With the new year comes the best part of gardening – the planning.
The Snarky Gardener just loves garden planning because it’s never finished. It’s an ongoing process of tweaks and rewrites put together using software like GrowVeg.com. I’ll think I have a “final” version, then 2 or 3 days later, a flash of inspiration will come over me (“Put leeks there instead of peas”) and before I know it, I’ll be making changes. I’ve been working on 2014’s since summer of 2013 as one needs to know what’s going where next year to know what to plant in the fall (if that makes sense).
For example, I knew where my potatoes were going in 2014. I try hard to rotate my crops properly (no same plant family in the same spot for three years) and the northeastern corner of my garden (by the comfrey in the graphic above) had no nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants) since 2011. But I had read somewhere that planting mustard in the fall before helps potatoes, so ta-da, mustard planted.
So now that we are into the new year, I’m ready to go full steam ahead to firm up the plan I already had sketched out in my crazy little brain. For March, it will be mostly uncovering mulch from overwintered turnips, peas, onions, corn salad, and spinach and planting spring hardy vegetables like peas, onions, and leeks.
May brings the last frost date and much activity. Leeks, carrots, and lettuce in early April, potatoes in early to mid April, corn (mid May), and dry bush beans (late May). I’ll obviously be planting the corn in the middle of the overwintered turnips and peas, but I’ll try to make room by eating my way out.
Last year, I planted some of the tomatoes in April and early May and paid dearly for it. This year they are not going in until Memorial Day weekend at the earliest. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I’m a moron. The watermelons are small F1 hybrids I saved last year (now named Personally Snarky). I’m going to try to get them to climb up my fencing and use hosiery to secure them. Hopefully no little critters try to eat them. The pumpkins are at the back of the corn as they will probably try to take over like they did last year. Two pumpkin plants ended up covering 10% to 20% of my garden. The Snarky Girlfriend wanted carving pumpkins – ah, what I won’t do for love.