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Garden plan 2011, first incarnation

January 27, 2011

It happens every year.

January rolls around and time starts creeping by. Painfully slow.

Spring seems eons away and I am feeling like a shut in. Baked under artificial lights for far too long. I want to walk outside in short sleeves, sit in the sun. Get my hands in the dirt. And you know how spring smells? There’s something in the air as the days lengthen and the soil thaws….some scent of spring that follows me into the house at dusk, after a warm day that allows me to turn the earth again.

I want to turn the earth again.

I’ve been passing cold days designing this year’s garden diagram, which is likely to be revised at least once or twice between now and then. Back in ’09 we tried the square-foot gardening method, and I was sold. So easy even a…gardening moron like me could do it. We had a marvelous harvest, albeit overly squash laden, and very few issues. Flea beetles were a problem in the kale, for a spell…and I planted beans and peas too late to thrive. Then the mice got the corn…but otherwise, I was happy. The experiment was mostly a success.

This year, we’ll do that again. The plan so far is to ramp things up a bit from our previous 75 square feet of garden to at least 116sf. I’ve expanded our plan to include more diversity, a wider variety of flowering items, and, yes, fewer squash. The tomatoes, squash, melons, and cukes will be trellised and grow vertically, to save space, and the gourds will rise and curve over an archway. Ditto the beans, sort of. I picture them growing up and over some canted trellis or bamboo, providing shade and a fun hiding place for kids and/or chickens.

Speaking of which, here’s the plan: one Aracuana, one Buff Orpington, one Dominique, one Rhode Island Red, and one Barred Plymouth Rock will be joining our family in March. They will be sent via…post. This is weird, but true. Meyer Hatchery has a 3 chick limit, so we don’t have to become full on chicken farmers to mail order our chicks, AND we’re 98% certain to get hens.

There are no roosters in our future, you see….no matter how the kids might beg. 😉

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