Garden Planning

Seedlings

There are the seedlings that got planted in their little pods yesterday.  I am hoping I planted them soon enough.  Because this is all new, I don’t really know what I am doing.

Last year, I just planted everything imaginable.  This year, I am looking at it a bit differently.  I have a new strategy.  What are the vegetables that I use the whole year round?  Garden planning to be sustainable is a little different than just making a list of veggies to plant that taste good during the summer.  My goal is to eventually be able to provide all my food from my garden so there are a few things to consider and plan.  These may be obvious but perhaps not.

First, what vegetables store the best?

Second, what foods will I can?

Third, what foods can I grow the longest?

Fourth, what other items can I add during the time nothing is growing?

To start, potatoes, onions, garlic, pole beans, squash, cabbage, and tomatoes are the basis of my diet during the winter.  I use them during the rest of the year too but mainly in winter so I will want to make sure I plant plenty of them.  All of these last a long time after harvesting.  Cabbage and tomatoes don’t last that long once they are picked.  It is the canning and fermenting that makes them last.

Cold weather crops like kale, spinach, broccoli, etc. can be started early and planted again in the fall.  Although I have not started planting these crops yet this year, and it is the time to be doing it, eventually I will be on a routine.  Sprouting can be added during the winter months to get something fresh.  This is all once I get off the grocery store.

I read a book about eating seasonally.  It wasn’t that long ago that is what people did.  Right now, I am buying veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, apples, avocados, and lemons, etc. that are grown thousands of miles away any time I want them.  Even when I was growing up, I am sure we couldn’t get pineapples, avocados, and other vegetables and fruits that are now shipped in from all parts of the world.  We survived.

I am also working on getting my soil in better condition.  I planted a cover crop last fall but ran out of seeds.  There are cover crops to plant in the spring, too, and I added some this week.  It will add nitrogen to the soil.  Then there is rotating the veggies.  I am sure there are things I should definitely not plant where a veggie was previously.  Some plants enrich the soil, and some severely deplete the soil.

All of this is a learning experience!

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