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Posts Tagged ‘container garden’

Here it is, our grand garden plan. It’s ambitious, but I’m optimistic about it.

We’re trying something new this year, both with vegetables and planning. Last year everything worked fairly well, and we stuck to the plan — for the most part. This year, we’re adding carrots, which is something we’ve never tried before. And we’re going to try again with Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale because none worked particularly well.

The broccoli bolted pretty early, the Brussels sprouts never really grew and the kale was knocked over and destroyed by squirrels. We’re also going to try to follow the square-foot gardening method a little more closely. We sort of tried it last year, but not exactly.

Our garden plan for this year. It's a mix of square-foot gardening and succession planting, plus some container plants.

Our garden plan for this year. It’s a mix of square-foot gardening and succession planting, plus some container plants.

I’ve also splurged ($25 for a year) on the garden planner tool from Mother Earth News. In the little bit I’ve played around with it, the tools are really great, and it’s what I used to create the picture above. Some are harder to see, so I’ll explain what’s in each bed.

It looks very crowded because I have “all months” showing, but there is some succession planting going on here — the peas will be gone before the tomatoes need the room; the garlic will be pulled before the zucchini needs room to spread, etc.

We’re also going to use our “alternative pots,” which are basically old coffee containers and big buckets that used to contain cat litter. Everything will be washed and have holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.

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There’s nothing better than a fresh tomato picked right from the garden. I think the wonderful taste can convert even the staunchest of tomato-haters.

Case in point: Matt never liked tomatoes (he’d eat every kind of tomato product – salsa, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, etc. – but never the actual fruit), but after I made him repeatedly try tomatoes for a couple years, he’s starting to come around. Now he occasionally asks for tomato on sandwiches or salads.

Deer sheared off the tops of our tomato plants.

I’m not sure he’d eat a whole tomato himself so we plant these mostly for me–just give me a salt shaker and I can easily eat a few raw tomatoes.

This year, like the past two growing seasons, we planted two slicing varieties, two Roma and two grape tomato plants. We were happily watching our plants get established until one day I noticed something went wrong.

Three of the plants (both grape tomatoes and the early girl slicing variety) had stumps for stalks. It didn’t take long to figure out the deer chewed off the top part of the plant. Fearing they wouldn’t recover, we transplanted those into pots and replanted a few as replacements.

Now everything seems to be thriving, which is a good thing. I’d be thrilled with tons of tomatoes and can’t wait to see the first signs of the tomatoes turning red!

Grape tomato plant recovered after deer chewed off the tops.

Blossoms!

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