We're wondering about growing vegetables again this year. We have about 300 sq ft of space for an organic garden, and we've done gardening off and on for ten years or so. But when we got serious for a few years, here's what happened:
- great yield, relatively few bugs
- potato beetles found the potatoes and tomatoes, reduced yield
- potato beetles found the potatoes and tomatoes, japanese beetles found the beans, reduced yield further
- potato beetles found the potatoes and tomatoes, tomato hornworms ate the rest of the tomatoes, japanese beetles found the beans, even smaller yield
- all of the above, but wire worms ate the root crops too, HUGE tomato hornworms at the tomatoes, vine borers killed the squash, and the chipmunks decided to take some for themselves too
You get the idea. The pests were winning. I handpicked the bugs, and tried some natural-ish techniques (soapy water, for instance). We did crop rotation. We planted Nasturtiums. It didn't really make a dent in the onslaught.
Despite all this, we did get something from the garden, but we certainly wouldn't be self sufficient.
My takeaway from this is that we'd probably need to use pesticides to get a good yield.
Has anyone had good luck with a garden, year after year?