Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gardening - My Plan for 2011, Part 1

Now that the 2010 garden is officially put to bed, I feel like posting about the 2011 garden. This post is going to be more of an overview. I'll post more specifics/pics, etc. as it gets closer to next Spring.

(Oh, and I just have to mention, while I love Spring and planting the garden, and things beginning again, isn't Fall wonderful too? )

I've been gardening, seriously, for 3 years now. Well, as an adult anyway. My parents had a garden when I was a child/teenager, and I helped with that (and ate lots of food from it too LOL)

My first year, the garden was very small. It was just two small beds - one with herbs, and one with zucchini squash. My second year, last year, I had the two beds at home, and then I shared a 15' x 20' plot with my sister. We grew tomatoes, onions, beans, broccoli, and cauliflower. But I didn't know much about gardening, for better or for worse. Basically, I just planted things, and they grew. Well, there were the peas that got washed out last year, but that was it.

This year, I did a lot of reading about gardening. TONS. All the reading, of course, for better or worse, was after I planted the garden this year. I still had the two beds at home for herbs and zucchini. When I planted the garden at the plot in early Spring, I still planned on gardening with my sister. Then, she went and MOVED, LOL, but I was still planning on sharing with someone. The woman came out once, and we planned on what we were going to plant, and I bought everything that we had decided on, and then I never saw her again. So I ended up planting things a little differently than if I had been doing it on my own, but still, I didn't really have a real "plan." I grew tomatoes, beans, eggplant, peppers, and broccoli. I planted, but failed at actually growing, sweet potatoes, zucchini, corn, and peas (they are conspiring against me, I think). Oh, I also failed to get any beans after the first planting. I planned to plant spinach as a fall crop, but I didn't do that either.

I have a pretty ambitious plan for 2011- I'll be expanding at home from 2 beds to 6 beds. I would have 7, but one of the original beds has now become the compost pile. (I'm so proud of myself for having a compost pile. I was all worried that it was going to be complicated, and it is, uh, NOT. LOL) There will be a bed for cooking herbs, and two beds in the front for medicinal herbs (these are already dug, but they have perennials & shrubs right now), a bed for strawberries, and two beds for salad stuff - spinach, chard, carrots, lettuce, greens, etc.) In addition to the beds, I will also be planting two dwarf pear trees and if I can figure out how to do it, grapes. I won't see strawberries this in 2011, and I won't see pears or grapes for at least a few years, but I feel like I want to plant anyway.

For the garden plot, I'm planning tomatoes (of course), beans, cucumbers, peas, broccoli, summer and winter squash, potatoes, and cantaloupe and honeydew melon. I think that is it. Seems like there is something else. But those are the major crops anyway.

Oh, and I'm planning on paying attention to you know, frost dates, and when plants should be planted in my zone, and such this year.

I still plan on buying apples and peaches at farmers market/local orchards, as well as strawberries next year (and I will probably still go after that for one big picking. My goal next year is to can at least 24 half pints of jam, 6 pints of syrup, as well as have a bunch to freeze, and enough to make at least one or two strawberry pies. ).

How about you? What are your garden plans for next year??

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