Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Grand Plan

Although the weather forecast is calling for more snow on Friday (yuck), Spring is most definitely on the way. I'm hearing spring calls from the backyard birds, and the days are now 11 hours long, with over 12 hours of visible light, and we are gaining 3 minutes of daylight every day.

I'm ready for spring, as I finally have completed the Grand Plan -- our vegetable garden re-design. After acquiring some free garden fencing this summer, we completely fenced in our vegetable garden. No more voracious woodchucks ravaging the immature green beans, no more piggy dog eating the tender young pea plants, we are protected. To take better advantage of the fence as trellis, and to maximize space for trying new vegetables and growing more tomatoes than 2 people can possibly eat, we decided an new plan was in order.

After seeing a gardening show at Mom's in November, we were inspired to create permanent raised beds with a permanent U-shaped path for access, and to use more of a square foot gardening approach, dividing the beds into 4-foot blocks. With 15 4-foot squares, this will give us 240 square feet of growing space --no doubt far more than we need, but hey, more room for a cutting garden, right? (Click on the photos for a detailed plan view).

The plan calls for the vegetables to be grown in the perimeter beds, making the fence available for trellising, and placing the bug-attracting vegetables like squash and cucumbers next to the chickens, in hopes the girls will develop a deep love of striped cucumber beetles.

The three center blocks will be used for herbs and flowers for cutting, and will we hope have a birdbath and bench in there where we can rest from our toils. Now that the plan is done, and my list of vegetables mostly complete, I need to get moving on the seed order! As usual, I'm spreading my orders around three Maine seed companies, Pine Tree Seeds, which I like because they sell some interesting varieties in smaller packets for home gardeners; Johnny's Selected Seeds, which sells great varieties, many developed at their Albion, ME farm; and FEDCO, which I love for it's great varieties, witty well-written catalog prose, and lefty leanings. Yikes, the FEDCO seed order deadline is March 27. Time to go!

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Wow - it looks great! I'm just glad to see there's another gardener out there who hasn't ordered seeds. Reading the blogs, I've felt very behind. (Although I've been able to justify it by thinking, I live in Minnesota for gosh sakes! I can't even start tomatoes for at least another month.)