Itching to plant

The 2013 gardening season is here.

Oh sure, there is still some snow on the ground, a chill in the air and every square inch of Bramblewood Acres is a boggy, soggy, swampy mess, but no doubt about it, it’s time to get planting.

For the first time ever, I am completely ready for spring planting. I have all my seeds, all my equipment and have even started a garden log. I am ready to GROW!

I have started tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, a variety of herbs, and eggplant. Each one I logged into my book on the date planted, the variety, and the number of plants started. I will log again when they germinate and the date I plant and harvest for each variety.

I’ll be starting several flowers this year, too. So much cheaper to grow your own than buy them already grown.

I even have my garden plan on paper this year, something I’ve never done before. I’ve always been a “yep, this looks like a good spot” kind of gardener. And every year, mid-season when all the plants are big and producing, I realize I planted things WAY TOO CLOSE to each other. I couldn’t get down my tomato rows last year they were so close. This year, that won’t happen. I have everything measured out, the number of plants estimated and beds plotted according to how well each plant “gets along” with another.

Doing this made me realize I need more garden space! So, as soon as I can get out there without sinking up to my hips in boggy, sticky mud, we’ll be moving fence and adding quite a bit more space.

Last year, I had several varieties fail. But, I can’t remember which varieties did well and which did not. I’d prefer not to continue to grow plants that will fail so this season I will be tracking everything, from plant vigor to production. It’s a waste of time, money and precious gardening space to plant varieties that don’t do well. I had too many of some plants (OMG, cherry tomatoes out my ears. I started feeding them to the chickens we had so many!) and not enough of others. We definitely needed more green beans and more spinach.

We lost one ornamental tree and a pear tree during last year’s drought, and I’m hoping to be able to replace both of those and add a couple of apple and plum trees.

I’ll also start an asparagus bed this year. I’ve never grown asparagus before, and I know it’s a long-living plant, but it might be trial and error. I haven’t decided yet where to put the bed, but it’s location is going to have to be well-considered and well-placed due to it’s expected longevity. Close to the house, too. If you place edibles too far from the house (as I did with my strawberries. Huge mistake. Birds, bunnies and squirrels got to them before I could), you tend to forget about them.

So, here’s to a bigger, better, more productive garden this year. I’m off to a good start!

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