Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 Gardening Plans and Goals

This year's garden is going to be super awesome! Well, it has to be better than last year. Last year was a pretty much a learning experience (i.e. a failure). I will be doing some things different and expanding a bit.

I should be home more this summer since we do not have any more high school softball girls in the house. I will be contending with one in 7th grade softball and one in 3rd grade baseball. That shouldn't be so bad. Also we are looking at methods that will make gardening easier like keeping the weeds down with material and mulch.

I realized that last year I did not post any gardening plans or goals. That may account for why I felt like a failure in the garden last year. After some solid learning experiences, I am learning to have plans and goals. They do give me something to work towards and keep me in line for the future.

 2011 Garden ( How sad!)

2014 Garden Plans and Goals

1. Buy a rear-tined tiller. (Like this one.) My ground gets very hard even with the additional soil conditioners. A tiller will be a gift from heaven. Especially if I can find one that I can start easily.

2. Adding in more peat moss and compost to nourish the garden.

3. Buying biodegradable plastic or material that will block the weeds in between rows. I will also be adding mulch on top of this to further choke out weeds.

4. Move the raspberries out of the regular garden.

5. Adding two raised beds outside of the garden. One bed will be for asparagus and the other will be for the transplanted raspberries. The raspberry bed will be 12' x 6'. I haven't quite worked out the dimensions for the asparagus bed yet, but I am thinking an 12' x 4' bed.

6. Planting tomatoes in the regular garden this year instead of buckets. I will be planting 16 plants. I am borrowing an idea from a friend and using fence to support them. I may keep a few in tomato cages too such as the grape tomatoes.

7. Planting four blueberry bushes. I am looking at two different varieties that are Zone 3 hardy. I am a very northern Zone 4 so I look for plants that survive in Zone 3. I will need to add aluminum sulfate when planting them, but I have hopes. I am still trying to decide exactly where to plant them. Maybe along side the barn?

8. Starting asparagus this year. Since asparagus will take 2-3 years to get established, I figured I better get this accomplished now.

9. Expand the garden about five feet to the east.

Moving these buckets and expanding the garden here

10. Planting in the garden this year: spinach, kale, green beans, carrots, summer squash, onions, potatoes, three varieties of tomatoes, Anaheim peppers, and bell peppers in the actual garden. In four of the buckets, I will be trying cabbage for the first time. I am still not sure about the other four buckets, two big round containers, or three oblong planters. I want to try herbs, but I have not had a lot of luck with them in the past. I also want to leave some space for new and interesting things I find at the garden center!

11. I want to add a hose splitter and another sprinkler for watering. One sprinkler is not enough for the whole garden. Also, after the last few very dry summers, I need to get more serious about the watering issue.

12. Cut the tree down in the rhubarb patch. It is seriously starting to affect the rhubarb production. I don't want to use chemicals, but I will be using Tordon RTU on all the cut areas to kill the remaining stump.

13. Trim up the apple trees for a better production. We got an amazing amount of apples last year, but I would like a little bigger apples.

14. Leave the strawberry bed alone this year. It is at the end of my garden and doing okay for now. I would love to give them their own bed or space, but not this year.

15. Move the day lilies out of the edge of the garden. I have no idea as of yet where I want to put them, but I am thinking about where.

Some of my planning and moving things are due to the fact that they are big weed areas. I can't seem to keep on top of the weeds in the raspberries and day lilies which affect the whole garden. I hope by moving them out of there, I can effectively manage the weeds in the garden. I plan to mulch the beds that I move the raspberries and day lilies to so I can keep the weeds down there.

We do plan to store, can, freeze, and dehydrate all that we can from the garden. This year we will be trying something new with the goods that produce more than we can use, but I will let you know more about that later! I want to get to the point of producing most of our own food, but that may take a few years and a lot of patience.

Thanks for reading!


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