While there will be some changes, the 2015 kitchen garden will be look a lot like the one we planted in 2014.
Here are the few changes I will be making.
I need to get seeds started and in the ground much earlier than I did last year. I only had a table top with two grow lights…so space was limited. This year…I’ll have a whole greenhouse (or maybe half a greenhouse, but still)!
As I mentioned in a previous post, my neighbors have constructed a greenhouse out of their in-ground pool and have graciously offered seed-starting space for us to use.
Just to give you an idea of how awesome this is, last week when it was 25* outside, it was 47* inside their greenhouse. This means that we will be able to get seeds started on a much larger scale than last year.
Since I will have more space, I’ll be able to start earlier, so that at transplant time, the seedlings are really strong. I downloaded the 2015 Planting Dates for my area from the Farmer’s Almanac website. I’ll use this as a guide, but bump up the start dates for tomatoes and peppers.
We didn’t figure stagger planting into the plans so that we had way too many tomatoes and way too much lettuce and other leafy greens at the same time.
Our chickens definitely benefited from this mistake, but we’d like to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labors as well.
Having more space in the greenhouse will mean that we can do a better job with staggering the starts and transplants.
Planning for Volunteers
While we meticulously planned for almost everything else, we did not take into account the crazy number of volunteer tomatoes we would have.
What we should have done, as soon as these little seedlings appeared, is dig them up and move them to the swale or some other place, adding even more diversity to our gardens.
What we did do was let them take over or get taken over by other food producing plants and herbs.
The overgrowth of weeds and vegetable plants completely took over the few clear pathways I had marked out.
Rather than using something to keep down the weeds and provide easy access to the veggies and herbs, I used a few pieces of concrete, spaced just close enough together to step across…and allow grass, weeds and thistles to grow in between.
This year, I’ll have to do something else and I think I’ll take a page out of Marjory Wildcraft’s book and use pieces of plywood to evenly distribute weight and avoid compressing the soil too much.
Companion planting was a hit last year…especially in keeping the hornworms and Japanese beetles out, so I’ll keep the support groups much the same this year as last.
The Tomato Support Group
The Brassica Support Group
A good year for gardening
Just like every year