Garden Quest 2015 #004 – The Garden Plan of Insanity

Garden Map

Only beds #14-20 existed last year

Spring is coming, spring is coming, spring is coming! It is a balmy 55 degrees here, we have grass sighted, and the afternoon sun has been so warm the past few days that our house has gained several degrees from passive solar exposure.

While the kids played outside after school today, I paced around and made a much better map than my last few attempts. Scale is still a bit off at parts, but it’s good enough for government homestead work. I also paced off the entire lot for the first time. It is 62′ by 105′, so about 0.15 acre.

A lot of people were impressed with the garden at the end of last year, but the beds in those pictures only represent #14-20 on the map above. I thought I was doubling the space, but I think I’m closer to tripling the space. Here’s the plan for 2015 planting by bed number (this allows good record keeping for rotation and yield records). I’ll likely finetune this after referencing my companion planting books. And feel free to offer feedback!

Planting Plan:

  1. (west) cover crop; (east) green beans
  2. May not be usable because of tree present, but I will try.
  3. (early season) peas; (late season) green beans
  4. Unsure, maybe tetragonia
  5. Our peach and cherries will get planted here. Not pictured is where my pawpaw seedlings will go. Likely I will put them in the shade of the large maple pictured by the garage. At this stage, the trees still leave a lot of empty space, so I will likely plug in a few things around them.
  6. Spinach.
  7. Cover crop for future fruit plants.
  8. Beginning of our bramble hedge. Raspberries and gooseberries.
  9. Potatoes.
  10. Tomatoes/carrots
  11. Tomatoes/carrots
  12. Zucchini
  13. Rhubarb (new crowns); one existing plant currently in bed 19 (if it survived).
  14. Winter squash
  15. Tomatoes
  16. Winter squash
  17. Cover crop
  18. Strawberries (some strawberries will get interplanted with perennials against the house)
  19. Chard and kale
  20. Asparagus
  21. Mesclun
  22. Spinach
  23. Kale
  24. (early) peas; (late) green beans and tetragonia

Planning for the Future

  • Beds 1 and 15-17 will be 2016’s corn patch, hence my effort to keep some of it in cover crops.
  • Bed 7 will likely get some haskap and hardy kiwi. When it gets sun, it’s quite intense, but between the houses the sun period isn’t super long. Still not sure what the best use of this space is.
  • The large tree in the back yard is a Norway maple, which means it has an incredibly dense canopy, aggressive surface roots, and is basically useless other than as (not terribly useful because of how the sun shifts, and how we use the yard) shade. I am hoping to have it removed in 2016 or 2017, saving the logs for mushroom cultivation, and freeing up space for more plantings. I would do it myself, but power lines are involved – no thanks!
  • The main challenge in any urban garden is growing the variety you want, enough of it to be worth it, but also figuring out crop rotations to prevent disease and pest buildup. I’m still learning this site, and will probably still be learning new things by the time we leave.

2 Comments on “Garden Quest 2015 #004 – The Garden Plan of Insanity”

  1. How do you keep critters from eating all your yummy fruits and veggies? Our new house has an existing strawberry and tomato patch watered by the run-off from the swamp cooler, but the seller said squirrels ate all his strawberries.

  2. David says:

    We didn’t have much animal damage last year, but it’s going to happen unless you spend $$ on fencing. So often the advice is “plant enough to share”.

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