I mapped it all out – my garden for this year. I plant some early, hearty seeds in mid-May and plants (like tomatoes and peppers) on the first of June to make sure I am clear of the final frost. That seems a long way off, but thinking about sunny days in the doldrums of winter is transporting.
I also cleaned out the greenhouse and reorganized everything. I have a new bed to build. When I redid my garden in the early spring of 2021, my bed of herbs had already started growing so I left it. Now it needs a new structure and a new world order – without MINT (more on this in a min).
I am removing pumpkins from my garden this year. I grew all but 12 of my 75 pumpkins in the manure pile behind the barn and the vines that yielded those 12 were a nuisance to the rest of my garden. So, buh-bye. I don't think I am at risk for no pumpkins, but the manure pile had better yield a good crop or I am in deep doo doo.
I am overstocked on butternut squash from last year, so I will skip them and add a few cucumber plants back in for making pickles. I need a better canning process for pickles that doesn't leave them soggy. If you have one, please share.
I am removing my strawberries this year. I want to grow them some other way. The weeds that infiltrate the strawberry bed are such good mimics of the strawberry plants with similar runners and leaves that it's impossible to weed them out without wreaking havoc. Plus my chipmunks usually get to the strawberries before I do. Hilarious to catch them in the act and especially when they get a really good one stuck in the fence. Cue mad chipmunk face.
My new herb bed will be free of mint. It just takes over. I am not sure why I planted one little mojito mint plant in there. Maybe the call of the Mojito? Dumb idea. I have mint in other parts of my garden with the flowers and it works well there filling in gaps along the fence. But the mojito mint crowded out my thyme and sage. I am going to add some more medicinal herbs this year, especially holy basil. I will also be consulting my friend Shannon from Mayernik Kitchen – she's an herbalist and a plant medicine maker – about what others to add. Got your own thoughts on this? Fill me in!
Practices to match my goals.
I plant. I tend. I harvest. I eat. I give it away. And I preserve. But it's more accidental what I end up with than it is thought out. I know… Accidental Farm, yadda yada. But this year I want a better flow of products at the right time.
Some I will grow for eating in the summer and also for saving – like onions, garlic, zucchini, and tomatoes. Some I will grow so I have a steady flow throughout the summer for eating – like radishes, lettuces, and other greens. But not too many at once which is what I tend to do with radishes. To get this flow, I will plant in smaller batches about a week to two weeks apart. I love experiments.
Seeds from yesteryear.
Little by little every year I add something new to my gardening practice. It takes me a while to get into the swing of things in certain practices. Last year I saved seeds from my (omg-so-delicious) mustard greens. And I got some interesting bean seeds from farmer John Coykendall at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee when I visited there last year. I have never tried growing beans for drying and I think it will be fun. Especially the ones from Romania and Ukraine.
Another new consideration.
My friend Liselotte (@80milesnorth on Instagram) is a master gardener. She is starting a flower business this year and has an overage of Dahlia tubers. So I might start a little patch. And I think I will bend her ear about other flowers I might add. It's good to have friends who know so much!
What about you?
Do you have a garden? If you do, tell me the one thing you're most excited to grow this year. If you don't, I urge you to plant one seed in a pot somewhere. If you did, what would it be? Click the button below and tell me quickly!
xo Farm Girl