Today I'll talk a bit about my veggie garden -- not so much to discuss vegetables, but to point out some of the planning involved. Similar efforts need to be made for any annual garden. My garden now is 22' x 28'. But over the years its size has varied enormously. In New York my "garden" consisted of three large pots on the back fire escape. Even it benefited from some advance thought.
The fun part is coming up with ideas of what to plant. But immediately related questions clamor for our attention. Probably the first is how much sun do our chosen plants need. Many Beverly yards are blessed with trees, but that means they are less blessed with sun. We need to identify the sunnier spots -- and remember that what is sunny when we head off to work is not necessarily sunny at 2PM. A little observation is in order. And sometimes this means that your entire scheme has to be re-thought.
The size of your bed will be determined in part by the size of your yard and how it is structured. Within all these constraints you should start small. It is better to end the season eager to do more next year than to end up with a sore back and a patch of weeds. This is gardening's equivalent to a 5k run. You have to work up to it.
Once you lay out the size and shape, you should take measurements and then draw a simple map and make several copies. You can do much of your initial work while it is still below freezing outdoors.
|2013 Blank Garden Map|
|2014 Blank Garden Map|
We will use this map for the coming season. I try to rotate my crops a bit each year by tearing down my raised beds and rebuilding them going perpendicular to the beds from the year before. This guarantees that most of my veggies don't get re-planted in the same spot year after year.
More on planning next time.