Before you know it spring will officially begin and it’ll be time to plant our garden. Sam and I learned so much from last year, and we’re looking forward to putting our new found knowledge into practice this season.
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been scouring seed catalogs and websites looking for the right varieties for our garden – everything from tomatoes to okra to pumpkins and corn. We hope to be completely vegetable self sufficient by the end of next year – maybe even having enough extra produce to set up a small stand at our local Saturday farmer’s market.
One of the things we’re most excited about is how much money we’ll save on the initial set-up this year. Unlike most folks who take a Saturday morning trip to their local nursery to pick up plants, Sam and I are going to grow nearly everything from seed. For the size garden we’re doing this year the price difference is just unreal.
As an example, we’re planning on growing about 100 Roma tomato plants – at $1.50 per plant in the nursery that would cost us $150! However, we ordered a packet of 150 seeds for $2.95. That means that even if 1/3 of the seeds don’t make it, we still have our 100 plants at a mere fraction of the cost! We found the same things to be true for corn, beans, and peppers.
We still have loads of prep work to do before our planting season officially kicks-off though. There are several grow light stands to be built, we need to finish building our raised beds, shovel at least 4 truck loads of organic planting soil into the new beds, re-condition our EarthBox soils (some of those will have to be changed out as well), assemble our strawberry pyramid, build trellis’ and a watering system, prune our berry brambles, mulch around all the raised beds, stain and seal the raised beds, and put up some fencing to keep the tomato thief out. There’s also a whole gob of other jobs that will have to be done as well along the way, but all in all we’re pretty psyched about this year’s garden.
One of the things I hope to do on this website throughout the growing season is have weekly updates I’m going to call “How does your garden grow?” I’ll chronicle everything – our ups, downs, tips, tricks, successes, failures, first harvests and preservation methods; and hopefully I’ll snap some great photos too. I want to show y’all how easy it is to grow your own vegetables – whether it’s large scale or in smaller container gardens.
So here’s what we’re going to be growing this year:
Roma tomatoes – approximately 100 plants
Early Girl tomatoes – approx. 30 plants
Sweet Million cherry tomatoes – 3 plants
Red, yellow, orange, purple, and green bell peppers – approx. 30 plants total
Habanero peppers – 8 to 10 plants
Jalapeno peppers – 8 plants
Pablano peppers – 8 plants
Ghost peppers – 2 plants
Okra – 1 to 2 plants
Green beans – approx. 100 bushes
Burgundy beans (a green bean variety) – 36 bushes
Sweet corn – 2 beds with 3 rows per bed (about 150 stalks)
Pumpkins – up to 6 plants
Butternut squash – up to 10 plants
Straight neck summer squash – 4 plants
Zucchini – 4 plants
Carnival mix carrots (5 different colors) – approx. 750 carrots
Yellow and red onions – about 150 sets
Garlic – about 50 sets
Cantaloupe – 2 to 4 plants
Cucumbers – 4 plants
Strawberries – 50 plants
Blueberries – 4 bushes
Dwarf fig – 1 tree
Dwarf lemon – 1 tree
Dwarf tangerine – 1 tree
Herbs: basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, chives, mint, stevia (sweet leaf plant), cilantro, and possibly lavender
Should be a fun summer!