Stacking Functions Garden

Garden plans, revised


This winter, when I was in the throes of garden planning (while -20 winds swirled around the house), I made some very ambitious plans.  Now in the light of planting day it is time to be realistic.

Originally we talked about building a large cedar trellis/arbor over our deck.  I was then going to grow cukes, zuchini, and pole beans on said trellis.  Well this trellis is not going to get built now, partially because we simply don’t have the money for the wood.  So now I don’t want to let those seed packets that I foolishly already bought go to waste, and I’m revising my garden plan slightly to include them.

What’s new in here is that I’m going to try the classic “Three Sisters” element, where you plant squash, corn, and pole beans all together.  The corn provides support for the beans, and the squash shade the ground to keep the corn’s roots cool.  The beans fix nitrogen into the ground to benefit the corn and the squash.

This plan made me need to come up with a new spot for tomatoes, so I’m going to transplant some sunflowers that are growing between the chainlink fence and the deck and put in tomatoes there.  Moving the sunflowers to the front yard, which actually will be nice because they attract wasps and it was unpleasant sitting on the deck with tons of wasps flying around.

Anyway here is my updated garden layout (click to enlarge):

garden plan 2009

I’m using double rows, to decrease the amount of space dedicated to aisles. So each dashed line represents one row. I’m also going to try to use each grouping to get maximum yield — planting one early season and then one mid-season vegetable or herb in each spot. So some of this is a work in progress — I’m not totally sure, for example, what I’m putting in after the peas are done.

But enough talking, time to go plant!

2 thoughts on “Garden plans, revised

  1. I just discovered your blog via Snarkmarket, and I’m so excited about it! So awesome!!I haven’t had time to read all your entries yet, but what you’re doing connects with what I want to do both personally (as a fellow Mpls res, by the way) and professionally, as someone who teaches about Latin America in a Spanish department. I’ve been groping for ways to make my teaching be more informed by the categories you lay out, since they are so much a part of the lives of Spanish-speaking people in the world and in this country. For now, I’m going to read, think, and comment, but for now I’ll just add that in the “new liberal arts” frame, I’d add the dimension of “in Spanish” to just about everything you’re thinking about.

  2. Thanks, Joanna. I love the “in Spanish” dimension. In fact I really think that one of the keys for Americans to reduce their overall consumption is to learn from other cultures who have had “to do without” for eons.

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