Here we are, my favorite post of the year! My detailed garden plan for 2013, click to enlarge:
Oh, how my plans have evolved over the years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
I’ve been very focused, the past two years, on trying to grow a GREAT variety of things in my garden, but now that I’m a more experienced gardener, I want a nice-sized crop. I’m no longer excited about having grown one single eggplant fruit. Give me at least 15 of something or forget it.
With that in mind, I’m taking 2013 off from all brassicas and root vegetables in the main garden. I have had bad luck with both—brassicas due to their long growing season and root vegetables due to my very rocky soil. My main vegetable garden has a very short season due to the peak of my neighbor’s house. It blocks the sun in all but the highest summer weeks.
I’ve also learned a lot about hoop house gardening, and this year will try to take my mini stock tank hoop house to the next level. With that in mind, I’m planting only very early spring things in March (weather permitting). These things will definitely be done by July 1 or so, when I will look to the fall and get greens and other such things started for fall harvests. My biggest lesson from 2012 in the stock tank was that I need to start the fall plantings earlier, giving them a chance to get good-sized before the cold and dark set in.
I grew both shallots and green onions from Mother Earth Gardens “starts” last year, and loved them. I plan to do that again. Garlic is already in the ground. I wish it had some insulating snow on top to protect it from the -20 degree F winds blowing over our area today, but… well hopefully it will be fine.
After pickling jalapeno peppers last summer and LOVING the result, I plan to grow quite a few more hot peppers this year. I’ve made room for 12 plants, and will get a variety of peppers when I make my annual pilgrimage. As for tomatoes, I’ll grow six plants again on the trellis, but will decide which varieties when the catalog arrives.
I actually have quite a bit of seed leftover from last year when I apparently went completely insane with seed, so I’m going to re-use wherever possible (yes, many seeds are still viable after a year or two). This means we’ll be enjoying “Maxibel Haricot Verts” again this summer–they are a spectacular bush green bean.
I’m also letting go of trying to grow vegetables in Rowan and Anneke’s stock tanks. They simply don’t get enough sun for anything beyond nasturtiums. I’m going to let them each pick out a variety of shade-loving annual flowers this year, and I think some fairy gardens may sprout.
My question for you: do you think acorn squash will work on a completely vertical trellis? Or am I dreaming too big?
Garden planning and seed starting information
My garden plans for 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012
My 2012 garden calendar (2013 planning dates, coming soon)
Starting seeds without peat or plastic
U of M Extension seed starting guide
U of M Extension: planting dates for vegetables (highly recommended)
U of M Extension: a whole bunch more information about vegetables
January 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm
I’m so impressed by the development of your plans; I’m still firmly entrenched in hand-drawing my plans. I think there is a part of me that simply resists being too organized (and it’s not as though it’s working overly in my favour!!). Getting to know what will grow and when and how is such a great process, and you look ready to push forward with well earned knowledge. I’m afraid my squash growing experience does not encompass the acorn variety, so I have no idea as to the trellis idea – sounds cool though.
January 22, 2013 at 10:16 am
Acorn squash grew up out of our compost pile this year, and attached itself to the chain link fence. We though “oh yay! we’ll have volunteers!” but it was a failure – the squash get too heavy and fall off, or they get blemished by the fencing and rot.
January 22, 2013 at 10:42 am
Good to know. So, if I attempt this, I will have to give even small squash secondary support. I’ve had friends who have grown melons this way, tying up the melons with bits of old nylons to give them some extra support when they get to a certain size. So, I may have to go that route if I do indeed try this. Thanks!
January 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm
What program are you using? I’ve just found this and it’s pretty neat! http://gardenplanner.southernexposure.com/gardenplanner/gardenplanner.html#
January 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm
I use Adobe Illustrator. I’m a graphic designer by day, so it’s a program I’m familiar with and love. I even used it to design my backyard landscape project last year!
January 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm
Your garden plan is impressive. I scribble out hand drawn plans and then never follow them, LOL. I grew buttercup and Chersonskaya squash vertically. I had no problems with them falling off. These two varieties do grow on a thicker stem than acorn. My only problem with growing the Chersonskaya vertically was that they grew much bigger than I anticipated (average 10 pounds) and one of the squashes didn’t fall from the stem, but rather took down the whole vine. Others stayed up until I harvested them. Can’t wait to watch this garden grow!
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