Friday, March 27, 2009

Garden Planning

Container cucumbers, jalapeno, and green onions.
It's the end of March, our ground is finally thawing, and it is time to start preparing the garden for spring planting!

I didn't do a very good job prepping the garden this fall, so I have my work cut out for me. This weekend I plan on de-weeding the garden. So far we have daffodils and lillies coming up. The mum that died right after I planted it last year, is already growing again. The crocus are in full bloom, and some of the ground cover is looking nice already.

This year I plan to plant much of the same items, and hope to do a better job. Each year provides a lesson. Last year, I planted container cucumbers, and they did well, but I think they would do better in the garden. The 1 jalapeno plant that I planted in the container did excellent, while the 3 that were in the garden barely produced. So I will use the containers for jalapenos this year, and lots of them!

The container tomatoes I planted did terrible. They had blossom end rot, and nearly all of the tomatoes were composted in the garden. (they are in the brown planters on the steps) I think I may try lettuce or spinach in the containers this year. It will allow me to move them around to shadier and cooler spots as needed.

My garden tomatoes had mixed results. One variety was outstanding. The tomatoes were good sized, had excellent flavor and had a good yield. The variety was Oregon Spring. I suspect that it is meant for growing in cool springs, and it seemed to thrive while the roma tomatoes and early girls struggled. I plan to buy almost all Oregon Spring plants this year.

Yes, I know that buying plants may not be the most frugal way to start, but it is where I've had the most success. I buy them from the local nursery. Local as in, I can see the greenhouses from my garden. I like to buy them local, because I know that the plants they sell will do better in our climate. Also the employees are knowledgable on the plants, pests and weeds in our area, unlike in the big hardware stores or at Walmart. So I do pay a little more, but I feel the results are worth it. To help save money, I don't buy the huge plants, and I buy them a little early in the spring. I have always paid less than $1 a plant for the tomatoes and jalapenos.

I'm hoping to add some squash to the garden, and peas would be nice too. I'd also like to give corn another try. I have a nice place to plant it, but ensuring it gets enough water is the problem. The raspberries didn't make it, but if I keep up the water I think the corn would do well.

What garden plans do you have?


Mrs. Mordecai said...

We've planted peas, which I hope will come up. Other than that, I'll probably put in some tomatoes and maybe a few others, but I'm not going to stress about the garden too much this year. I'm feeling rather large and uncomfortable at the moment and we'll have a new baby during prime gardening season.

I agree that local stuff works better. I've heard that national brand fertilizers are developed for Arizona. That's a far cry from where I live.

Kelli said...

My green thumb doesn't extend to using seeds, or many vegetables. I can grow green peppers, but not much else. Daisy dug up the strawberries last year, but my rhubarb is growing great. I will plant basil in a pot and then mostly ferns and flowers. They aren't as useful as veggies, but I like them the best. :0) Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Well I cheated..I moved to Mexico & began planting all from seeds in December. I have used or am eating spinach,all kinds of lettuce,shades of green & red,curly,straight,pointed,oakleaf etc,red mustard,radishes,green beans,zucchini,my sweet corn is in tassel,3 weeks until ready to eat.My honedew melons are still small plants. I have or am using sage,parsley,mint,rosemary,lemon verbena for tea,cilantro,basil,red & green type swiss chard,shallots,garlic. I have a seedless lemon tree & a papaya tree & using fruit from both,& many banana trees & extra large old Mango trees. Granny in Mexico

Art said...

I'm really expanding this year. We're a lot warmer than you so I've already got plants in the gound. I did well at planning this year - maybe overplanned. Now I just have to follow through!

jennifer said...

You and Art are cool! I wouldn't begin to know how to garden food. I can barely keep flowers alive. Can't wait to see what you produce!

Carla said...

What big plans! Planning is half the fun isn't it?
Love your yellow chair by the way.