The 2014 Garden Plan is complete! We know what we are planting, how much, and it is mapped out as to what is going where. Some of the amounts are daunting, but it is our goal to put up enough to feed our family through the winter, although we have yet to reach that goal we keep trying. Here is how much we are planting of each variety:
- Asparagus: already in the ground from last year, first year to harvest a small amount
- Basil: Sweet Basil – 2
- Beans: Provider – 81, Purple Queen – 900, and Gold Rush – 54
- Beets: Touchstone Gold – 54 (+ 10 roots saved from last year to go to seed)
- Brussel Sprouts: Jade Cross – 14
- Cabbage: Earliana – 7
- Carrot: St. Valery and Royal Chantenay – 1,544 (some of both varieties but mostly St. Valery) +10 roots saved from last year to go to seed this year
- Cilantro – 2
- Comfrey – 4+
- Cucumbers: Burpee Pickler – 12 and White Wonder – 2
- Garlic: Already in the ground from last fall (our first try at fall planting – supposedly isn’t the best way to do it in our climate but wanted to try since spring planting isn’t working either)
- Lettuce: 36 of all of these varieties: Red Looseleaf, Matina Sweet, Mesclun Baby Blend, Green & Purple Butterhead, and Paris Island Cos (+24 Green and Purple Butterhead for seed)
- Marigolds – 6
- Nasturtiums – 6
- Mint – 5
- Onion: White Ebenezer – as many as come in a package of sets
- Oregano – 1
- Parsley – 2
- Pea (sweet): Dakota – 556
- Pea (snap): Mammoth Melting Sugar and Sugar Ann – 24 of each
- Potato: Red Ruby, Yellow Finn, and ? – unknown amount still
- Pumpkin: Small Sugar – 2, Fairytale Pumpkin – 2, Long Island Cheese – 2
- Rosemary – 1
- Sage – 1
- Spinach: Gigante Inverno and Melody – 36 of both
- Squash: Ebony Acorn – 2, Burpee Butterbush – 2, and Bugle Butternut – 2
- Tomato: Red Pear – 4, Orange Pixie – 4, Glacier Early – 4, Roma – 4, and Independence Day – 4
- Turnip: Purple Top White Globe – 45
Last year was our first year to begin switching to all heirlooms (we’re not totally there yet) and learn to save seeds. We are hoping to expand on our seed saving this year. We will be planting the roots that we saved from last year from 10 beets and 10 carrots so that they can go to seed (more on that later). It is also our goal to save more roots this year from the beets, turnips, and carrots to go to seed next year. We also want to save seeds from lettuce, beans, and peas this year.
Our big experiments this year are the tomatoes and the potatoes. We have never tried tomatoes here because our climate just can’t give them the sun, heat, and time they need. But we decided to try them this year. We picked some early varieties and we are going to try to grow them in 2 locations within the vegetable garden (utilizing the warmest, sunniest location as well as the heat reflecting off the building), as well as one other outdoor location, and inside too. We will see if any variety works out at all, and if so, which location is best.
We have tried potatoes before, but never with much luck. We are going to plant potatoes in a few different ways as well to see which works best. I’ll do a detailed post about that when we get them planted.
Over the winter I did an experiment by bringing in my perennial herbs and overwintering them in their pots in the mud room. This week I brought them into the house and watered them a bunch and put them in the window. We will see if they will come back or not. I think maybe the mud room got too cold a few times, but you never know. If it works I can do this with these herbs every year.
We will continue with the grow heap experiment from last year by planting all the winter squash and pumpkins on a compost pile/grow heap. It worked pretty well, but they got frosted early on so we are going to try again and use Wall-of-Waters on them when they first go out to prevent frost and see if we can have a really great result.
It is SO wonderful to be in the garden planning mode. The start of the garden season is full of optimism and hope for the coming year. That is what we love about it!