Worms and Flowers

New Year’s Gardening Resolutions

Posted in Garden, Vegetables by Lzyjo on March 31, 2009

This year I have made a few resolutions to improve my garden, based on last year’s experiences and shortcomings. My resolutions include mulching, succession planting,  staying ahead of the weeds, and tracking the value of my harvests.

Last year when I began our garden it was sort of unplanned and half-cocked. I had a garden in Nashville, but when we moved out to the country it took me a few months, until April/May before I worked up the nerve to ask the landlords if I could dig up a garden, by then it was really hot and really late.

This year I have a nice diagram of what I want where, along with planting dates for succession planting, so we can have beans all spring and summer, instead of a freezer-full all at once.

Leafy greens and quick maturing vegetables are being planted numerous times, every two weeks. I am also doing multiple plantings of summer squash and corn, so hopefully we will have more of a balanced harvest through the fall.

For corn I am growing two heirloom varieties Golden Bantam Improved and Stowell’s Evergreen. Since I want to save seeds, I need them to tassel at different times so they won’t cross pollinate. I have already planted the Golden Bantam which matures in 85 days.  I am waiting for the Golden Bantam to germinate before planting the Stowell’s, which takes approximately 100 days to mature.

Mulching is also something I want to try, to conserve water, control soil moisture and temperature. I hope to use mulches to prolong the harvest of cool season crops, like peas, lettuce, etc., and also control soil conditions for tomatoes, bell peppers and plants that can have difficulty setting fruit in rapidly fluctuating soil conditions. The Cooperative Extension of Virginia has a very inclusive article on Mulching Vegetables, which covers newspaper, grass clippings, and leaves. I am planning to use a blend of deciduous leaves and grass clippings, to counteract the nitrogen-depleting effects  that some rapidly-decomposing mulches have on available nitrogen.

I am going to stay ahead of the weeds this year. Last year I think some of my crops, mainly corn, could have performed better if they weren’t smothered by quack grass.  I am going to get out there especially after it rains when weeds are easy to pull and new ones are popping out.

Last year I was totally inspired by the recording keeping of Mrs. Dobby at the Dobby’s Pumpkin Patch, who harvested over £1000 of fruit and vegetables from her allotment.

According to my balance sheet I have spent 72.35 on seeds and seed potatoes, this does not included fencing and tomato cages, etc., purchased last year. This year I already have an Excel sheet ready to track my savings! Exciting.

What are your new year’s gardening resolutions?

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12 Responses

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  1. fairegarden said, on March 31, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    Hi Izyjo, what an ambitious planting schedule. I wish I could get the succession thing down, but always end up with a freezer full of whatever, or lettuce that has bolted. We are still waiting for the soil to warm up before planting most of the seed in the ground stuff. Peas are up but being eaten, even with the chicken wire, it must be something smaller, like mice, getting them. We have a lot of critter problems while everything is small. Later in the summer it is not so bad. Knock on wood!

  2. lzyjo said, on March 31, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Knock on wood indeed! I am surprised mine have made it as long as they have without being munched down. I think it is warmer on this side of the plateau.

  3. Darla said, on March 31, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    To make the veggie garden work!!

  4. inadvertentfarmer said, on March 31, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    I’m working on succession planting also, I just put in my 3rd sowing of peas and 2nd of spinach.

    My biggest goal this year is to get some of the major projects done (kiwi trellis, gates, etc.) and to have good late planting for fall/winter harvest. There is no reason living in the temperate Northwest that I can’t garden year around with a little forethought and planning.

    Great post, Kim

  5. lzyjo said, on March 31, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    I plant the seeds and then pray they’ll come up.

  6. lzyjo said, on March 31, 2009 at 1:34 PM

    Sounds like you’re well on your way. A kiwi trellis sounds fantastic! I tried growing kiwi seeds one time, it didn’t work out, which is probably a good thing since I don’t have anything for it to climb up!

  7. Daphne Gould said, on March 31, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    Funny you should ask that. My New Year’s Resolution was to track my garden expenses and harvest and see if I have a plus or a minus. I have a tally sheet on my sidebar. Of course at this point we haven’t harvested anything yet. We live in the Northeast so I probably have a month to go before a harvest, but I have plenty of expenses to start with :/

  8. lzyjo said, on March 31, 2009 at 5:10 PM

    Daphne, I did see that widget in your sidebar. Very cool! I’m not savvy enough to do that. I’m looking at it like a part time job for about one hour a day. Plus organic costs more, so it will add up faster!

  9. Gail said, on March 31, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    I wanted to clean up the patio area and I did…I also want to plant more edibles in the ornamentals beds, see if I can get vegetable to grow in containers and get back to my native garden roots! Thank you for asking! gail

  10. lzyjo said, on April 1, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    Sounds like you on your way! I’m sure it will be lovely looking at those green vegetables growing while you relax in the backyard. Lettuces, green and red can be so pretty. Sometimes I wish I could see my garden from the house!

  11. mlc said, on April 1, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    Ambitious thing you are. Well written blog with nice pictures.

  12. lzyjo said, on April 2, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    Overambitious. I think some people would call it crazy! thanks for stopping by and commenting, it’s comments like your’s that make us bloggers keep on.

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