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:
- 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?)
- 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.)
- Made of list of veggies, fruits, and supplies to pick up on Saturday.
- Got everything I wanted, plus a few extras.
- Measured the garden plot and a made a list of containers and their measurements.
- 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.
- Aerated the soil.
- Made several batches of planting mix from perlite, vermicompost, compost, fertilizer, and peat moss.
- 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.
- Planted everything as planned, including some seeds.
- 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
- cabbage (green)
- carrots (Danvers Half Long)
- radish (French breakfast, globe)
- peas (English)
- strawberry (sequoia, mignonette)
- melon (charentais)
- edible flowers (nasturtium, Alaska)
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!