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Posts Tagged ‘gardening resources’

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 is exactly one month until spring. To me, spring means getting the garden ready and planting some of our favorite cool weather crops like peas, lettuces, spinach and broccoli.

I’ve still been reading a lot about gardening methods and strategies, but, I must admit, it hasn’t been as often as I should. And with one month to go, we’re in get-it-done mode.

Last night I busted out the gardening books and spent tons of time going through notes from last year. We have to keep a more detailed notebook for this planting season. It’s an absolute must-do goal for us.

There is also A LOT of prep work to be finished before it warms up. Primarily, it’s soil tests (which were ordered from our county) and removing the black landscape fabric from under our six raised beds.

We still have to add another layer to our wood frames, mix in new dirt, and turn under the decomposing leaves we left on each bed this fall.

I forgot how useful each of the gardening books we own is, and I don’t know why I didn’t refer to them more during the summer. They’re a great resource and I’d recommend them to anyone.

Here’s the list: The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook and Vegetable Gardening for Dummies. I felt silly buying the latter at first, but it’s really helpful. Finally, The Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening. That’s a hand-me-down from my mom, but the updated version is probably just as useful.

Now it’s back to hitting the books and getting ready to plant some vegetables as soon as the soil warms.

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