Archive for March, 2013


The seed packets for this year.

I spent some time at one of our local garden centers last weekend and stocked up on seeds for the coming season. Having everything ready to go as the weather warms up makes me excited, and it felt a little like Christmas.

Also picked up another pair of gardening gloves because one always seems to go missing. Maybe our garage with gardening gloves is like a dryer with socks.

Finally, I grabbed a garden claw to help break up the soil, a small hoe to tear up the grass/weeds by our raised beds and another trowel. Ours always seem to bend and break so I spent a little more to get one that is a little sturdier.

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This is pretty much what my last Saturday looked like. I spent hours reading about the needs of each plant, looking up companion plants and plotting our garden.

In addition to more planning, we’re also following the square-foot garden method. Not exactly, but we plan on spacing the vegetable plants a little closer than we have in the past.

Part of the problem is we have limited areas that get enough “full sun” for some of the vegetables to thrive, which makes full crop rotations more difficult. You can find a copy of our planting plan here, but I’ll explain some of the methodology below.

  • Bed 1 – Cucumbers will go up a trellis at the back with radishes planted in front to help deter the cucumber beetle. We’ll also plant 6-7 pepper plants here with space for spinach at the front.
  • Bed 2 – Peas are going in the ground soon, and when they’re done we’ll plant green beans. Using the “three sisters” plan from Native Americans, we’re also planting squash/zucchini here. We don’t grow corn, so ours is actually the “two sisters”
  • Bed 3 – Tomatoes with basil interspersed throughout. This is a smaller bed, so we’ll also plant some grape tomatoes in containers.
  • Bed 4 – Our other “nightshade” family bed. A couple more pepper plants with at least three eggplants. Also mixing in herbs like parsley, chives and thyme, which are supposed to be good companion plants.
  • Bed 5 – “Cole” crops, which don’t require as much sun like Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Also adding a row of sage and oregano to help deter cabbage butterflies, which devastated our plants last year.
  • Bed 6 – Spinach & lettuces. This bed gets morning sun but is otherwise shaded by the maple tree in our backyard. Also planting some herbs here that supposedly deter slugs (chives) and cabbage moths (dill).

We’re still relatively new at this, so any advice on our plan would be welcome!

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