Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Garden Plan 2009

I am taking advantage of not having school today because it is Town Meeting Day to plan my garden. I liked the idea suggested on Henbogle of using an Excel Spreadsheet because you can easily move things around. I use the square foot method, so I made my 3' by 8' beds with square cells. I planned what the garden would look like in April (if I'm lucky enough to be able to get the ground thawed then) and May. Then I copied those plans and added in the June plantings of warmer weather crops. The crop name is followed by how many plants I'll be putting in the square.

My beds are actually actually oriented horizontally next to each other like bricks are in a wall, but for the spreadsheet and the image it was easier to place the north bed above the south bed. Below is the plan for April/May.

And here is the plan for June.
I didn't plan beyond that because everything is subject to change and July's arrangement will depend on how fast earlier crops mature.

Last year I experimented with a lot of variety but it felt as though we just had little tastes of each kind. This year, I'm trying to plant more squares of fewer kinds of vegetables. I left out winter squash because it takes up so much space and I only got one squash from each plant last year. I left out the brussels sprouts because they take so long to mature and take up a fair amount of space too. Last year I experimented with leeks and shallots and onions. The shallots were poor, as were the onions. The leeks did well, so if I see seedlings as deal I might try to squeeze some in.

I added cucumbers to the plot because I enjoyed making pickles last year and it would be easier if they come from my own garden. We enjoyed the Romano Beans last year but they didn't make good Dilly Beans. So I ordered Blue Lake Bush beans and we'll give those a try instead. We loved our Rainbow Chard last year so I'm planting more as well as a variety called Pot of Gold that is all yellow. We enjoyed an asian green called Tatsoi when we got it from our CSA so I'm giving that a try too.
We enjoyed beets, but prefer golden beets so I added those varieties. I added another variety of carrots (Purple Haze) and made sure I gave them a sunnier spot so that they will mature faster. I'm expanding salad greens by adding Freckles Romaine Lettuce and Arugula. We're also planting more spinach. I'm giving peas another try, though I need to pick up some inoculant so that hopefully they do a better job of sprouting than before.

My tomato varieties are up in the air. I saved a few seeds from my yellow heirloom last year and a few zebra tomatoes from store bought heirlooms. I'm not sure if they'll sprout, or if I'll be able to raise healthy enough seedlings with only my sunny windowsills. I'll give it a try and if it doesn't work, revert to other sources.

So now that my garden is planned, it is time for the snow to start melting.Only 9 inches to go!

1 comment:

Dan said...

It certainly still looks like winter in your yard but I am sure it will be gone before you know it. Evert your eyes from the photo of my yard as I have no snow on the ground :-)

Nice looking plans, looks like we are growing a few of the same things. I am trying the brussels sprouts one more time but if they don't perform that will be the end of them for me too.

Your tomatoes should do well in a sunny window. The best part about tomatoes is if they grow to tall you can just bury the stem deeper. Shop lights work well too, they are $20-$30 and come ready to plug in.