Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Planning a garden

Some things you should keep in mind while planning a garden are:

  1. How much area you are working with.
  2. What you want to plant and when it gets planted.
  3. Companion planting helps maximize space and yield.
  4. Keep a path for your wheel-barrel to all areas.
Taking sometime between seasons to plan out what you're doing in spring can be a tremendous help.  It can take the burden off you in a few months when many things can be planted around the same time.  Here are a few things to keep in mind while planning.

Go outside and take a look.  Many areas can be cleaned up easily to make more room.  If you are limited on space consider potted plants.  Try the multilevel planters to practice some vertical farming.  Keep in mind the path of the sun, try to find maximum sunlight for most vegetables.

Now consider what it is you want to plant in the garden this year.  Make a list of all the foods you have always dreamed of growing yourself.  Figure out what vegetables and herbs you need to make them.  For a useful common tomato sauce, plant some tomatoes, garlic, basil, and whatever else you have enjoyed in pasta sauce.   Estimate how much room it will take up and plan likewise.

When you figure out what you want to grow, start planning on what will be grouped together.  As a rule of thumb, plant a root crop, a leafy cover crop and an above-ground vegetable together.  I would suggest looking up online for combinations that do well together.  By doing this right you can deter pests and get the most out of an area. I would also recommend a fair amount of fruit or nut trees and some taller plants spaced out.  These will help block wind and make a better environment for everything else in the garden.

Finally, plan out a path or two for your wheel-barrel.  This can save you a lot of work near the spring time.  Keep it simple and allow enough room to get to nearly all areas.  Use rocks or gravel to keep weeds at bay in the path and to add a nice touch to the landscape of the garden.  Remember to plant more than you expect to need, there will always be a friend, family-member or neighbor that would love to share in the bounty of the earth.

If you have over a half acre, consider getting a honey-bee hive or two.  The bees will help everything in your garden, they are having a tough time surviving in this quickly changing world, and they produce a good amount of honey.  Honey is a great sugar substitute and helps allergies if you eat local honey.

Go take a look at the area, figure what you want to plant.  Plant with other plants to maximize space and minimize weather and pest damage.  Leave room for easily moving equipment and compost around.  Good luck out there. It's a new year, let it be a great one. Thanks for reading.  Until next time.  

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