Plans for Beauty

Fortunately we have a had a cold spell the past few days.  When the temperatures drop I feel better about working inside.  I had taken a full seed inventory earlier and recycled old seed packets.  Today I started by creating a list of what I wanted/needed to buy.

My seed box and my seed inventory list

My favorite part was designing my 2012 garden.  I love pulling out a piece of paper and mapping out  everything.  I fire up my imagination and think about warm Summer days when my plants will be full and tall.  I reflected upon the lessons of the past couple of years.  I am going to use black plastic mulch for the first time, hopefully it will help my temperature sensitive plants in late May and early June.  I am also going back to using straw to mulch around plants and the spaces between plant rows.

Take a look at my plans.  Did I miss something?  I usually do.  What do you think?

The plan for the 2012 Square Garden.
My plan for the Circle Garden

For some reference the bottom of the drawings faces South, and there is little shading so all the gardens get more than eight hours of sun.

I am excited about growing some different vegetables this year.  Parsnips are new but very similar to carrots, which I have had success with before.  Rutabagas and radishes are new, and because of their season length I can get them in the same row.  Trying rutabagas will be fun.  All last Summer I questioned growing sweet corn, and it never did do well last year.  My neighbor grew popcorn last year and spoke very highly about his results, so I am going to give it a try this year.   Celery is another experiment for this year.  We have been eating a lot of celery the past couple of years and I wanted to try growing some.  I have not expectations about the results, I will give it a try to see what happens.

I am also buying three different flower seed mixes: bee feed mix, butterfly and hummingbird mix, and beneficial insect attractant mix.  I will put the different mixes along the back border of the garden.

I will put the order in this week and I will wait with anticipation until my order arrives. What are in your plans for the next garden?  What are you going to experiment with this year?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.



16 thoughts on “Plans for Beauty

  1. Looks like a plan! Do you have any plan for succession planting? The radishes will be ready early. That’s a lot of onions. I hjave to go through my stored onions and pull any that are sprouting ot going bad. I’ve never tried corn either, I’ll be interested and see how it goes with you!

    1. David, thanks for asking the succession question. Still some planning to do there. The radishes will be in early and early out so I plan to put the rutabagas in after them. Rutabagas take about 90 to 120 days but like a couple of frosts, so they will go in after the radishes. I have purchased varieties with different growing times. The carrots and like will be planted one row a week until they are filled so they should be able to come out at different times. I have grown three types of onions in the past. I think I will grow some of the white onions close together and thin them for pearl onions, those I will probably freeze. The popcorn is what I am really excited about trying this year.

    1. I did have a lot of fun. I always do my planning in pencil because I have to change so much around. I hope it’s fun, and I can keep the weeding done to keep it looking nice.

  2. Your garden will be amazing! I wish I had done succession planting more successfully than I have. All the younger plants seem to have wilted / died in the extreme heat spells we have had so only the older more established vegies have survived. No successors!

    1. Thanks Mrs Bok. Sorry about no successors. I saw your plants all drying out. This past summer was hot, for us, and I think I could have planted an entire second crop because fall was that warm, for us. Thanks for your encouragement. I really enjoy reading your blog, I always share with my wife.

  3. So far we are trying fava beans for the first time and have gone a little melon crazy. I guess we’ll blame that on global warming and curiosity. Love, your Micro farm. I guess by contrast we have a mega garden.

    1. Hi Becky. How do you use fava beans. I have seen them and thought about trying them but not sure my family would eat them. I would have gone melon cray this year, they look so great in the seed catalog. I don’t enjoy melon and my wife said she is on the down side of melon craze so not this year. I really enjoy reading about your mega garden.

  4. How exciting to grow popcorn! I look forward to seeing how it does for you. I’ve even seen a strawberry popcorn variety for sale (Baker Creek, I think?). I think your plan looks fantastic. I have containers, so I try to plan out the size and number of containers will be devoted to each vegetable. Which flowers do you plant around your veggies? Any recommendations for companion planting?

    1. Hello Angela. I chose a variety of popcorn that is supposed to be the highest production. I could have chosen a red variety, but I went for more corn ;). I have used containers, and enjoy it, but there is a lot of planning to do. In the past I have planted alyssum, cosmos, and marigolds for companion planting. I am buying a beneficial flower mix and a bee attractant flower mix from Johnny Selected Seeds to bring the type of insects I want to my garden. My recommendation are flowers that smell kind of stinky, like marigolds. If you would like more recommendations let me know I can send more.

  5. Oh, I love the circle garden! How beautiful it will be. I am trying to figure out exactly how large a garden we should have. Last year’s was too large, and it got neglected. This year I want to plant a lot – but I have to be realistic about what I can handle. I would love to try popcorn! I’ll be anxious to hear how yours does.

    1. Holley, my garden started in 25 containers. The next year I put it into the ground, the circle garden was the same size it is today. The square garden grew 50 square feet the second year. Take your time, plant only what you really enjoy eating. Look into ways of reducing weeding, like mulch and black plastic. Gardening is more fun when you don’t have to weed all the time.

  6. Don’t forget to plan vertical space. I have a 4 x 8 foot that is 6ft high as well. You can tells and string up plants. I have whats called “the bucket garden.” I try to think in growing space that is 3 dimensional. Have you got any plans like that?

    1. Thanks for commenting Howard. When I started my garden I started with 25 “Homer Buckets” from Home Depot. It was really fun having it on the back porch. I do have the luxury of land and space. So I went into the ground my second year. At that point I was thinking about vertical gardening, especially with cucumbers, pumpkins and peas. Now I think I am lazy because of my space and have no current plans for vertical gardening. However, I love the idea and when I come across cool ideas I save them. One of my favorites is an herb garden or flower garden, made from a pallet. If you are interested and would like more information I would be happy to pass it along.

  7. That’s what we need to do, plant more onions! I probably use an average of 1 every other day in the kitchen (it would be more, but I also use a lot of leeks…I LOVE leeks). The only thing that looks to be missing to me, is greens! I don’t know if you can grow lettuces during your warm season or not. I’ve become quite fond of growing Asian greens too during the summer, but our summers are relatively cool here along the coast. For us this year, the great new experiment will be tomato grafting (grafting heirlooms to disease resistant root stocks). That should be quite an adventure! 😉

    1. I have been thinking about leeks, but they have not made the experiment list yet. Also I don’t cook with them a lot, so any suggestions would be appreciated. Oh greens! I will squeeze some in, but my family has some dietary issues. Some members of my family can’t eat them, the rest of us can’t eat them fast enough. So limiting how much I grow is a good thing. The best greens are grown in the Spring and Fall avoiding the middle of the summer heat. I am fascinated by tomato grafting. I have not seen it done before but have seen the materials in the seed catalog. I will be curious to see how it goes for you.

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