March 11, 2017

This Year's Garden Plan, version 2017

The garden runs about 30 feet by 40 feet. Beds will be between 3-5 feet wide by 30 feet long. I'm being good this year and trying to rotate the plant locations with bed #1 being closest to the house.

Zucchini and summer squash plants might get big and ungainly but they'll keep the winter squash from encroaching on the bush bean bed. And once the bush beans have run their course, it'll become a melon bed.

Gardening in our neck of the woods depends on the spring rains, whether the soil ever dries out enough to allow tilling. And peppers have to be planted out early enough so they can set fruit before high nighttime temperatures sterilizes the pollen.

Last year was a disaster with the squirrel population playing havoc with the tomatoes, but it looks like hawks had moved in and cleaned them out. There hasn't been a single squirrel sighted all winter.

The 3 beds of tomatoes are probably overkill but it's insurance after last year. I'm hoping to put up lots of salsa, tomato soup, and tomatoes this year.

I actually just purchased some short tomato cages from a friend which will get used on the bushy determinate tomato plants and cucumbers. And later they can be used in the fall for short pea vines.

Bed 1:
Okra, cucumbers, pole beans

Bed 2:
Hot peppers and melons

Bed 3:

Bed 4:

Bed 5:

Bed 6:
Bush beans, then melons

Bed 7:
Summer squash and zucchini

Bed 8:
Winter squash


Margaret said...

Holy cow - 90' of tomatoes!!! I have a feeling you will be swimming in sauce this year! I'm wondering if you ever considered doing a small raised bed or two. They dry out in the spring a lot quicker than flat ground and you don't need to till them, which gives you even more time - I just "fork" the bed to aerate it before adding the amendments (which are incorporated only into the top 2-3" of soil) and that's it. The down-side in your neck of the woods would be the same thing, I suppose - they dry out quicker so they need more watering during the season, especially in a hot climate and being above ground, they may even get too hot.

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
It makes me laugh typing out 90 feet of tomatoes, but it feels necessary with all the critters around here. Raised beds actually sound really amazing, no need for tilling and you don't have to bend down as far. But it'll be a year or two before we take on a project like that.

Sue Garrett said...

I am hoping to try and grow a melon this year wish me luck.

Phuong said...

Hi Sue,
Good luck with the melons, hopefully you'll have a nice warm summer for them. They did much better for me when I gave them more space between plants.

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

Squirrels can do an amazing amount of damage to a garden. I hope the hawks enjoyed their dinner! We have about the same size garden, but I manage to get 10 beds in mine by skipping walkways. I was on my hands and knees in the pepper patch last year though, trying to get through the jungle! I got seeds for Ginkaku melon this year after seeing what you grew. I hope it does well over here!

Phuong said...

Hi Dave,
You grow such an amazing variety of vegetables in your space. I'm still trying to figure out what grows well in our locale. Do you mechanically till your soil, or just turn over the beds?

Hopefully you'll like the Ginkaku melons, they're great chilled and were super sweet when they were ripe.

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

I dig the beds when I have the time and energy, and I often use a little Mantis tiller to scratch up the top few inches of soil when I work in amendments and fertilizer. I want to experiment more this year with no-tilling, but it will be tough because I did a soil test and I need to add quite a few things.

norma chang said...

You are a very organized gardener and I am guessing a very organized person, I need to learn from you.

Phuong said...

Hi Dave,
I've always thought it would be brilliant to just dig once you had established beds. And the no-till method definitely sounds intriguing. We're actually tilling up to the fence this year so we won't have to mow around the garden.

Phuong said...

Hi Norma,
I actually keep a notebook with varieties, number of plants germinated, etc. The last couple of years I've been doing too much experimentation, it's time to go back to the tried and true methods that have worked for me in the past.