I would say that I would fall somewhere between a Beginner and an Intermediate when it comes to gardening. Growing up, I always remember Mom and Dad having a garden of some kind. Though sometimes the garden was not very big, it was always a treat to get garden fresh veggies! I wish my children could appreciate this, and maybe they will with the garden we are planting this year!
I always helped to plant the garden, weed the garden, weed the garden, weed the garden (was never ending), and harvesting. So I have some basics, but definitely need to build on my knowledge and experience.
This year we are planting a garden of our own. I tried once before when I first got married, but it was not well planned out, poor soil conditions and too much shade! Okay, so I have learnt that I need a spot that has more sunlight, and to make sure that the soil in rich in nutrients. See I guess I do learn from my mistakes!
Our acreage is on a sloping hill, so I am trying to plan a good spot that will be somewhat level, and will get enough sun light. You see, I have a forest (literally) surrounding my home! I hate to cut down trees, but may be forced to clear some for the greater good. No worries, the wood will not be wasted (fire wood, building materials, carving, etc). I am thinking my front yard may be the best option, though a Northern exposure, it is the sunniest spot in my yard (which is like 2 acres). I have been advised by my parents to watch the area to make sure it gets at least 8 hours of sun light. So as the snow goes away (which can be any time now!), I will start watching the area I’m contemplating to make sure there will be enough hours of sunlight.
I am thinking a type of tiered garden, with raised garden beds, so that it does not get washed down the hill side with the rain. I will use the fallen trees in my forest to use as the sides of my raised garden, and stack them as if building a log cabin. What I need to do still is decide how big I should make the tiers, the spacing between them, and ultimately how much room I will need to plant everything on my list.
So on this snowy February day, I pull out the seed catalogues that I have ordered, get out my gardening books, and I even search out a few topics on Pinterest! With paper and pencil in hand, I started my list with what I want to grow. I started with the regular potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, etc. then added a few special things I would like to try, and some herbs. Then I ask my son what he wants (he is the fruit and veggie kid in our home), he lists what he would like (watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, etc), so I add them to the list. Then I ask my daughter, she states she would like donuts and cupcakes (she is the candy kid in our home), I did not add this to my list. I could ask my husband, but pretty sure he will just say whatever I want, or that he doesn’t know!
As my list grows, I think back to when I was a kid, and how I would watch my mom pouring over the seed catalogues, going through them over and over, making lists, and then finally putting in her final order. I thought she was bonkers, guess that is what I am now! Funny how life changes your perspective on things!
So I have the basic list of what I want; now I need to decide on the varieties to grow. This I find the hardest, there are so many different kinds, which one is the best? I am anti GMO for sure, as I just feel there are certain things that you just do not mess with, and nature is one of them! Hybrid seeds, not 100% sure on those. So I am leaning towards the Heirloom or Organic varieties. Hoping this will narrow my list. And also if I go with the Heirloom seeds, I can harvest some of the seeds to grow year after year. You cannot do this with Hybrid seeds.
While I sit here sipping on my herbal tea, looking out the window to see a winter wonderland, I will continue to work on my list, and check it twice! Stay tuned to see what I decide to grow this year, and how my plans for my garden develop.
Vintage vegetable images from The Graphics Fairy.