Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Garden Planning!!

In all of my reflection and looking forward that January inevitably brings for me, I have been thinking through my garden goals for 2012.

I started by looking back at my notes on last year (yes, I keep a garden journal).  Last year I wanted to grow enough produce for our family and one share for a friend's family.  I learned a lot from that.

I learned that I should have planned for the unexpected.  I had a total crop failure of all 8 squash and pumpkin varieties planted.  I had a terrible time trying to keep up with the squash bugs while using only organic methods to deter them (hand-picking thousands of bugs and scraping eggs from the bottom of leaves every day).  I have learned a little more about the pest this season and will hopefully be able to stay on top of them this year.  Having something ready to put in the spot that was suddenly empty would have been wise.

I learned that I need to figure out what I am doing wrong with root vegetables.  I cannot get radishes or beets to set fruit at all.  They have lots of lovely leaves and no bulb at all.

I learned that digging potatoes is a lot of fun and fresh from the ground potatoes are far superior to any at the store.  They taste like they already have butter on them!  I should have planted WAY more!!

I learned which things our family loves the most and how much we will actually eat of any given item.  I learned that more of something that we love is a waste of space if we can't actually eat that much of it.

I learned that growing some of the food items that your family loves is a great way to save a little money.  I also learned that my kids are more likely to eat food that they grew themselves!

So what does that mean for this year?  Well, there is no CSA.  My focus this year will be growing enough for our family and putting up as much as possible.  I hope to stay on top of the pests and get rid of some things that either didn't work or didn't yield enough for the amount of space they took.  I plan to continue composting because it has worked out beautifully!

I had planned on expanding the space again this year, but I need to have another year of working this space before I make that happen.

Here is the early plan for my space.
What ambitious plans do you have in the garden this year?

I am sharing today at The Thrifty Home.

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