Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kitchen Garden Report - Spring 2009

What a weekend! I hardly remember how it started. I vaguely remember a glass or four of wine and my garden plan.

That's right, folks. I made a PLAN. I am a gardening geek.

In these crazy economic times, it pays to be a bit of a gardening geek. I spent a total of $100 this year on plants and supplies, but I plan to track just how much I've saved over the year by not buying things at the market.

So, for the benefit of those of you looking to replenish a garden, or start a new one, here's how I started out this Spring:

  1. Made a list of what was growing from the Fall garden--lettuces, peas, chard, upland cress, English peas, carrots, turnips, Welsh onions, nasturtiums, and some herbs. (Not bad, eh?)
  2. Made a wish list of everything I wanted to have in the garden. (This is kind of late to be making the wish list, but I didn't do any seed-starting this year and planned to purchase plants for everything that couldn't be sown directly from seed.)
  3. Made of list of veggies, fruits, and supplies to pick up on Saturday.
  4. Got everything I wanted, plus a few extras.
  5. Measured the garden plot and a made a list of containers and their measurements.
  6. Drew out my gardens and placement of plants on graph paper. I've used Visio for this in the past. However, that felt more like the work I do everyday in the office, so I went back to the low-tech way of planning.
  7. Aerated the soil.
  8. Made several batches of planting mix from perlite, vermicompost, compost, fertilizer, and peat moss.
  9. Mixed in the new mix with the old soil, which is really looking great, by the way. See my list of resources for more on how I turned my crappy San Diego clay into some great soil.
  10. Planted everything as planned, including some seeds.
  11. Had more wine!

Plants and Seeds List -- Spring '09

  • lettuces (lolla rossa, oak leaf, black seeded simpson, buttercrunch, mesclun mix)
  • herbs and things (sage, parsley, thyme, dill, basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, arugula)
  • peppers (green jewel, orange bell, banana)
  • tomatoes (mortgage lifter, green zebra, early girl, green grape, sweet olive)
  • cucumbers (pickling)
  • onions (Welsh, yellow, chives)
  • squash (zucchini, yellow papaya pear)
  • Swiss chard
  • broccoli
  • cabbage (green)
  • carrots (Danvers Half Long)
  • radish (French breakfast, globe)
  • peas (English)
  • strawberry (sequoia, mignonette)
  • melon (charentais)
  • edible flowers (nasturtium, Alaska)
  • escarole


Super Gardening Resources
These are the main resources I used in preparing for and planting my garden. FYI for anyone who cares, my garden is a mish-mash of square foot gardening, French intensive gardening, and container gardening.

Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza--This is a great and easy way to fix your soil while using recycled waste (newspapers, cardboard, grass clippings, etc.).
Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew--Basics on how to plant lots of food in small spaces.

Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI)--Please sign their petition to plant a victory garden at the White House!
GardenWeb Square Foot and Kitchen Garden forums--Lots of helpful discussions and FAQs.

Happy gardening and happy Spring!

5 red beans:

Bob said...

Man, I wish I had a garden. But I don't even have a yard. My parents had a big garden when I was growing up, but all I really appreciated were the berries. And the snow peas, those were good. Heh. Anyway, I'm jealous of yours!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I'm planning to get more into herbs, but I think I want to grow some other things this sumer and spring. Thanks for the info, it's wonderful.

Geggie said...

I am envious! I will have a little balcony in my new place. Tomatoes and herbs perhaps? Any suggestions for growing tomatoes in containers?

tallmisto said...

Oh man. All I've done is get dirt.

I turned my kids sand box into a garden, well a big box in the ground with dirt.

I was just gonna throw some plants in it and call it a day, but some planning may be good. Thanks for the links. Happy gardening! Can't wait to see what you make with everything.

Make a Roux said...

Thank you, Bob!

Happy growing, Katherine!

Hey, Geggie! I have some toms in containers. I'd say just make sure to give a tom a big enough container and you'll be okay.

Tallmisto, what did you end up planting?

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