April 6, 2012

Backyard Garden 2012: Planning

We dug up a small garden plot in the sunniest part of the yard two weekends ago--this year we're doing three 3' x 12' rows and probably another little section somewhere for root vegetables.  We have to till in the top soil on Saturday and then later this month we'll purchase our seedlings.

I would have liked to start heirloom seedlings over the winter but with the move we didn't have time to make it happen. Hopefully next year. We're looking forward to two plant sales, one in late April and the other in early May, and I hear that heirloom seedlings will be available so that's where we're going to start.

Our first attempt at growing our own fruits and vegetables was pretty awesome, and did not require a huge investment in time once the beds were built and the seedlings planted. We grew more food than we could eat, and by August we were knocking on our neighbors' doors to relieve us from all those tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash. Mmm, speaking of squash, remember those fried squash blossoms?

This year, I want to strategize a little more and learn how to succession plant and also figure out how and when to plant the right stuff so that we can have produce year 'round.  I've been playing with an online garden planning tool that is region specific and factors in average frost dates and plant growing times. I drew out my garden area and then "planted" it with the different fruits and vegetables that we hope to grow. The program creates a plant list based on what I've put in my garden, which tells me how many plants I need of each variety, how close to space them, when to plant, and when to harvest. There are some really advanced features that help me to visualize succession planting, but I haven't quite figured them out yet. Here's what our garden plan looks like so far. The yellow block is a shed.

Do you have plans to grow any food this year?

1 comment:

  1. Very jealous! We have no outdoor space with out apartment (before he was my husband and before I came to England Philip bought the apartment and thought a parking space was better than out door space!) I am hoping we can find a property with some outdoor space when our apartment sells, yards are such a luxury over here and allotments have 3-10 year waiting list. I am hoping once we know where we are settling I can put my name on a waiting list for allotments near us. This summer the best we will get is a strawberry pot and a pot of salad greens on Grandma's patio.


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