Can you believe this holiday weekend weather we’ve had? So this is what we suffered through a polar vortex for!! Today I’m going to share our 2014 garden planning sketches and the plant varieties we stuck in the ground this year. If you’re inspired by what you see here, be sure to check out these posts from the archives that will make 2014 your best green-thumb year ever:
- Get Your Grow On 2013
- Finding the Perfect Container Garden
- Find it Local Friday: Your Summer Veggie Plan
- Digital Gardening: Free Apps for your Green Thumb
- Edible Landscapes
- How to Grow Spinach
Garden Planning: The Basics
This year I sketched out our plans with one urban gardening rule in mind: grow what you love the most in the closest space you have. Although our community garden plot is only three blocks away from our townhouse, when I’m standing in front of the refrigerator at 6 AM trying to pack my lunchbox, running up the street for some fresh lettuce is not going to happen. Same with that snippet of fresh oregano I want for a pasta sauce bubbling on the stove. For those need-it-now items, it’s best to have them right outside the patio door. Then the community garden plot can have our canning tomatoes, squash and veggies that will need extra prep in the kitchen anyway.
We’re also trying a new strategy for the community garden plot to make the space more efficient this season. The past few years we’ve tried to plant one or two of everything, and didn’t end up with a decent crop of anything. Although I love to watch that one deep purple eggplant grow all summer long, by mid-July I can buy a whole tray of eggplants at the farmers’ market for $1. Same for our attempts to grow corn, pumpkins and carrots. They’ve taken up lots of space in our plot but never delivered the yield we really wanted. With our summer calendar starting to fill up already, we’re focusing on plants that need less care and the most yield for the space we have.
Garden Planning: The Patio Sketch
Here’s what we’re planning for the patio:
- T = 4 small “snack” variety tomatoes including: 1 yellow pear, 1 grape, 1 sweet 100, and an Indigo Kumquat heirloom variety (cross between an Indigo Rose and a yellow cherry).
- Mixed Lettuce and gourmet greens
- Snap Peas – spring crop planted May 4 and a fall crop planted late-July.
In the Little Acre Garden Bag:
- 4 English slicing cucumbers for salads trellised up the back wall of the garden.
- 1 row of romaine lettuce
- a “wild planted” herb patch including: garlic chives, cilantro, tarragon, parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano, and lemon thyme.
- A few potted flowers for color and the two Norfolk pines from our kitchen which al make their way out to their “summer home” sometime this month.
Garden Planning: The Community Garden Plot
Here’s a sketch of what “mostly” we planned for the community garden. I went with onions on either end and marigolds on the outside edges every 5 feet or so to give any potential “intruders” a nasty smell that says stay away from my veggies. We also made a last-minute change from beets (seen in as “B” in the sketch) to rows of swiss chard and pak choi.
- Tiny circles on either end = 1 row of sweet white onions, planted from seedlings and 1 row of bulk golden-yellow onions, started from onion sets
- T = 8 tomato plants, including roma, beefsteak, and hybrid sauce tomatoes.
- P = 3 pepper plants (2 California Wonder and 1 jalapeño)
- Z = zucchini
- S = winter squash (1 delicata, 1 buttercup, and 1 sweet dumpling)
- C = 4 cucumbers (a burpless slicing variety we’re hoping to grow vertical on a trellis)
- 5 strawberry plants that came back from last year (no records on what variety they were. Likely something I picked up late and stuck in the ground!)
- Small S = Two 5′ rows of spinach
- One 5′ row of pak choi
- Two 5′ rows of Bright Lights swiss chard
- Bean = Two 5′ rows of Contender Bush Beans
- B = 8 broccoli plants
- 8 marigolds spaced out around the perimeter
Looking forward to sharing what we harvest this year – look for pound for pound weigh-ins as the season goes!.