Simple living in New Mexico...

Friday, February 10, 2012

The garden plot

Italy or France?

             As the kids do their schoolwork, I appreciate a little time at the computer.  This is the time of year I get really excited about gardening, as do many other gardeners.  This year I get to start from scratch.  Goodbye bind-weed, also goodbye lovely raised beds and earthworms and compost.  So I am starting over.  My goal is to not introduce any invasive weeds and to have everything extra straight in this new garden.  I also have issues with planting things that I don't really like or enjoy harvesting.  This past year, I couldn't stay ahead of the broccoli harvest.  I just wasn't that interested because I had cooked some up and their was a worm in it when I put it in a serving bowl to set it on the table.  A cooked worm.  I kind-of let it go after that.

       I have been gardening hard for 10 years, but I am just learning how to do it.  I love lasagna gardening.  Its hard work to get the beds built, but after that,  smooth sailing!  I have a big collection of things to use for my new garden, but not enough.  I need a tractor, then I could clean our  people's barns for them and haul off the refuse.  This year I will have to manage with  a wheel barrel.  Several neighbors at the new house have sheep.  I hope to find a lot of manure and old rotten hay to clean up.  The kids are starting a worm bin today.  More on that later!

     As for plants, I want to plant stuff that we will eat and that will save us some money.  Potatoes and onions are first on the list.  I was doing some math.  If we used 10 pounds of potatoes a week, that would be 520 pounds in a year.  So that works out to about 53 pounds of potato seed.  I ordered 30 pounds, and I am wondering where I am going to plant all these potatoes.   I will need some long raised beds.  I am doing 3' wide by maybe 20' long.  The good thing about lasagna beds is how much denser you can plant them.  So I can get quite a few pot. in a smaller area.  The potatoes I ordered are early and I read that you can plant green beans after the potatoes are harvested.  If I get the pot. planted mid March, they should be all done by the end of May.  Then I can plant the green beans.  I am planting pinto beans that a family member gave me.  They say these taste better as green beans than many green bean plants do.  I heard this was a southern thing.   As for the onions, my plan is to plant about 300 Spanish Sweets, with rows of heat tolerant lettuce between them.
     As for other plants, I am trying to use some restraint.  I am going to try a big plot of sweet corn as this is something we will for sure eat and freeze.  My mom always says that pumpkins planted in the shade of the corn do really well.  So I will plant my pumpkins in the corn and hope for the best.  We will have to put up some electric net wire fencing to keep the raccoon out of the garden or they will destroy it.  This will be a first for me.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and watermelons will finish off the list I think.  Simple is my goal this year.  I usually plant a few herbs, but I will try to use restraint in this area as well.  A little goes a long way for basil even though I love it.

    My expenses will be in the drip system  ( couple $100) and the straw (maybe 20 bales= $100) to put between rows to prevent weeding.  The potato seed was $60.00.  Everything else should be inexpensive.  I will just have a lot of  sweat equity in the garden this year.  The start up cost are high, but worth it for improving the soil.  If you amortize it our over several years, its not so bad!  I will never till a garden again!  In the future, I will just add compost and mulch...Voila, its rich soil.

      So, that is the simple plan for me.  Wish me luck.

No comments:

Post a Comment