Garden Plan 2016Posted: March 18, 2016
Spring Break! Wahoo! I’m planning to get all kinds of crazy and…work through it. Haha! I had my grad student spring break last week, though that only meant that I did not have my classes in addition to work. This ended up being ideal, because I caught some kind of plague from my coughing, sniffling students and suffered through some kind of horrible chest congestion all of that week. I was very happy that I could go home to sleep rather than drive out for my evening classes. Next week is the public schools’ Spring Break, which means we are working even more as we host a Spring Break Camp. We’ll have the kiddos with us during the day, learning all sorts in fun theater workshops. But Spring Break also means that I have two weeks off from our Saturday rehearsals. This means that I get to check out the early spring farmers market and I get to plant the garden!
I learned a lot last year, in my first foray into square foot gardening. This year, I’m sticking close to the plan, but adjust some spacing so that we use the space better. The biggest change will be that I plan to border our box with a row of onions and radishes on all four sides. One square would hold 16 plants, but instead, I can take a few inches around the edge to grow an pile of them! I use onions in almost everything, so I am quite excited! I’m adjusting the plants on the inside slightly. I am going to try growing strawberries this year, though I don’t have high hopes of getting to the berries before the squirrels or the neighborhood kids (who don’t seem to understand that the garden isn’t their own personal buffet). I am also focusing on sturdier greens: bibb lettuce, romaine, spinach, and, eventually, kale and swiss chard. The mesclun mix that I planted last year never really sprouted and I never got around to my Fall planting for the hardier greens. I’m planting a little earlier, since our March has been so warm. I’m hoping this will help out my early spring greens. Tomatoes, peppers, and snow peas are all making a second appearance this year. After the success of the jalapeños last summer, I think I may just stick with them and try to up my spice tolerance. I didn’t get a single flower from last year’s poblano plant. Last year’s bush beans never thrived, so I am trying pole string beans this year. We love green beans, so I am hoping that they will do well!
This year, my patio herb ladder (tutorial coming soon!) is also ready, so I will be able to plant my herbs early. I think some of the more tender plants, like cilantro and dill, were planted when it was too hot for them to really take root well. I am able to fit the full kitchen collection of herbs into my four troughs: cilantro, two kinds of basil, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, sage, dill, lavender, lemon balm, and oregano. This year, I’m adding Bee Balm. My gardening book suggests steeping it like tea. I’ll have Thai basil, chives, and parsley in the garden plot again. I’ll try planting a cilantro out there too–that herb seems to give me the most trouble. Maybe a little more space will be what it needs! The chives are the only thing growing in the plot at the moment. They seem quite happy, so I’m hoping for the slim chance that we’ll have chive blossoms by Easter. I loooove chive blossoms paired with goat’s cheese. That sounds like the perfect appetizer before Easter dinner!
The herbs will still be planted well after the seeds are planted in the garden plot. I am hoping to plant the Spring seeds this weekend. Saturday should be beautiful and warm. Snow is on the forecast for Sunday, but only flurries with the temperature above 35 degrees. The rest of next week gets back into the high 60s, so I’m hoping the little seeds will whether one chilly night without any problems. None of them will be sprouting yet, so they shouldn’t be too fragile.
I aim to be better at posting about the garden. I have photos from last year, but my notes are not as detailed as I’d like. Hopefully, I can keep this blog updated and have a nice record for my future self!