Winter Planning, pt. 1

020417.jpgGood morning!  How great is it to wake up to sunshine and blue skies?  Winters here are mostly grey (plus we’re in zone 5 and it’s super cold), so this weather makes for an instant good mood.  We won’t be straying far from the house today but it’ll give us the chance to catch up on some chores and cooking.  And I’m trying to buckle down on plans for this year’s vegetable garden.

The problem is that I can’t plan this year’s planting schedule until I know exactly how much space I’ll have to work with.  I know I need something realistic for having a little one attached to my hip yet also helpful for future garden expansions.  We joke that last year’s garden was a food-forest, but really it was just a plot of crops overtaken by invasive weeds.  I bit off more than I could chew.  It was hard to keep the land cleared adequately in the heat of summer while pregnant.

I’ve been planning to eventually have eight 4×8 wood-framed beds of perennials (asparagus, sunchokes, herbs, horseradish) plus seventeen 30-inch x 40-foot beds with 12-inch paths in between.  Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of building the 4×8 beds and using them for this year’s annuals.  When I asked my husband’s opinion he was on board but also posed maybe sticking to the wood-framed beds in the future, expanding with a new line of them every year until the plot’s as big as we want.  I do love how tidy they look.  We have lots of friends and family who swear by them, and it would make bed prep manageable, but I’m unsure how I feel.  I’d probably end up with more than 40 of them, and I hate the idea of not using our beautiful native soil.  Maybe they can be shallow enough where the plants’ roots will still be able to access the soil.  I’ve got some research to do.  I guess if he wants to build more of them every year I can just sit back and enjoy, can’t I?  (Ha!)

Regardless, I’ll stick to the eight future-perennial beds (maybe plus some extra space) for this year’s garden.  Now I can get to work on sketching out the beds and figuring out how many plants I’ll need to start.

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2 thoughts on “Winter Planning, pt. 1

  1. Isn’t if fun to begin with nearly unlimited possibility? Adding a row a year is a good plan, as long as you have a pretty good idea of the finished project. I’d encourage you, if you have space to do 2′ paths. You’ll be able to get a wheelbarrow down them, or a garden stool, or to set down a harvesting basket or a weeding tub. I had 1′ paths in an earlier garden and always regretted it. The plants billow over the edges and suddenly there is no path. Hard to walk with a cane or walker down a 1′ path, if this is your forever garden. Always plan ahead!

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