We finally got a few nice days and it’s made me more excited than ever for spring. The Midwest is collectively thanking Mother Nature.
Since we plan is to be in our barn apartment sometime late-spring, we’ll be on the premises during the growing season this year. If you’ve been around here for awhile (hey, mom), you remember we gardened hot and heavy for a few years at our first house. We tried gardening one year at our current house but there’s just not enough sun in our yard to make it happen. So we ditched that effort.
But I missed it so much. I miss the excitement of seeing plants grow from a tiny seed. I miss the feeling of accomplishment when you pick a cucumber or can tomatoes. There’s just something right about eating food that you grew in your yard. AmIright?
So, in true Woodward fashion, we are going over the top this year with a garden at our property. You could probably call it a farm. And you will probably be giggling at us when we overdo and fall flat on our face.
Welcome to our world, friends.
There is a perfect plot next to the barn that gets full sun and is located close enough for easy access and maintenance. (In other words, my laziness knows no bounds.)
Ryan and his dad dumped a load of farm-grown fertilizer on it last fall and we’re hoping that helps the soil be extra rich and ready. The space is about 30 feet wide by 50 feet long. We started by listing everything we wanted to grow. Between Ryan and I, it was a long list.
- Sweet corn and popcorn
- Tomatoes (several varieties)
- Cucumbers (slicing and pickling)
- Peppers (sweet, banana and jalapeño)
- Squash (summer and winter)
- Herbs (cilantro, basil, dill, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, parsley)
- Eggplant, okra, and a few other randoms that we don’t need much of but wanted to fit in, if possible.
When considering what to grow, we really aimed to only grow things we actually eat. And we’re trying to grow more of those things we like canned (like tomatoes and banana peppers).
Then, I went through and laid out the garden. Things I considered:
- Companion planting – which plants grow well together and which need to be separated. (I like this chart at Old World Garden Farms.)
- Height – I also tried to consider how tall the plants would grow and how the shade from those plants would affect other plants. (For example, the tomatoes will grow high on trellises and hopefully give the cool weather crops like lettuce, radishes and carrots a little shade and a longer growing season.)
- Vining – for our pumpkins and squash, I added them to the end of the garden, where they can be free to roam down the hillside. We’ll see how they like this space, but I hope it allows them to grow big and not bother the other plants.
Here’s what I came up with.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m doing.
So it may be wrong and we’ll deal with that. But, I went off of the seed packets for how many plants could feasibly grow in a row. And I decided to make the rows different widths based on the width actually needed by the plant. It’ll take a little math up front when we actually start working in the garden, but I think it will give some good variety to the space, too. And it should utilize every inch.
- Succession planting means that I’ll plant a bit at a time over a few weeks. This will – hopefully – allow me to pick more of the plants throughout the growing season
- Trellis means that I plan to fashion some sort of a trellis to allow the plants to grow vertically. Currently, I’d like to try something like these DIY cages from Old World Garden Farms.
Who else has their garden plans? And who else is going over-the-top?