Monday, April 9, 2012

Vegetable Garden 2.0

Last year's garden was all about experimentation.  With my travel schedule, barely amended soil and having never grown anything in Colorado before, I was pretty excited just to get anything edible out of the garden.

This year's garden will be with more purpose.  Seriously though, who am I kidding?  Gardening always has an element of experimentation with it.  Right?

Anyway, the purpose is to grow food for us to eat.  Plus a little more so we can share, can or freeze but not so much that we end up hating the thing that is in over abundance.  :-)
  • I won't plant as much summer squash.  We had so much last year that Hubba finally refused to eat any more and started using them for target practice.
  • I will plant about the same number of Roma tomatoes, but put them in a different location.  I think they need a bit more water than they got last year.  The tomato sauce I made and canned last year was quite tasty, so perhaps with a different configuration we can yield more and prevent the need to buy any commercially canned tomato sauce in the future.
tomatoes and zucchini from last year's harvest
  • I think I will add a couple of grape or pear tomatoes as well a few more heirlooms for sandwiches.
  • Of course I will try chiles again, but this time plant them in the whiskey barrels on the porch.  They got too much water in the garden last year and the porch can provide the hot, dry environment that chiles love.
  • Root Vegetables.  Root Vegetables.  Root Vegetables.  I will make a lot more space for root vegetables: beets, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes and perhaps parsnips and turnips.  Yumm.
  • I will try corn again.  Since corn is technically a grass, I'm certain it needed a lot more water than it got last year.
  • I will also try melons and cucumbers again as well as a few peas and beans for the first time.
  • We are planning to put in a few berry bushes.  I'm pretty sure we've decided where, but that means planting won't be until later in the summer because we need to do some serious soil improvement in that location.
thyme that survived the winter and rosemary that did not
  • Finally, Herbs!  I still can't quite get used to the fact that Rosemary is an annual here.  But the thyme came back which was a nice surprise.  Of course that means I either need to move it or get another whiskey barrel since I was planning to put chiles there this year.
plum blossoms

So far it's been a mild spring without any hard freezes or hail.  I'm hoping that it continues since most of our fruit trees are blooming now and we greatly missed the applesauce over last winter.

I've got my plant list together and the basic layout.  There are a few more wheelbarrows of alpaca manure to move and a structure to build for the beans and peas.  Then I'll be ready to see if my adjustments were good or bad.  :-)


MarmePurl said...

Last year I lost all my yellow squash to vine bore, but had the motherload of romas from just 2 plants.
I used to work on a CSA veggie farm that got all of it's manure from the alpaca farm next door. Makes for wonderful produce. Happy planting.

city garden country garden said...

How exciting, we are both going into the second year of planting, knowing a whole lot more, but also facing the challenge of not being able to use that excuse "It's just an experiment" quite as much this year!!

Voie de Vie said...

I remember all the squash ... and the great tomatoes from last season. The herbs and root veggies are the best new plantings to my ears. Fresh snipped thyme and basil ... yummmmmmm. Any sage in the mix?

Kathryn Ray said...

Absolutely sage, chives and cilantro are also on the list.

It looks like I may need to pick up a couple of whiskey barrels. But I really should find a permanent spot for the herbs.