Cat's Garden: 2012 Sketches

Photo, right, is of my raised bed taken June 9, 2011, looking mostly north. The garlic and tarragon plants are the most robust, so far.


2012 Plan

See also Raspberry bed, started in 2011. IN april, re-oriented bed to N-S so will get more sun (not under fruit tree branches).

Here’s 2012-c:


Modifications to original CatsGardenPlan 2012a) plan:

  1. *CatsGardenPlan 2012b moved beans, broccoli/kale and garlic so that fall lettuce/spinach can go into area vacated by 2011 garlic - allows cabbage to be in garden a bit longer in fall 2011

  2. *2012c (shown below): exchanged beet and turnip so that beet would not be shaded by carrots which develop earlier, also to avoid garlic’s shade.

Key items:

  1. Move huge sage to N end of garden, because it was providing too much shade over N end of garden. This requires transplanting the basil plants to a pot for the end-of season (and perhaps they will continue on indoors through winter).

  2. Work chicken manure into soil after harvest (and before planting 2011 fall garlic, spinach and lettuce).

  3. Sprinkle thin layer of ash over entire raised bed after all have been harvested, as I’d like to see if sweetening the soil will help crops like beets.

  4. ground-level bed will be much the same as 2011, so be sure to mix up the soil, and work in chicken manure, followed by sprinkling of ash.

Wood ash experiment

This year I plan to experiment with amending my soil with wood ash. My beets have not done well in the 3 prior years of my garden. They aren’t unhealthy, they just don’t grow much above or below ground. In addition to perhaps too much shade from other crops, I think this might be due to a too-acid soil. And since most veggies can benefit from a little bit of ash, I will incorporate a very light dusting throughout the garden when I turn it (except not in my potato pots because it encourages potato scab). Of course, I’ve not tested my soil, which would be a good thing to do before embarking on this experiment...

Another crop that has not done well is squash, neither summer nor winter. That is, except for the volunteer that took over my compost pile in 2010. However, in this case, I don’t think the problem is pH. Both times I’ve tried squash (2009, 2011) I’ve used transplants. So in 2012, I’ll direct-sow seeds.

Planting garlic in fall of 2011 for 2012 harvest posed a challenge because late cabbage, cauliflower and kale crops were still growing in the spot planned for garlic. I will have to work around them (plant between rows), and then harvest the brassicas by cutting rather than puling out of the ground. However, can’t work composted manure into this soil because of the growing crops, so will add on top after harvest as mulch.

Bought bamboo teepee trellis for snow peas and set it in middle of ground-level bed - will divide the summer and winter squash.

General landscaping

Added honeycrisp apple in front yard where have been losing fir trees, and dwarf Italian plum near E property line and old septic tank. I plan to espalier the plum so it will partially block view from exercise room windows next door.

4/25/12: Priced clump of white birch ($170) for SE corner of yard, and red cedar ($120), but don’t know where I’ll put the cedar.

  1. Planting by Moon Phases

  2. I don't think I'll do the moon phase thing this year, as it didn't seem to help that much last year. But here's the info in case I change my mind.

  3. from http://www.gardeningbythemoon.com/phases.html:

  4. New moon, waxing (1st quarter) is best time to plant above-ground annual crops that produce seeds outside the fruit (lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and grains).  Also cucs, which are an exception (if start from seed).

  5. 2nd quarter moon, waxing, is best for above ground annuals that produce seeds inside the fruit (beans, peas, squash, peppers and tomatoes).

  6. Full moon, waning (3rd quarter), is best time to plant root crops (beets, carrots, onions, potatoes).

  7. 4th quarter moon, waning, is a time of rest and good for harvesting, pruning, and transplanting

  8. For spring planting, I'm planting most of my 2011 garden in April & May, with heat-loving crops (squash, beans, tomatoes & peppers) in June: (below are 2010 dates - need to update)

  9. New moon: April 14, May 14, June 12 for greens, lettuce, spinach

  10. 2nd quarter: April 21, May 20, June 19 for peas, beans  and squash

  11. Full moon: April 28, May 27, June 26 for root veggies and potatoes

  12. 4th quarter: May 6, June 4 for pruning and transplanting

  13. For fall planting:

  14. garlic at full moon (Sept 23) is best

  15. lettuce & spinach at new moon (Oct 7) is best

  16. Overwintering

  17. Kale, carrots, parsnips: mulch 6 ' 9" straw, if not good snow cover

  18. Lettuce & spinach:  plant in Sept-Oct for spring growth

  19. Garlic & onions:  plant in Oct, before heavy frost, for spring growth

Resources

Master Gardener, Ohio State Univ. Extension:  Veggies

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Raised Beds

Gardeners.com:  Kitchen Garden Planning Map (Square Foot type); good spacing info

Colorado State Univ. Extension:  Planting Guide for Raised Bed:  good spacing & timing info

The Montana Gardener's Companion, by Bob Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough

 
  1. 2012 Raised Bed Plan

  2. General Info

  3. General Landscaping

  4. Resources

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