year with 0.5kg compared to 3.5kg the year before! Hoping then that we are getting ready for a good year next.
  • courgettes were looked after a lot better than previous years, with plenty of rotted manure dug into the holes and lots of water. Courgettes was one of the many squash plants we grew. 14kg of courgettes was the result, compared to the normal 2-3kg we normally got. I can’t say we managed to eat them all
  • leeks has been one of our “big four” harvests and even though they had a bad start we did manage to get a good harvest
  • lettuce was mostly eaten by slugs during the bad weather and bolted during the hot weather. It didn’t really feature much in our harvests.
  • onions affected by allium leaf minor and this was shown in the reduced harvest. A bit of a pain as it’s normally one of our “big four”
  • parsnips have had trouble on the plot and so we did two rows in the garden. They did great. I also sowed some on toilet rolls and transplanted them out to the plot later on. They ended up doing well too
  • potatoes were amazing, it was a good year for potatoes it seemed
  • rhubarb I wonder if they follow the same idea as cherries as we had double the amount as normal
  • runner beans were in the garden once again and they gave as the same weight in harvest as the year before, spooky
  • strawberries were mostly eaten by mice, although we did manage over 1kg of them so all was not lost
  • tomatoes suffered from the warm and wet, blight got most of them and so I had to harvest them mostly when they were green. I made chutney with them, but the total harvest was just half of what we normally get (and not red)
  • spring onions the first time we have grown them and I wonder why we have not grown them before.
  • squash plants tried for the first time. Lots grew but we didn’t get on with them for eating, plus they took so much space! We won’t be growing them again


Value: £364 (+£30 from year before) takes into account expenses

Weight: 187kg (-21kg from year before)

Top 10 in Value

for all of the Top 10s, values in bracket show last year’s figures as a comparison.

Again the cucumbers are at the top, mainly because these small thicker skinned ones are so expensive in the shops. We didn’t have as good harvest as the year before, but even so it was a good one.

We grew a lot of tomatoes both on the plot (which didn’t do that well) and in the garden (that did a lot better). This year I am going a lot more as I want to have “snacking tomatoes” in the garden while at the plot we concentrate on tomatoes for making and freezing source.

A quick look at garlic which I didn’t think did that well but the numbers here say otherwise. We harvested these in June and we are only getting to the end of them now. I wanted this year to grow less but better, however the shop sent us two packets of garlic instead of one and so we have ended up with it both in the garden and a lot on the plot. So far, it is all looking good.

Fruit makes it in this top 10 a lot, so expensive from the shops. We used most of the soft fruit to make jam, apart from the cherries which we gave a lot of them away. Strawberries are missing, they didn’t do much in 2020 which was a bit of a surprise.

In between fruit are potatoes. We planted a lot of them, both earlies, second earlies, and main crop, on both the plot and the garden. I wasn’t going to plant as many but it seemed wise to plant what we could, we even put some found at the back of the cupboard in the ground and had good results.

Potatoes £86.10 (£21.79)
Rhubarb£56.72 (£20.80)
Ridge Cucumbers£33.36 (£59.77)
Courgettes£30.28 (£6.89)
Tomato£25.79 (£36.19)
Broad beans£25.00 (£14.39)
Patty Pan Squash£21.98
Garlic£19.20 (£24.00)
Beetroot£16.84 (£20.30)
previous year shown in brackets

New to appear in the list:

  • redcurrants
  • patty pan

Things that disappeared off the list:

  • cherries
  • blackcurrant
  • raspberries
  • leeks

Bottom 10 in Value

It might not be because the harvest was bad, sometimes the price is just very low. Why bother growing such things could be the question, but it’s not really about saving money, sometimes it is about eating better. Don’t be fooled either, some harvests came to be in the early months of the following year and that is not reflected here, we need to wait until this time next year to see.

Sometimes, if it appears in the bottom 10 it might not be something we grow again. But that’s not always the case, we might grow a lot of something and decide we don’t like eating it. Likewise, it might be near the bottom because it’s a cheap item but we harvested enough of weight wise. What I’m really saying is the bottom value wise is doesn’t really mean much.

We had no luck with lettuce or spinach, it was a wet year and I planted the lettuce too close to the edge low down near the grass and the slugs. It wasn’t then helped when they patty pan plant swamped everything.

lettuce£0.16 (£1.83)
spinach£0.19 (£0.09)
celeriac£0.19 (1.76)
apples£0.70 (£1.38)
sprouts£0.85 (£2.68)
gooseberries£0.87 (£0.00)
swede£1.47 (£0.60)
baby book squash£1.81
butternut squash£1.90 (£3.08)
previous year shown in brackets

Top 10 in Weight (kg)

Some items such as cucumbers and garlic, I did not weigh but instead calculated the number picked – which means they do not feature in this table as it wasn’t recorded. I try not to do it if I can help it.

What can I say about the potatoes and courgettes? It was a wet spring and a warm summer, the plants loved it.

It was a good rhubarb year, but not a good year for the cherries. Allium leaf minor is all you need to say when you look at the results for onions and leeks.

Potato43.051 (15.91)
Courgette14.151 (3.21)
Rhubarb8.633 (2.541)
Broad Beans5.555 (3.35)
Patty Pan5.26
Onions4.863 (16.92)
Leeks4.769 (8.57)
Beetroot4.699 (6.07)
Parsnip4.153 (4.03)
Carrot3.353 (3.17)
previous year shown in brackets

New to the list:

  • rhubarb
  • patty pan

Disappeared from the list:

  • tomatoes (bad year for blight)
  • cherries (it goes in two year cycles)

Bottom 10 in Weight (kg)

Green things don’t weigh much. Kale and chard, of which we used plenty of, weights nothing.

The first year we grew celeriac we seemed to be lucky, we had a really good harvest which is something we have never managed to do again, so much so that we didn’t even sow any this year). It is sad to see blackberries hit the bottom, there used to be loads around the plot but a lot got dug up that were on the edges in order to “tidy the site up”, but I think I preferred the blackberries.

Being in the bottom 10 though should not be seen as bad, with it started at just under half a kilo it’s not a bad weight. At 0.009kg though I think we probably only managed to harvest one rocket leaf!

Lettuce0.1 (0.783)
Gooseberries0.13 (0)
Spinach0.138 (0.06)
Celeriac0.162 (1.098)
Kale0.271 (0.270)
Apples0.349 (0.691)
Purple Sprouting0.376 (0.14)
Sprouts0.403 (1.342)
Blackberries0.407 (1.077)
previous year shown in brackets


Fees will, and should, always be the biggest expense of the year, remember this is for just half a plot and it is a half a plot that is very much on the thin and narrow side. I love the plot and think we choose the right one for location, but I’ve never seen one so thin!

Compost is our next expense, although less than the previous year. I managed to get a lot of rotten down horse manure for free, the bought in stuff would mostly be seed compost. We spent a lot less on seeds, mainly because we already had a lot of the packets from the year previous.

Seed potatoes were a lot different in 2021. For 2020 I had got seed potatoes before the first Covid lockdown, for 2021 I did not manage this and so got them from an online seed catalogue. I’m not complaining through as we got a lot of potatoes, maybe it wasn’t just the weather that helped.

fees-£60.00 (-£58.00)
compost-£16.98 (-£22.00)
seeds-£13.50 (-£23.94)
seed potatoes-£12.97 (£5.00)
previous year shown in brackets

Sneaky view of 2022…

We must wait until next year, but a quick view so far shows the top in value and weight:

  1. rhubarb
  2. purple sprouting broccoli
  3. leeks

The only expense so far is a bit of seed compost and the seed potatoes (bought in person this time at a garden centre)

Lost and Found

Plants we didn’t grow or harvest for the year compared to last:

  • broccoli – not sure why
  • red cabbage
  • savoy cabbage
  • shallots
  • cucamelons
  • pak choi
  • fennel

Plants that were new for the year:

  • gooseberries (they are always there, but we transplanted them to the fruit cage so the birds didn’t get them)
  • rocket (although possibly not worth it)
  • spring onions (why have we not grown these before?)
  • redcurrants (always there, but in the fruit cage this year so the birds didn’t get them)
  • patty pan
  • baby boo
  • crown prince

Pretty Graphs

Just look at August, over £200 harvested, I can only imagine the amount of red currants helped a great deal. It seemed a boom and then a bust, September we had hardly anything, going in to fee paying month of October.

Value is only half the story, the weight gives the balance. July and August are potato months but as with the value graph, it seems we had picked most things by September. Likewise, July wasn’t much of a month, maybe a sign of the rain and cold we had.

A closer look at 2021, it shows the same pattern of a steady climb and then a sudden drop. The wet and cold first part of the year and then a warm August, after that it was all done.

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