craft verb \'kraft\ to create with care, skill and intention

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Location, location, location (part 1)

Hi friends! So, yesterday I put together a list of what I want to grow this year. It was quick and dirty - I just scribbled down everything I could think of. That got me ready for today's gardening assignment: Go through my plant list, compare the list to available space, and start plotting out where I will put all of these darlings.

A couple of years ago, The Hubs built me an 8' x 4' raised bed. In this bed, I follow square foot gardening practices. Their website has a lot of great information, but I swear by the book as well. In this bed I mark off a grid (by stringing twine across) that gives me thirty-two 1' squares. So I went through my list and figured out how many of each type of plant I want (smaller plants can have multiple plants per square) and how many squares I would need for each kind of plant. Here's what that looks like:
Cucumbers - 2 squares @ 2 plants each (these will be trained onto a trellis to prevent them from taking over the garden)
Mild Jalapenos - 2 squares @ 1 plant each
Cayenne pepper - 1
Anaheim pepper - 2 squares @ 1 plant each
Pasilla Bajio pepper - 2 squares @ 1 plant each
Emerald Giant bell pepper - 1
Sweet mini peppers - 2 squares @ 1 plant each
Spinach - 1 square @ 9 plants each
Broccoli - 2 squares @ 1 plant each
Carrots - 2 squares @ 16 plants each
Rainbow Swiss chard - 1 square @ 4 plants each
Beets - 1 square @ 16 plants each
Kale - 1
The remaining 12 squares will be filled with some combination of tomatoes.

I have a little side bed that I want to use for melons. In that bed I will plant cantaloupe, white-meat watermelon, and a traditional watermelon.

In my herb bed - which has suffered terribly through last year's neglect - I will plant basil, rosemary, calendula, dill, cilantro, parsley, and a couple of grape tomato plants. I am fortunate that a few perennial herbs have survived, so I won't need to replant sage, chives, thyme, or oregano. Hopefully.

Finally, I like to have a few things in pots. So I will plant a mesclun lettuce mix, peppermint, and spearmint in pots.

I have grown most, but not all, of these plants before and have had mixed success. But that's the way my garden grows. It's like a metaphor for life. You win some, you lose some. But it's fun and the kids get a big kick out of watching everything grow. Every once in a while they'll even take a bite of a vegetable just because they watched it grow in the back yard.

Tomorrow, I will comb through my list again to figure out which plants I will direct-seed, which ones I will start indoors, and which ones I will purchase seedlings for. Also, it's time to start gathering the supplies to start my indoor seeds so I can get them going in a couple of days!

Will you share your list here? Maybe we can even start scheming on some swaps!
See you tomorrow!

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