Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garden 2010: Week 1

Garden 2010: Day 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.
Squash Trellis
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):
Chives
Thyme
Lots and lots of Basil
Sage
Oregano
Rosemary

Herbs (in containers):
Flat Leaf Parsley
Parsley
Mint
Dill
Oregano
Shiso


In rectangular bed #1 (5' x 10') - all direct sow seeds
Spring Onions
Leeks
Onions
Parsnips
Turnips
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
Herbs

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
in 2007
2007 garden


in 2008
2008 garden

in 2009
2009 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

17 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks like a lot of work but it also looks like a lot of fun! I wish we had some space to have a garden. Maybe one day. I'm excited to see how it all comes along and grows. It looks like you will have tons of great veggies and herbs to choose from daily! Great work.

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  2. This looks great! I'm into our second growing season at our home, and I am constantly playing with our three gardens (herb, fruit and vegetable). I look forward to learning some things from you...that trellis is amazing! I penciled it in my wish list for next year. Our improvements for this year were to raise the veg. bed and make a rain barrel. I look forward to reading your garden notes in the weeks to come!

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  3. Wow! You are so organized! Last year I planted nothing but tomatoes and lost every last one of them to late blight. I am trying some new things this year... spinach, mint and spaghetti squash. You have inspired me to start a gardening notebook. Hopefully, that will help me remember what did and didn't grow well. Thanks for the inspiration! I'm looking forward to watching your garden grow.

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  4. Wow - that is an amazing list! I am a terrible gardner and always let things die - I think it gets so hot here and I forget to water :-)
    can't wait to see the progress reports!

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  5. Thanks so much for your notes! I might start mine this year, but we'll definitely be ready next year!

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  6. Tons of stuff in your garden, very cool! I used a friend's garden one year, and two things I learned: basil from the garden/outside tastes a million times better than basil grown indoors - the flavour is much more intense! And I make the pesto all at once, then freeze it in ice cube trees and plop the cubes into tupperware to keep frozen until I need a cube, makes hardly any mess and means I don't have to wash lots of ziploc bags :)
    Cheers,
    Christine

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  7. Yikes you guys have been busy! I'm not much of a gardener... I hope this year I get round to doing more veggies. And definitely more basil... I killed my basil pot plant last year after I picked all the leaves off for pesto heehee

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  8. You have the most variety I have ever seen in a home garden. I wish I had thought of parsnips and leeks. We have only traditional beans, squash, strawberries, potatoes and tomatoes. Next year....

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  9. I think you're really being ambitious! You've got a great variety going. I freeze my pesto in ice cube trays and then pop out and put in a freezer bag. Oh my gosh, it's so good.

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  10. WOW! You have a lot of plants in that garden. I'm not a gardener but looking at yours makes me want to be! I'll look forward to the updates and harvesting!

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  11. Wow, you guys are ambitious!!
    Makes me wish I had a garden.

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  12. I soooo love your gardens--which look like my dream gardens! I can't wait to hear all about your gardening adventures this year!

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  13. Your garden looks great! I can't wait to see your progress. It makes me want to go out and expand ours, but I'm trying not to be too over-amibitious in our first year!

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  14. that is an amazing list and you a re so organized! can wait to see the progress. This year it will be the first planting directly to the floor for us, we did just on pots before... but i need a list like yours!

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  15. wow! this is all super impressive! that trellis is awesome and what a feast you are in for!

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  16. everything looks fantastic!
    i love the squash trellis!

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