Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's Time to Think Garden


Can you believe it's nearly spring? We have a short growing season here in Washington State so to get the most out of it I need to either start seeds indoors or buy starts that are mature. But we all know which way is cheaper and ultimately more fun for the kids. We have a big sunny window that spends a few months of the year growing our garden seeds before they get transplanted outside in late May (it's been well into June the last few years). I'm doing a little something different this year with my garden. The last few years have been a total flop for me. There has been enough for a few months of fresh veggies and fruits but absolutely nothing to preserve. So, I'll be building up my soil using the Lasagna Garden method again this year because it's easy and I need an easy garden.





And then I'm planting a canning garden. I have three beds and I'll only plant three crops....but lots of them. I'm hoping to can pickles, so I found these cucumber seeds that are ideal for pickling.








We also use lots of diced tomatoes, salsa and marinara or spaghetti sauces so one of my beds will have roma tomatoes in it.










And in my third bed it will be all about green beans.

I chose those simply because we buy lots of these things at the grocery store and hopefully I won't have to buy any of these for a whole year if I play my cards right.

So if you're planning to have a garden this year. Now is the time to get your game plan in order. Get those seeds, map out what containers or beds you'll be using, and if you're planting crops that take a while to mature, start planting your seeds indoors soon.

10 comments:

Kati said...

Thanks for the great "start your garden" tips! My boys and I are hoping to start a garden of our own this year - wish us luck! :)

Penny said...

Oh it's good that you mentioned! I'm moving to WA to finally start a life together with my fiancé within a matter of weeks, and despite not having a garden, we have a large patio that gets decent amounts of sun, and we've already made plans for what to plant.

I'm happy R. has a green thumb, too. It's so easy to get things done when every team member in the family loves gardening.

(Alright, so the cat needs to learn to either not dig out the plants from the pots, or to start weeding the harmful plants... But he's a good little gardener's companion, nonetheless.)

City Sister said...

I just got the lasagna gardening book at my library...it's quite interesting. I plant a lot of a large variety and can/freeze/dehydrate as much as possible. It saves me quite a little bit and provides us with organic veggies all year long for just a few dollars a year. Having chickens really cuts down on the cost as well because it makes great compost and helps everything break down in the heap much quicker.

freedom journey said...

I like the idea of planting for the purposes of canning!

Roxie700 said...

Have you seen the books by Mel Barthamew (sp?) The Square Foot garden books. They are great. Many ideas for how to grow food year around in a small area.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your gardening and seed sprouting. I own a garden center in north central Kansas - so just a little info. Instead of Roma, you should plant Viva Italia or San Marzano - they both have larger tomatoes, heavier yields, and fewer seeds. Also, I'm not sure what kind of containers you are starting your seeds in, but if you cover them in saran wrap at night, it helps to hold in the heat and moisture and create a mini greenhouse. Good Luck!

LB said...

That is such a good idea. I have very limited garden area, and this might be the way I go this year too-sticking to just a few items. Keeping it simple is the way to go. We have an awesome farmer's market that I can get the other produce from during the summer.

Dana said...

I have always used containers & Topsy Turvy (they work great btw) for gardening, but this year I am attempting the Square Foot method :) Hopefully we get a better growing season this year than last year!

StaceyN said...

We need to start our garden soon, too. Unfortunately, our dog has chewed the cables and knobs of our tiller in her frantic pursuit of a rodent, so we might get a late start. We have a huge garden space (about 80'x100'), and I am due to have a baby in about 7 weeks, so I doubt we will plant the whole thing anyway. My oldest son loves all things growing and volunteered to grow the garden this year (hurray for big kids!). It may be just a salad garden, since I don't know how much I want to can/dry/freeze this year with a two year old AND a nursling. Last year we grew about 150 linear feet of green beans and ended up pickling them like dill pickles... they were SO GOOD! I don't know if I will ever pressure can or freeze another green bean as long as I live. Those might be the only exception to my not canning this year. Best of luck to you in your gardening adventure!

JoAnnC. said...

Also consider herbs to preserve! Grow basil, dill, rosemary, etc...in pots and harvest frequently to encourage more growth. Dehydrate herbs in the oven and fill up pretty spice jars. You'll never spend $$$ on herbs again!