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Garden 2011 Review and Plans 2012

I asked Hounds in the Kitchen Facebook fans what they wanted to read today and they chose garden plans. If your favorite was an alternative topic (salt, cornbread, or charcoal) I'll get to it soon! I remember hanging out of a second story window last year to get the overhead view for the 2011 Garden Plans post. I had big plans.

squash growing on vine

Then the spring rains came...for a month on end. The few peas that poked their leaves through the wet soil were mowed down by sparrows. Most of our early season crops like spinach, radish, and lettuce did not get enough sun through the rain to even sprout.

Early spring winds also knocked off most of our fruit tree blossoms. Raspberries were the only fruit we harvested in any quantity.

Summer sunshine finally arrived and we planted a variety of seedlings, many from Swainway Urban Farm. Everything grew well but unfortunately some bacteria grew in my sinuses and I suffered lethargy, sinus pain and pressure for two months.

The potato, onion, and garlic harvest were so minimal as to not be worth the space we planted them in. I don't know if they didn't do well due to my negligence or the weather, but I think we'll skip planting these until we have more space. By the way, City Folk's Farm Shop is getting a shipment of organic seed potatoes March 26th if you are planting potatoes this year.

tomatoes growing on vine

Farmers and backyard growers alike agree that 2011 was not a good year for tomatoes.  We barely had enough for fresh eating and canning a few batches of sauce. I did discover a new favorite variety - black prince - and I hope to grow more of these rich purple beauties this year.

purple beauty pepper

Thankfully the peppers were grand. Lillian loved Jimmy Nardellos, I pickled pepperonicinis, and we are still eating frozen pimentos. I tricked my peppers into not cross pollinating by planting the sweets early (May 1) and spicy anchos much later (June 1).

2012 Garden Plans

For all the planning I usually do, I have nothing for 2012. Really nothing.

I am uninspired because I do not know where we will live this summer. I truly hope we will sell our house and move before the real growing season is under way. (By the way, I cleaned top to bottom and took pictures yesterday. If you want to see them, head over to the 'Sell the Homestead' Flickr set.)

I am scattering seeds (peas, spinach, and lettuce so far) so that our raised beds are full for the next home owners or for us if we end up staying. I didn't start any seeds indoors because I'll be bartering some of my Swainway Urban Farm market hours for Swainway seedlings.

reading seed packets for kids garden plan

For all that I'm not planning, Lil is on top of things. She independently came up with the idea of marking out a pattern and planting seeds in squares. Ever heard of square foot gardening? I told her a little bit about the idea and drew a grid to represent one of our 5'x5' beds that she can use.

I helped Lil read the back of the seed packets for the vegetables she picked. The visual guides are handy for a beginning reader! She made a key for plants she wants to grow and put them in the grid. We will plant the first seeds in the next few days.

kindergarten garden plan

What are your garden plans this year?

If you are starting from scratch, consider downloading my Grow Your Garden ebook.