Planning for the spring garden

Yes, I know that another snomageddon event is already under way and threatens to wipe the southern US off the map (it’s what they deserve after all for causing the aflockalypse), but over the weekend, the first of the seed catalogs showed up in my mailbox so it got me to thinking about my spring garden.  I spent some time in the fall building a few more raised beds and will be doing everything that way this year (2010 was sort of a hybrid, with half in raided beds and half in double dug ‘regular’ beds).  The time savings in weeding is well worth the cost of the wood.
In total I have 10 4′ x 8′ beds and 3 2′ x 2′ deep boxes for potatoes.  A few of the 4′ x 8′ beds are already planted with perennials like strawberries (have to thin them out a bit), asparagus (this year will be the first year we can harvest a significant amount!) and rhubarb (planted that last year and it never seemed to ripen – going to give it this year and if nothing again, then it’ll get yanked).  And the potato boxes are really only good for potatoes, so the question is what to put in the remaining 7 4′ x 8′ boxes?
Here’s what I am thinking

  • Tomatoes – obvious.  Going to go with a few fewer plants this year (last year I did 8 and they were too crowded in one box) and move them to a sunnier box.
  • Green peas.
  • Bush beans (easier to maintain and product just as much as the pole variety)
  • Beets (love me some roasted beets and the ones I don’t roast I pickle – also excellent)
  • Greens – spinach and mixed,.  This has been a big hit in the past – this year I am going to try succession planting to avoid the problem of having everything ready at once.
  • Carrots – I put in a deep 4′ x 8′ box specifically for this

That should leave me one box to continue my experiments with square foot gardening and to have a mix of other plants I want to try.  I will put some tomatillos in again there since they were a big hit from my ‘try something new’ category.  Speaking of that – what should I try new this year?  Anything that you’ve tried out the ordinary that has done really well or tasted completely different that what you usually buy?
UPDATE: Two things I forgot to list that I have to find some room for are eggplant (tried them from seed last year and it was a fail.  Going back to nursery plants this year and will find a home for them in the square foot bed) and sweet potatoes (geeked that I grew an entire crop of sweet potatoes from splits that I started off of a potato from the previous year’s crop, so have to do that again.  Plus home grown sweet potatoes are super easy to grow and taste incredible compared to what you get at the super market).






3 responses to “Planning for the spring garden”

  1. April Avatar

    Plant jalapenos! The only plant in my garden that came out free from pests and disease last year. Plant some onions too, and with your tomatoes you can make your own salsa. 😉

    1. aakelley Avatar

      Yep, will do some random peppers in the square foot area. Did a few jalepenos this past year and combined them with the tomatoes, tomatillos and onions (I did grow those last year, but think I am going to pass this year – not much difference to store bought) and made my own salsa.

  2. Lisa Avatar

    We always had broccoli in our garden when I was a kid. It tastes completely different when you eat it fresh from your garden.

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