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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Garden 2014

Hard to believe I am plotting next year's garden, already, in my mind!

On one hand, though, this is a good time to start it, as the successes and failures are either unfolding before my eyes, or at least recent enough to still stick in the rusty steel sieve that suffices for a brain these days.

Next year, I plan to space the "planted from seed, not very tall" crops such that the tractor can drive OVER the row and cultivate on either side. This will involve removing inner blades from the tiller and perhaps the innermost cultivator tines but it will allow me to double up on rows and at the same time plant SINGLE, rather than double rows. This will, I hope, make the hand weeding immediately adjacent to the plants, easier.

I also need to design a spreadsheet to categorize crops based on how they are planted (seed or transplant), their height, and factors such as days to maturity (to separate crops that remain in the ground for the entire season, like onions, leeks and potatoes from those that mature and get removed and replanted, like lettuce) and how much extra care they typically take (like potatoes, for example, need frequent bug patrol, but winter squash seem to thrive unmolested.)

I would like to keep the long season, less care crops in the west garden until it fills with perennials in a few years, and reserve the east garden for the crops that need more attention.

I need to remember that Dakota and Early Frosty peas were the common varieties that set well (though Dakota was earlier than  EF!) and to focus on them and eliminate the other varieties that I have been trying. I will still hit the petit pois varieties heavy, though, as they are my favorite.

I plan on buying rolls of heavy craft paper (width yet to be determined) as weed block for the annual transplants. The perennial rows will be transitioned from weed block fabric to a cardboard and mulch hay system. ALL annual transplants will go in papered rows... including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, brassica and vine crops.

And the poultry WILL BE CONTAINED or kept from the garden somehow! As will the deer. Thus far, the electric fence seems to be working for them.