Sunday, January 23, 2011

Garden Resolutions for 2011

I started planning for the 2011 vegetable gardening season by looking back at 2010. This practice is entirely akin to New Year's Resolutions, although I am very hopeful that I will be more successful with keeping this plans than with any New Year's resolution.

The first step is to contemplate last year's garden - and what I'd do differently...
1) Plant fewer tomatoes
2) Give up on zucchini and summer squash and buy it at the local farm
3) Succession-plant lettuce from spring through fall and pay close attention to its growth (don't let it fry in the July sun alone!)
4) Figure out a way to get pole beans to grow; plant a few bush beans just in case I'm not successful again
5) Plant all squash on the leachfield side of the garden, so that the runners can grow on top of the leach field.
6) Work on growing cilantro better; succession-plant like crazy
7) Lighten the soil for carrots, so that they are not all 1-inch long!
8) Build sufficient trellises for vining crops

The second step is to think about what new things I'd like to try this year...
1) Try new types of cold-hardy greens- beet greens, mache, sylvetta arugula
2) Try growing vegetables that I really like that are hard to find at local farms - celery, cauliflower, parsnips, brussels sprouts
3) Try to start herbs from seed - rosemary and basil (I've planted basil seeds before and they have had spotty success)
4) Get Adam to build the cold frame for one of the garden beds
5) Plant more flowers so that the garden is beautiful, productive and attractive to pollinators

The third step is to draw out how I can accommodate the ideas generated from steps one and two. I haven't quite made it to step three yet - it's going to take some work to figure out how many seedlings I need to plant and where they are can fit in my four vegetable garden beds. I estimate that right now, I've got just over 100 square feet of open garden bed to work with. Even in that small space, the possibilities are nearly endless.

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