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Thursday, February 3, 2011

planning a new garden

This task is HUGE!
I have a section of the estate I am devoting to food.  The issue is how to do it where it will not overwhelm me with up keep.  This is my list of SEEDS I have saved from last year!

This is a list of things I need for food this year...  ( on the right page)

My lot is 70 by 70 at least... although there are other trees around this that will effect sun, drainage etc... I believe to save myself issues I will plan the garden at 65x65 feet square.  4225 square feet to deal with!   That is a lot for food IF I do it correctly.

Other issues.   Hill to the north, Hill to the East, Woods on North, West and East Road to the south!
I have no structures, but I do have some tree roots to work around.  Why are these issues? because...this effects wind, rain and creates a micro climate a little different from the area...

My goal for this year is to create some raised planting beds, some I will use... some I will use as compost for next year and years to come.  This is the idea so far.

OK... if you enlarge the picture above you will see I only have 22x30 planned plot!   Why so little?

1.  Well in truth the smaller the garden the more likely you are to keep it up!
2. Not all of this is plants... so in reality I am planning an even smaller garden than this!
          the 16 foot solid lines are all going to be compost heaps for NEXT years raised beds.  I may throw some easy to manage plants in the heaps OR plant them with oats, rye, or clover all item that are good to turn into the soil to add nitrogen, and other benefits.
3.  If I can companion plant...
 First back two rows... Corn on the two back rows I can get... 14 stalks of corn in each row MINIMAL  plant one group with beans growing UP the corn, and plant pumpkins to cover the soil to keep down weeds.
Corn also on the back row to the right but this one with green peas growing UP the corn stalks, and different squashes to keep the soil weeds down.  This takes care of 5 different plants in a small area and gives me less work for weeding 5 different rows....

Then another row of composting...
Second set of rows... Then two more divided rows of food, These I have noted as Tomatoes and Basil knowing in order to get my garden more proficient I will need MORE food in these rows.  So I may add ONIONS in the spring and Garlic in the fall on ONE row then... Carrots  and cucumbers along the other row.  I am also likely to use a BED FRAME to have some tomatoes grow up while allowing others to spread over the ground.

then another row of composting... after all I have plenty!
Third set of rows.... then I have noted Lettuce and kale!   This is where it gets harder.  Lettuce and kale need to be sown every two weeks, BUT they also need to be covered by something during the horribly hot months of summer.  I may use this row for Flowers, and Brusselsprouts  for height, lettuce, cabbage, kale, Broccoli, and Cauliflower.  this is hard mixture but I call it my salad row...

yet another row of composting...
Then my last row... maybe? ... which will be potatoes of ALL kinds... I want this close to the front so I am reminded to heal them up every week!   Also in my rotation they will be moved farther to the back next year but will never make it all the way to the back as this will be the most moist place in the garden...

It is all just a start!
What are your plans for your garden this year.

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