plans

Every year in the Spring time, I enjoy sketching out my plans for my organic garden areas.  I wake up early in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, pull out my Prismacolors and sit at the dining room table to sketch out my garden plans.

Doing this allows me to visually see the space that I have in order to start thinking about crop rotation, sowing, planting and successive planting to maximize my production.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for the 2011 gardening season.  Of course, things are bound to change along the way.

edible_landscape

As I seem to do every year, I expand a little more.  This year I’m focusing on my edible landscape at home.  It’s easier for me to tend to while the kids are napping or playing in the yard.

With lack of space, I’m growing my beans vertically by the side of my large picture window and also, growing up my wooden fence to the side of my house.  This year, I also plan to grow swiss chard and bok choi below my picture window and I’m adding a window box where I’ll grow marjoram and thyme.

This year, I’ve rotated my tomatoes to the front of my yard.  I need to figure out some cute sort of tomato cages that won’t look crazy as I’m growing 14 plants out front.  Any suggestions?

My heart is also set on a wooden arbor out front and adding a small picket fence to start growing grapevines.  However, since we’ll be adding a second coop out in the back, that might have to wait until next year.  Wouldn’t that look fabulous though?!  I was thinking there could be a limestone pathway leading to the front porch. Maybe next year ;)

raised_beds

My raised beds are pretty self explanatory.  I did forget to add in my radishes right next to the beets.

I’m going to be writing a post on best vegetables to grow in the shade.  Or better said, less hours of sun.  Since my beds at my parents home does not have full sun all day long, I have decided to dedicate those plots to Spring and Fall planting.  Pretty much greens and root vegetables that don’t require full sun.

My hot summer vegetables I am growing at my community garden.  However, since there are so many plots there, which means increased pests and disease, I always make sure to plant my tomatoes and cukes at home.

What I do not have sketched are my containers.  This year I will be planting all of my peppers and cucumbers in my growboxes.  I’m not messing around this year!  I haven’t had a decent pepper harvest in 3 years so although I’m continuing to pray for a drier Spring, I’ve decided to keep my peppers safe and sound in my containers.

My strawberry patch is already growing beautifully and I already have containers of tarragon and chamomile that have sprung up from last year.  I love perennials!  I’ll also be planting my sorrel, rosemary, mint, parsley and cilantro in more containers on my front patio.

I feel great!  I just need to remember to take things one step at a time.

I already have spinach, mesclun mix, fava beans and peas sowed and growing.  This weekend, I’ll be sowing carrots, beets, radishes, sorrel, swiss chard, bak choi and kale.  It’s in the Spring time that gardening can seem overwhelming.  By writing things down and sketching out plans you can see that they are doable.

As far as my seedlings, Nehemiah and I have transplanted all of our seedlings to bigger pots.  It’s amazing how quickly they grow as soon as they’re transplanted.  My big boy is my garden marker.  He writes down all of the names of the plants on our popsicle stick markers.  My joy.

nehe

marjoram_outside

I did use a new mixture this year for my transplants.  I used a 2 to 1 ratio of worm castings to my seed starting organic mix.  (2 cups seed starting mix, 1 cup worm castings.)  The plants are eating it up and thriving!  That will be a post coming up soon as well ;)

Ezekiel sitting next to the plants.  He’s my heart.

seedlings

cabbage

tomatoes

rosemary

tomatillo

What are your gardening plans looking like this year?

Do you normally sketch them out or use an online garden planner?  I’d love to hear from you.


14 Responses to My 2011 Gardening Plans

  1. Cheryl says:

    Great drawings & photos. I live in NE Illinois and sure wish it would stop raining! I admire all the work you have put into your gardens so far–

  2. Kelli says:

    Diana, if you are interested, Earl May is selling the ‘mini’ blueberry bushes this year, they get 3ft x 2ft. I planted mine already (LOVE! Edible landscaping!) and they are just going gangbusters! I love that from the street you can’t even tell I have rhubarb growing where most people put hostas :D Your plans look overwhelming to me but I had to cut way back on our garden this year, I can’t wait to see all your garden related posts!
    ~Kelli

  3. wow Diana, you inspire me big time when it comes to gardening. I love your posts. What a great planning. I have a very small vegetable garden. I have planted seeds of zucchini, cauliflower, watermelon, cucumber, beets, mint, tomatoes peppers for now (only 5-6 plants per veggie, not more than that as I don’t have space). I am hoping they come out ok. Last year was my first year and had lot of squirrel problems, so this year, I have put a fence around my small vegetable patch. Hopefully, this year we will get to eat some veggies because last year, it was as if we donated all our veggies to squirrels :(
    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal recently posted..Majjiga Huli – Mix Veggies in Yogurt Coconut Gravy

  4. claypotclub says:

    Wow, you are super organized. I do some sketching here and there, but you have a whole indoor planting system!

    I’m currently growing various herbs, simply because they’re way too expensive at the supermarket. Mint grows like weeds but they’re $2 a bunch!

    I’m eagerly awaiting flowers on my chives. I pick them off to make chive flower butter, which I store in a freezer to enjoy, morsels at a time for the rest of the year.

    Other than that, a few heirloom tomatoes, 16 varieties of garlic, musk melon, two kinds of Asian gourd, soybeans, and lots of salad greens.

    I recently started rotating crops in my tiny 10′x10′ plot behind my apartment.

  5. Very cool. You are so organised/talented/a planner. I’ve been meaning to start a garden. I’m hoping to get to it soon.

  6. Jill says:

    If we grew tomatoes on a home-scale, I would use something like this:
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2005-02-01/DIY-Tomato-Cages.aspx

    They appear to be sturdy, cheap to create, store easily & last a number of years. You could even paint them fun colors to add a little “whimsy”.

  7. IAMSNWFLAKE says:

    You’re all set and ready to go. Very nice drawings … I’m so envious since my only chance at gardening is the balcony of my apartment. My only edibles are rosemary, oregano, parsley and every now and then one or two plants of tomato. Can’t wait to find a house with a small garden or a small house with a nice garden.
    IAMSNWFLAKE recently posted..El huevo o la gallina

  8. VegSpinz says:

    Lovely plans! I’m trying Chinese broccoli and rainbow chard this year, for a change from the usual stuff- so much fun!
    VegSpinz recently posted..Melon Bunny

  9. Love the idea of a post on vegetables to grow in less sun. It’s a question I get all the time.
    Foy Update – Garden. Cook. Write. Repeat. recently posted..Easter Smores Revisited

  10. Everything looks beautiful! :) This year we plan to build 3 more raised beds…and put stone pathways in between the beds. I am also planning to clean out an old garden to begin a medicinal herb garden.
    Jenn @LeftoverQueen recently posted..“Greek” Green Beans

  11. Emily says:

    That is a little something I have to do more research into, appreciate the blog post.

  12. these drawings are beautiful!
    Fields Of Heather recently posted..C25k Week 8 – Fail Improved

  13. [...] share my new garden/homestead sketches with you [...]

  14. […] this reason alone, a large strawberry patch is making it into my gardening plans this year. You can never have enough strawberry jam; however, grape jelly is a close […]

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