Lettuce Turnip the Beet

Get it?  Haha, I saw this phrase on a tee shirt on Etsy this week and thought it was perfect for this post all about our 2014 Garden.

Garden Snow January

The best part was that we came up with the garden plan on our snow day so the garden looked like this.  Not exactly screaming “PLANTING SEASON!” but this is North Carolina and planting season will come along quickly.  Prepping for the garden this year is actually a serious process and we’ve dubbed this year the Year of the Garden.  We’ve had trouble keeping up with the garden in the past and losing a lot of the crop to squirrels and neglect so this year we’ve sworn to be good caretakers.  To keep us accountable, we’re signing up to have a booth at the Farmer’s Market so we have to keep up with it if we want anything to sell!

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED:
SQUIRRELS.  They tend to get the better of us.  The squirrels eat most of our veggies, we didn’t even know squirrels ate tomatoes or could take out entire corn stalks, but they do.  Not sure what we can do about the squirrels yet but we’ve been researching things like Hot Pepper Tea Spray.

MOLES.  These little guys come up from the bottom and steal all the carrots and potatoes.  We come out and find little holes where our plants used to be, just sucked into the ground.

SPIDERS.  Spiders are good for a garden but they tend to scare me away from pulling weeds.  This year we’re going to put down mulch so the grass doesn’t grow and encourage spiders.

PLANTS.  Some plants do better if we buy them as young plants instead of seeds – like cantaloupe and peppers.  Not sure if this is just a lack of green thumb or if the sprouts look like weeds so we pick them or what but we like getting some from the Farmer’s Market.  When we can, we like to buy from seeds since it is a whole lot less expensive.  This year though, we might look into some of the specialty seed stores that are cropping up online that are non-GMO and organic.

WATER.  Our hose doesn’t actually reach the garden so we have to spray it and hope it gets everything or we have to fill up a watering can and take it one at a time to water the furthest beds.  This year we’re going to attempt a watering system that will make this much more convenient (and thus much more likely that we’ll do it)

2014 Garden Plans

WHICH VEGGIES?

A lot goes into picking the veggies: when they’ll be in season, what grows well in NC, what we eat the most and this year, what we think will sell at the Farmer’s Market.  The only one we think might change are the potatoes, we might switch them out for Lettuce.  We haven’t had much luck with either in the past but we definitely eat more lettuce than potatoes so we’ll see.

We chose where they’re planted based a lot on height.  Corn is in the back so it won’t block the sun on the others, the climbing plants or ones that need to be held up are on the edges where we have the upright grids.

TIMELINE

We’ll start planting in March based on what is recommended, but first there is a lot to do.  We’ve got to get the garden ready and here is our to do list!

  1. Get rid of the dead old veggies
  2. Take out the dirt and put down some sort of Mole barrier
  3. Put the dirt back on and mix in a little compost
  4. Add pavers to the center area
  5. Put down mulch around all the beds to keep the grass from growing
  6. Put in a new box for the sunflowers behind the corn
  7. Take out the tea plant and make an area for blueberries
  8. Put in a water system

Eventually we want to upgrade our rustic (and ugly) fencing system.  I am loving the idea of having a stone base with a fence above it which might keep out the rabbits at least and looks gorgeous.  Maybe even add a little garden shed like this?  Someday.  In the meantime I’d just be happy with some warmer weather!

Author: Jamie Forbes

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