Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Garden 2010: Week 1
Sunday was planting day for our garden. I'm going to try to post progress reports each week with photos to track the progress and to make notes to myself for things to try next year.
New things for this year:
1. 8 Basil Plants planted in the garden. We LOVE pesto and after reading Jacquie's tip about freezing pesto in a sandwich sized plastic bag (flattened), I've been freezing it in the summertime. For the past three years we've grown one plant in a container (the container was too small and the basil never flourished). We usually supplement with basil from the farmers' market, but this year we are trying to grow more of our own.
2. Jon built this amazing squash trellis based on these plans from Organic Gardening. The materials cost $38 and it's super sturdy. We are growing 7 plants of 4 different squash varieties (butternut, spaghetti, zucchini, summer yellow) on this trellis and hopefully everything will flourish and cover the trellis to make room for other plants in the garden. Melissa let me know last summer that you can store butternut squash in a cool dry spot for use over the winter. She also let me know that you can freeze shredded zucchini for use later on (my mom suggests freezing it in bags that are the correct amount for whichever recipe you plan to use - zucchini bread, anyone?)
3. We went from 4 rows to 2 rows and two wider beds for things like root vegetables and greens. I think the new layout will fit more plants than before. (here is the four row layout from 2009)
4. Our indoor seedlings grew well this year (well all but the pepper plants)! I supplemented our plantings with some plants at the farmers market to fill out the garden and we only had to spend $20 on new plants (40 veggies and herbs).
5. We didn't grow any tomatoes this year. Neither of us like them that much (heresy, I know) and they take up too much room. Now we have more space for other veggies to try.
6. We didn't grow any broccoli either. The plants are huge and we always accidentally let them go to seed. It's much more convenient to buy it at the farmers market.
7. For the walking paths between rows, we got rid of the black weed barrier cloth/woodchips and put down newspapers covered with grass clippings (tip taken from Animal Vegetable Miracle).
8. I removed all of the flowers from the last row of the vegetable garden. I moved the perennials to other areas in the yard and plan to plant my beloved zinnias next to our garage for summer bouquets around the house. Because we eat more veggies than ever, every bit of space counts!
This year our garden has:
Herbs (in the garden):
Lots and lots of Basil
Herbs (in containers):
Flat Leaf Parsley
In rectangular bed #1 (5' x 10') - all direct sow seeds
Carrots (2 rows)
Radishes (2 rows)
In Rectangular bed #2 (5' x 10')
3 Varieties of Lettuce - direct sow seeds
Spinach - from seeds started indoors
Mesclun - direct sow seeds
Bok Choy - direct sow seeds
On the squash trellis (4' x 4')
Butternut Squash (1) - from seed started indoors
Spaghetti Squash (1) - from seed started indoors
Yellow Squash (3) - from the farmers market
Zucchini Squash (2) - from seeds started indoors
Under the squash trellis (4' x 4')
Mustard Greens (4) - from the farmers market
Turnip Greens (4) - from the farmers market
In Row #2 (2' x 16')
Okra (4) - from the farmers market
Swiss Chard (5) - direct sow seeds
Kale (4) - from the farmers market
Bok Choy (5) - from seeds started indoors
Bush Beans (6) - from seeds started indoors
Pole Beans (8) - direct sow seeds
In Row #1 (2' x 16')
Cucumbers (2) - from seeds started indoors
Green, Red and Yellow Peppers (11) - from the farmers market
Sweet Banana Peppers (2) - from the farmers market
For comparison, here was our garden
Goals for 2010:
- keep the weeds under control
- prune plants as needed for bigger vegetables
- grow seeds in rotation for a constant harvest (I've never tried this before)
- take better notes to learn from past mistakes
- explore organic fertilizers/pest control