Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pondering the Garden

My garden last summer was an epic failure. I blame a lot of that on me just not having the time (or the will) to work in the garden. I was going through a lot of morning sickness and just didn't make it outside. However, the real reason for much of the failure in the garden is the weeds. The weed problem has just gotten beyond our control. It's a shame because the area where the garden is located gets great sun and would normally do well. The options were to spray Round-Up every year to keep the weeds under control or to once again cover the garden and build raised beds. We opted for the raised beds (Round-Up is just too nasty for me to want to handle). Well, the raised beds didn't really come to fruition. So the goal now is to finish covering the garden in plastic, cover the plastic with hog fuel and build the raised beds when we have the time.
Since there is no garden plot and no raised beds, this years garden will be a container garden. I will be growing tomatoes (Roma and Cherry), cucumbers, spinach (spring and fall), lettuce (spring and fall varieties), collards, kale, swiss chard, carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, beans and chilis. I went through the catalog and picked each variety specifically because it was noted that they could do well in containers. Most things will be grown in pots (tomatoes, cucumbers, chilis and beans) and window boxes (spinach, lettuce, collards, kale, and swiss chard). For the beets, onions and carrots, I've decided to use old Tupperware storage containers that have lost their lids. I'm hoping they are deep enough for a good root crop. Finally the potatoes will be grown in an old garbage can. I'm sad though that I will not have the space for squash. I'm considering trying to grow some zucchini and pumpkin in the compost pile. I had a volunteer squash in my compost last year but it ended up going moldy before it produced anything. I saved some seeds from last year's produce so I might just toss them in there and see how they do.
I'm hoping that if I don't have a big garden this year I can focus a bit more on nurturing my perennial fruit plants. My blueberries, raspberries and strawberries have not been immune to the weed problems. Because they are better established they haven't been too bothered but this year I'm hoping to keep them well weeded and fertilized. My fingers are crossed for a better crop of pears, apples, peaches and cherries. I'm going to have to buy more bees this year because it looks like all mine from last year have hatched and perished.
I don't know, does it all sound a little ambitious for a lady who will have new baby in a matter of weeks? Things like the onions, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, chilis, lettuce, kale, and potatoes need to be planted as soon as March. I guess if I don't get as much planted as I want to, I can always find a good farmers market in town.

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