With a full year of really gardening under our belts (we're like newborns, I swear, there's so much to learn!), we're trying to figure out how to grow even more veggies in our limited space!
I recently borrowed How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons from my friends at Spotty Dog Farm and took lots of notes on BioIntensive plantings. Now my head is spinning with ideas about how to squeeze as much in as possible!
A couple of years ago, when we first put up the fence in the front yard, I decided to make a map of our property so we could plan out where the beds and grass would go. The map has evolved as our yard has, but it has proved priceless when it comes to planning what will fit where.
|Front and back yard maps, together.|
I have since made a map for the backyard, too. Each map is to scale (I used graph paper and lots of trips outside with a tape measure) and allows me to not only plan each years plantings, but also helps me think about my succession plantings and crop rotation in future years.
My current veggie maps are no where near done being that there are probably 3 or 4 revisions that will happen before it's time to actually put some plants in the ground in May, but it's fun to play around with the possibilities of it all.
|Close up of one part of the back yard - Ideas, ideas, ideas...|
|Close up of the back wall in the back yard with an idea for a |
cucumber trellis drawn off to the side.
|The front yard - We have a mixture of no sun, some sun and lots of sun |
in our tiny yard. Even in the shade though, at the height of summer,
it gets hot enough to send the spinach (in full shade) into bolt mode overnight.
|Close up of our two raised beds in the front yard. |
In the 4X6 bed you can see that I have some corn, bush beans and beets
kind of crammed in there...this is one of the BioIntensive experiments
I'll be playing with this year.
|Another close up of the front yard. I plan on tying the Roma Tomatoes|
up to the fence for support. The winter squash will vine out, so I can guide
them around the outside of beds around them and along the path.
All of this planning only adds to my spring fever. I mean really, it's January and there have been more days than not this month that I have been able to walk around outside without a jacket on! Don't get me wrong, I do wish for more moisture...snow would be wonderful...but all this warmth is adding to my longing to put my hands in the earth! So, as I mentioned earlier this week, to work with the longings instead of against them, I've already started some seeds under our grow lights.
In addition to all the planning, and as you probably know, I've been tracking all of our harvest totals for the past year. This year I intend to not only continue this practice, but to also begin tracking the money we spend in the garden as well as figuring out this years income from the garden. This gets a little complicated because I'm thinking about going back and trying to figure out how much money we've put into the garden from the beginning, then amoritizing it all and coming up with a base line for each year. Crazy. We'll see how this goes, but it doesn't seem right to start from zero this year and only track income. Whew!
Linking up to Homestead Barn Hop #47