Thursday, March 20, 2008

2008 Garden Plan

My working garden plan is complete! I wasn't able to till the ground today (the tiller needs a new condenser), but I staked off the boundaries so I know right where to direct my husband to till.

My husband requested room to mow around the garden this year, since I had almost butted it up against the fence my first year. So I measured the width of the mower and gave him that and an extra two feet for clearance all around. That shrunk my garden just a bit, but it's still plenty big for just a second-year gardener. It's 15x30'.

I'm running my rows shortways and putting 2' footpaths between each row (wider by the melons). Here's what the rows look like:

  • 3 rows corn
  • 1 row watermelons and cantaloupes (they're space hogs, but I love them) - 1/2 row each
  • 1 row mild banana peppers and green peppers - 1/2 row each
  • 1 row cucumbers
  • 1 row lettuce and tomatoes - 1/2 row each
  • 1 row beets
  • 1 row onions
  • 1 row radishes and carrots - 1/2 row each

I arranged them that way so that I can start planting at one end of the garden and finish at the other end. It seemed easier to my way of thinking, since I know nothing about companion planting.

Once I harvest the radishes, I'm going to plant broccoli in their place. Once I harvest the beets, I'm going to plant more radishes and some marigolds (for cut flowers) in their place.

Okay, are you ready for a listmaker's over-organized garden plans? I know it's not all going to work out this neatly, but I did the following charts to help guide me (so my broccoli doesn't all flower before I realize it's ready to be picked, as happened my first year) ...

Planting Schedule
Week of 3/24 - radishes, carrots, onion sets, beets, lettuce
Week of 4/21 - tomatoes, cucumbers, banana peppers, green peppers, corn, broccoli
Week of 4/28 - watermelons, cantaloupes
Week of 5/12 - radishes, marigolds
Week of 7/14 - corn (second crop) ???

Harvesting Schedule
Week of 4/14 - radishes (On 4/21, plant broccoli in their place.)
Week of 5/12 - beets (Plant radishes and marigolds in their place.)
Week of 6/2 - carrots
Week of 6/9 - lettuce
Week of 6/30 - banana peppers, green peppers
Week of 7/14 - cucumbers, corn (I might replant the corn.)
Week of 7/28 - watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, onions

And of course I have a specific plan for everything in this garden:

  • Corn - I'll freeze some on the cob and take the rest off before freezing.
  • Watermelons and cantaloupes - to enjoy fresh to our heart's content!
  • Banana peppers - I'll can and pickle these since my husband dearly loves them.
  • Green peppers - I'll chop and freeze these (1/baggie) to use throughout the next year.
  • Cucumbers - I'll can and pickle these, doing half dill (for my husband and kids) and half bread and butter (for me and kids).
  • Lettuce - to enjoy fresh to our heart's content, and probably share with others!
  • Tomatoes - We'll enjoy some of these in fresh tomato sandwiches (yum!), but I'll also be canning spaghetti sauce.
  • Beets - I'll can and pickle these so I can get my "pickled eggs" fix whenever I want (my husband eats the beets, so we're a great pair).
  • Onions - We'll enjoy some of these fresh, but I'll dry (or chop and freeze) whatever we don't use right away.
  • Radishes - My kids and I love these fresh, and they'll make a great accompaniment to the lettuce for salads.
  • Carrots - I'll probably can these. My kids go crazy for carrots.
  • Broccoli - I'll freeze these.

So there you have it - my entire garden plan for this year. I'd love to include more cut flowers, but there isn't any more room for them in my main garden. I'm racking my brain trying to think of where else a flower garden would look good on our property. I'll let you know if I come up with anything.


jemilyea said...

Everything you're planting sounds so good! Please keep us updated, and post pictures of the garden's progress.

No okra, squash, and zucchini? Or do you have friends who send over loads of zucchini?