Friday, January 4, 2013

Planning the 2013 Main Garden

I love this time of year when nothing is going on because everything is frozen outside.  It gives me an excuse to stay inside and daydream about what our garden(s) will look like in 6 short months.

I am planning to grow 3 different types of gardens this year.  The main garden in which we would consume and preserve the contents, an herb garden for medicinal purposes and to stock up our herbs for the year, and a chicken garden in an attempt to completely get rid of the cost of chicken feed.

This year, I am going to try to stay away from the greenhouses in the spring because I am going to try to plant everything from seed.  I have high hopes of planting the seeds in the ground this spring because I have had no luck in the past starting the seeds indoors and transplanting them outside.


This is the list of fruits and vegetables we plan on growing this year in the garden:
(* denotes items we have never grown before)

  • Amish Paste Tomatoes*
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Early Girl Tomatoes
  • Bush Beans
  • Yard-Long Green Beans (we loved these last year!)
  • Peas (2 varieties)
  • Cucumbers (2 varieties)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Zukes
  • Summer Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Onions
  • Leeks*
  • Carrots*
  • Sweet Potatoes*
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon *
  • Cantaloupe*
  • Ground Cherries*
  • Radish* (I bought seeds for $0.10 a packet at the end of last season)
  • Asparagus (we have some in the ground already, but I think the chickens may have destroyed them.  I have some seeds that will be planted and I will cover so the chickens cannot get to them!)
  • Rhubarb*
  • Cauliflower*
  • Broccoli*
  • Romaine Lettuce*
  • Mustard Spinach*
  • Spinach*
  • Vine Peach*  (An annual that fruits the first year!)   
  • Elderberries*
We have several fruit trees and bushes scattered around the yard including a dwarf plum tree, two pear trees, four concord grape vines, red raspberries, blueberries, and two cherry trees. 

Take a look at this diagram about how much land is (theoretically) needed to be self sufficient for a family of 4.  I thought it was pretty interesting, though I think we could do it on half the land (there are only 2 of us, we don’t eat many grains and don’t use dairy other than butter).

We get our seeds from Groco Seeds as well as from WalMart.  I have started my transition toward heirloom seeds this year in order to fulfill one of my aspirations of saving seeds. 

Have you started to plan your garden for this year?
I would love to hear what you are going to grow!


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  1. I think you have to be careful planting your new heirlooms around varieties that are not heirloom due to the cross pollination. There's no protecting it from neighbors who are planting non heirlooms though. The best thing I grew last year was acorn squash and the small sugar pumpkins for pumpkin cakes/bars. I'm going to plant more herbs too, medicinal and culinary.

    1. Kathy,
      Thank you for the comment.
      I have read about cross-pollination between heirloom and non-heirloom.
      I will have to find out how far away they have to be from one another. Luckily, we have 3 places that we will be planting this year and they are on 3 different sides of the property. As for neighbors, they are pretty far away. But again, that is something I have to look into - THANK YOU. :-)

      That is awesome about the sugar pumpkins and acorn squash. Will you be planting more of those this year?

  2. Hey! I have no real advice about how to grow these things - you already are way ahead of me in gardening knowledge. I just wanted to say that all those foods sound really yummy!!!! Mmmm.

  3. I am just starting to make my list of seeds for the summer. I would love to grow everything from seed this year, but I know I will go out to the greenhouse and buy tomato seedlings (and anything else that I seem to kill before it is in the ground). Good luck!