Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011 Gardens - The 'Plan'

Ok, I have 3 gardens I will be focusing on. The melon patch, the veggie garden and my herb/flower beds along the front walk.

The veggie garden:

                                 Last year we tried to lay down rubber mats between each row to walk on and to keep weeds to a minimal. While they worked somewhat to reduce weeds they also reduced the amount of water able to get to the plants. Our tomatoes rotted on the vine, sometimes before they were ripe. And I really stink at weeding and watering.
                              This year I would like to try laying down old feed bags between rows. They're paper, easy to cut and place in long strips. My hope is that enough paper layers will keep the weeds away but still let the moister through. I'm going to try and follow along with the square foot gardening approach. Both with starting some seeds inside and staggering my plantings. I'd also like to try drip irrigation using old 2.5 gallon water jugs spaced evenly along the rows. My hope is to get spring, continuous summer and fall harvests.

Garden rows:
walk way
walk way
pop corn
walk way
walk way
sugar snap pea fence / pinto beans (?)
walk way
broccoli / cauliflower / brussels sprouts
walk way
sweet pepper mix / eggplant
walk way
cabbage - chinese & reg. / green beans
walk way
Beets / carrots
walk way
leeks / onions / celery
walk way
lettuce / spinach
walk way

The melon patch:

                            Last year we didn't even plant anything. The year before that everything we planted seemed to get some kind of fungus. We weren't able to harvest anything.

                            This year I'll be combining  Lasagna gardening with trellis gardening for my plants that vine but the 'fruits' don't weigh a lot, like gourds, squash and mini pumpkins. Lasagna gardening is a method where you use layers to combat weeds and enrich the soil. You don't have to till ether, which is nice. I've already laid down my first 2 layers and am working on a 3rd.

Lasagna Layers:
a thick layer of cardboard
sheep stall refuse (spent hay and manure)
peat moss
composted cow manure
peat moss
rabbit manure
peat moss
wood ashes

4 Trellises (one per corner):
winter Squash mix

1 Pyramid Trellis (in the middle):
mini Pumpkin mix

4 mounded beds:
pie Pumpkins

The herb garden: 

                                 Last year it was overrun by weeds!! And parsley. . . . . Seriously I haven't planted parsley except maybe the first year we moved here 5 years ago! Now its everywhere. 

                                 This year I'm going to be doing a little Lasagna gardening along with heavy mulching. Most of the plants are already established but there's a few I question if they are going to come back and I'll plant petunias in the spring. So, I'm going to wait until they come up then I'll start layering, plant my petunias and end with a thick layer of mulch. At least thats the plan anyway. Oh and I'm going to find a place to plant some artichokes. I guess their a member of the thistle family and are really pretty if you let them bloom. Plus the kids really like them.

To plant:

Anyway that's the plan. I'm tired just looking at it lol.

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