Monday, October 19, 2009

Garden Specs

This is a diagram I made to help plan my 2010 garden. Although it pretty well captures Summer 2009, I also had a Spring garden, so some of these beds have been in transition at different times. Also, I have other beds closer to the house, including a deck-full of planters that I grow most of my lettuces in. You'll notice that 2 of the Hoophouse beds were 'compost' beds in the middle of the summer; after finishing up beautiful Spring lettuces, I struggled with planting heat loving plants that I knew I would have to remove early to get my Winter garden going, or putting in fast growing plants like radishes that wouldn't tolerate the heat. Timing is everything! (Next year, I will not be caught in that situation, as I  plan to rotate to perfection...) The romaines and other greens are on the North Side of the greenhouse with seedling tables over them to provide some shade. Frequently watering and making sure that the sides were up for air movement was a constant chore. Each long side of the Hoophouse has 1/4 inch hardware cloth stapled to the inside, so that air comes in but animals don't. Or, so I think...
The 4 x 8 beds in the greenhouse were originally part of the outdoor garden. You can still see how there were 3 rows of 4 x 8 beds with aisles in between. After putting up the tunnel, we just connected the aisles to the other beds, making a big grid. We generally avoid stepping on the soil inside the beds, so whenever we want to weed or harvest, we lay a board down across the grid. The biggest lesson I learned  about the grid (other than needing a better rotation schedule) was that some plants are too hard to work around when they're full sized. This design will work better with vegetables that have a tighter habit - scallions, lettuces, carrots, beets - luckily, these plants will thrive with the afternoon shade we get.

The strawberry row has been prepped and covered with a row cloth, but the strawberry crowns were put in too late and never sprouted. So, next year.

Here's how things look today. The 'new for 2010' beds used to be up against the house, but I've decided to relocate them for 2 reasons. First off, they'll get better light, and second, I'll be able to walk all the way around them to tend bigger plants, like squash and eggplant.

I got some old windows from a neighbor down the road. He had them out in his yard with a plywood sign that read 'free' - last year someone just took the sign.  JP helped my set them up over the beds that are on the way to the chicken coop, since we knew we'd have to keep the aisle clear  of snow.
So far, so good in the greenhouse. With both the cold frames and the greenhouse, I keep reminding myself that any failures will be remedied with a really early Spring planting. Even if I have trouble in December, there are still things to plant in February. So, I will keep you posted - plans for the new and improved 2010 garden are taking up about 75% of my brain. Or rather, 75% of the 10% of my brain that I use, which makes me incredibly annoying to talk to lately, as I'm only firing at about 2.5 %. Or one and a half cylinders.

1 comment:

  1. rofl...LOVE you 'big messy compost pile' I have one of those too! Kim


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