Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring Garden

As it nears March, we are busily preparing for our spring garden.  We have seeds started in the garage and seeds of chard, peas, and spinach in the raised beds.  We also have a nice crop of garlic up and running.  It's the first time we've done garlic, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.  The primary goal of the garden, aside from the hobby aspect of it, is to provide produce to feed the two of us.  We started by focusing on produce we love (and eat regularly) that was expensive to purchase, and then ventured into trying some other things.  Our space is rather limited because we have wonderful tree cover on our lot.

We're planning out the layout and building the remaining raised beds, and carefully watching the weather so we can cover our outside plants if needed. (Side note on the weather: the weather here this time of year is insane.  I can have ice on my car in the morning and by 3 pm, it's 70 degrees.  Only to get back down to freezing by dawn the next day.  Gotta love the Hill Country.)

Some of the big lessons we learned from last year (see below for pics of last year's garden - the first one is the garden in the spring and the second is in the fall, after we raised some of the beds):
1. Squash vine borers are the devil, and we may not try squash and zucchini because of them
2. When it gets above 95 degrees outside, tomatoes do not set fruit.  We have started them inside earlier this year, with the hopes of getting some fruit before it gets too hot.  We also hope to have a slightly cooler, damper summer this year (no more drought, please!).
3. Deer like the pepper plants.  Garlic clips seem to work.
4. Plants do much better in raised beds in soil as opposed to our rocky, clay-filled dirt.

Some of the things we are excited about trying this year:
1. Raised herb garden in the back yard!  Last year, we grew basil, oregano, parsley, sage, and thyme in pots.  I am very excited about being able to grow many more herbs, and maybe even some different varieties (lemon thyme, purple basil, etc).
2. More types of tomatoes.  We were very successful with grape tomatoes last year.

What do you think?  What have you grown successfully in the past?  What should we try?


1 comment:

Leo said...

I've been having spring gardening fever the past couple of weeks. It's disappointing that the last frost date is so late here. I wish that we owned our house so that I could try building raised beds. How do you keep the dog from playing in your garden?
I'm itching to try growing some lettuce and greens while it's still cool. I'm trying to figure out a good way to grow tomatoes and peppers in pots, and I'm still trying to figure out the best location (pots, side flower gardens) for herbs. My garden didn't turn out well last year.