Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Garden Planning!

My sort-of New Year’s resolution was to not look at my seed catalogs or think of garden planning until January. Well, January is here and I have spent the last couple days cracking out over my seed catalogs, dreaming and scheming and mapping out potential gardens. My neighbor Julie and I are co-using the garden space, so I can’t grow quite as much as I wanted, but I’m sure I’ll still pack in a lot. We chatted about what we want to grow/share (chard, arugula, and other greens) potentials for biodynamic gardening (something I’ve never really read up on, but which Julie is very keen on), and how to share the space.
Without much space to work with, I am planning on doing lots of interplanting (basil between peppers, feverfew between tomatoes, squash plants growing around corn) and using the back fence and trellises for vining plants. By using indeterminate varieties of cucumbers, peas, etc, the amount of soil space they take up is much less than bush varieties so I can fit more in overall.

It’s so much fun planning- I love the organizational aspect of it, and finding ways to barter, share seeds, and involve multiple people. My coworker Olga and I are ordering seeds together, and going to do some swapping as well from what we already have. Olga was wonderful last summer, bringing me lots of surplus produce from her garden and bestowing me with lots of herbs that would have been really expensive to buy from the store.
This year I will (attempt to) grow my own starts of tomatoes, peppers, squashes, cabbage, and onion sets. I may try starting corn inside too, as it takes so long to get going in the ground. Later this week will be the trip to the hardware store for good florescent lights with hoods, so I can replicate my mom’s plant-starting setup (which will occur under my dining table in the living room, as that is the only space available in my apartment for several square feet of planting pots and trays. Olga has a major surplus of starter pots/trays/supplies and is giving those to me for free! I always find it so amazing and gratifying how many things you can pick up for free or for trade, to save money and to reuse instead of unnecessarily putting more products into circulation. Olga is also going to trade me cucumber starts (lemon cukes and others) for tomato starts. We are trying to stick mainly to heirloom varieties of veggies in order to preserve traditional pure varieties and not funnel our money into hybridizing and patenting companies like Monsanto. Of course there are some hybrids that we both love (Bright Lights Swiss Chard comes to mind) so we will make a few exceptions.

Already my garden is getting going- my garlic came up before Christmas!

(click on images to enlarge)

I was not expecting it to show up until February at least, and was planning on fertilizing before it sprouted, but too late! I had talked with my dad about how/when to fertilize garlic, as fertilizing can make a huge difference in its growth, so last weekend I pulled back the mulch and gave both patches a dose of fish fertilizer (excellent for most veggie crops, dilution ratios differ for different types of veggies, all the ratios are listed on the container). Now it’s mostly just waiting. The sprouts are already several inches tall!

Here's some views of the garden space, from both ends:
You can see my compost bin (and the neighbor's rowboat) in the background.

Here's another view, on the same rainy day. You can where the garlic plots are "roped" off:

On top of everything else, loads of flower bulbs are sprouting! Check this out:

I have this feeling that I’ll be writing more frequently with garden updates as I get seeds ordered and everything set up for starting plants indoors.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

You should grow some flower pots!!!