Garden Quest 2015 #004 – The Garden Plan of InsanityPosted: March 9, 2015
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!
- (west) cover crop; (east) green beans
- May not be usable because of tree present, but I will try.
- (early season) peas; (late season) green beans
- Unsure, maybe tetragonia
- 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.
- Cover crop for future fruit plants.
- Beginning of our bramble hedge. Raspberries and gooseberries.
- Rhubarb (new crowns); one existing plant currently in bed 19 (if it survived).
- Winter squash
- Winter squash
- Cover crop
- Strawberries (some strawberries will get interplanted with perennials against the house)
- Chard and kale
- (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.