Spring garden planning…

It’s that time of year – spring garden planning season! I’ve been antsy for a few weeks. Suddenly, though, I am already behind.  It’s only April 1st. How can that be?

I talked about putting my yard/garden to sleep last fall with some crop cover on my vegetable bed.

DSCN2287

It did its job over the winter and it is lovely. Now what? Ha Ha!

DSCN4150

I did do a bit of research over the weekend on what to do now.  It seems that I should have trimmed and turned over the crop cover a week or two ago. I should have planted some cool weather crops last week at the latest – like arugula – oops.

DSCN4166

Then there is the business of containing my vegetable garden a bit more as a raised bed – with a concrete wall or rocks or wood or something.  I thought about it occasionally during the winter, but did not arrive at any final conclusion.  So, I figured I would just turn over the crop cover and start planting – since I am already behind.  Done – as of yesterday.

DSCN4153

I had gotten a bit of a head start last fall with my side yard redo. I am excited to see how things work out this season with that area. It’s all cleaned up and stuff – like rhubarb – is already sprouting!  I will fill in the bare areas with some vegetables and flowers – once the existing stuff comes up and I can see what survived the garden renovation – and what didn’t.

DSCN4161

Last year I trialed some strawberries on the hot, dry south side of the house.  They worked out great so I plan to expand the strawberry patch a bit further along the south side this year.

Strawberry Patch

I am waiting to see if my asparagus sprouts again this year.  It is supposed to be perennial, but I haven’t seen any sign of an asparagus sprout yet which I think is a bad sign – sad.

DSCN4157

I have been reading about some of the concepts and ideas of permaculture gardening.

DSCN4165

It’s thoughtful – sort of common sense – it’s interesting.  I say thoughtful because I think very few of us think about where our food really comes from and what it takes to get it to our tables.  It has brought to light (with me anyway) the idea of perennial vegetables.  I am a huge fan of perennial flowers, but I had never really thought about perennial vegetables/food.  The previously mentioned rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus are great examples of perennials. So, I am accidently on the right track in this area of gardening. My intention for this season is to expand on this idea of perennial vegetables.  I will put in some raspberry bushes either in one of my south side troughs or my front garden bed (which I am in the middle of redoing). In the past, I have successfully grown raspberries in partial shade/filtered sun so I am trying to decide which area will best work – the sunny, hot, dry south side or partly shady, cooler, east facing raised bed.  Oh the dilemmas…

My new garden book also talks about an herb or planting spiral.

DSCN4167

I would love to implement this idea somewhere in my landscape.  It is basically a mound of soil that is planted around and up in a spiral creating different microclimates for different kinds of plants.  I figured I would try an herb spiral this season with just a few plantings to see how it goes. I just have to figure out where to best place this spiral.

DSCN4170

Finally, as previously mentioned, I’ve got a bit of a start on renovating my front planting bed.  It has been overgrown with grass and weeds for a year or two.

DSCN4142

I broke down the stacked stone wall and installed some metal edging along the inside of the bed.

DSCN4148

Once I completed that, I realized that I should have pulled up the bottom rocks as well and installed the metal edging along the outside of the bed – then, covered up the edging with the bottom layer of stacked stone.  The goal of the metal edging is to eliminate or at least minimize the grass growing up between the rocks and into the planting bed. Easy enough though to pull up the bottom stones, move the metal edging, and replace the rocks.  I am just happy I didn’t get it all completed then realized that the edging was in the wrong place.  That would have made me looking and feeling a bit (more) sheepish.

More on this redo later – I suspect you can hardly wait…