Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Year, New Garden Plan

Happy New Year to all you gardeners. The best part of the New Year for us gardeners is the ability to plan what we want to grow this coming year. To help plan, I have created a new worksheet on my SkyDrive.
The first thing you do is figure out what you grew last year and if the resultant harvest was too much, too little or just right. In my case, we did not grow enough of anything, but this year we are going to focus on making a year’s supply of salsa. In addition, we found that homemade tomato sauce is very good so we are planning on canning that as well. Our artichoke is overwintering quite nicely, so hopefully in its second year we will be able to harvest.
The thing about the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant) is that you should not plant nightshade in the same place as last year. By moving locations every year, you prevent reintroducing any disease that might have lingered. It also promotes healthy soil by rotating crops. This is where having last year’s layout is useful because it becomes a guide to create this year’s layout.
The new variable to our planning is our purchase of a pressure canner so we can store an overabundance of vegetables like carrots by canning for winter food storage. We are also going to try once again to grow squash. However, since our microclimate is on average 3 degrees cooler than the regional norm, this year I will put them together and try a row cover tunnel of clear plastic to counter these cooler temperatures.
So without further ado, the layout of the 2013 garden.

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