Friday, May 31, 2013

My Garden, Part 1

So, for a city kitty, I cannot claim to be unfamiliar with vegetable gardening.  The city's parks and rec has a Garden Plot area, where you can register for a 20'x20' plot.  We did that for 3 or 4 years (Before Child, in other words).  I grew tomato, pepper, lettuce, spinach, squash, flowers, corn (sorta), beans, broccoli, and carrots.  I checked out a book from the public library and learned how to can.  I know canning is trendy right now, but I did that back in 2002.

After Child, I moved on to different kinds of vegetable gardening in much smaller spaces.  Tomatoes in deep pots, lazy beds of greens, peas with trellises of corn, melons (that were devoured by the @#$^$% groundhogs), and even strawberries in cute pots.

Now, I get to go larger scale again.  At the farm, I'll have a bed of 11'x20' as part of an enclosed garden with deer fencing.  I love planning out my plot: digging out my lazy gardening and companion planting books*, scaling the plan on graph paper (3/8 scale, thank you very much), and drawing with colored pencil exactly where and what and how many I will be planting.
Garden plot 2013

I've learned that LOTS of critters hate marigolds.  So I put a border of marigolds around my plot.  They also attract butterflies and bees.  At the bottom, you see my tomato bed, mostly Roma for canning salsas, marinara, and whole tomatoes.  Really close together, right?  I learned from my deep pot tomato planting (and from lazy gardening sources) that creating an ecosystem for the plants can help the plants produce better.  (The downside is that it can endanger the plants if any have disease or a bug infestation... but more on that later.)

Above the tomatoes, I have a row of nasturtiums.  Pretty and attractive to pollinators, true, but they also repel certain pests.  Interspersed, you see some red X's-- borage, another flowering herb that attracts bees and butterflies and repels slightly different pests.

Above that, 2 zukes, and then 2 varieties of winter squash that I love to eat, but have never tried growing:  butternut and spaghetti.

We finally get to a planned path, and I've created a bed for carrots, the plan being I will sow every two weeks later in the growing season.  Another path, and then the top two beds:  one for hot peppers (serrano is my choice, but I will take what I can find as long as it's hot!) and then another larger bed for cukes, and corn with peas planted later.

Ambitious?  Perhaps.  The proof will be in the planting.

*Here are my favorite books, although I have about a dozen more.  I've added links to Amazon in case you are interested.  I also use a book about growing fruits and vegetables in my state-- mighty handy!
Tips for the Lazy Gardener by Linda Tilgner
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte

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