As I sit here typing the main garden is dusted with fresh snow and the temperature is hovering around freezing. So naturally, I feel the need to put together my garden plan all the while thinking about warm, sunny mornings checking for ripe veggies with the buzzing of bees and the zip of hummingbird wings all around.
Details About My Garden Space
The main garden is deer-fenced and measures 50 ft wide by 60 ft long for a total of 3,000 sqft. We’ve been working on the garden since we moved here in 2014. It gets better every year!
In 2018, we grew in about 650 sqft of terraced semi-raised beds. In 2019, it was a little over double that with new beds created using strawbales. This year, we’ll be growing in all available space within the deer-fenced garden AND starting to expand into the roughly 30ft x 100ft strip between the garden and the road.
The entire garden area is on a gentle north-facing slope. Supposedly that’s a bad thing, but it’s one of the sunniest areas on our wooded property.
Where My Seeds Are Coming From This Year
Each year I save more and more seeds. Eventually, I won’t need to buy any additional seeds unless I want to trial new varieties.
I allow many of my plants to go to seed and end up with plenty of volunteers coming up in my garden. I don’t put these on any formal garden plan though.
Spring & Fall Annual Crops
In our mild climate, we can easily grow cool-weather crops. Many of the most frost-tolerant will overwinter without any protection.
Generally, I can count on Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, and pretty much all root vegetables to stay alive all winter.
- ≈ 300 Peas – leftover Little Marvel & Strike
- ≈ 500 Onions – 200 assorted sets (spring planting), New York Early, & Red Welsh Bunching
- ≈ 100+ Leeks – King Richard & Tadorna
- ≈ 200+ Garlic – Still undecided
- ≈ 60 Potatoes – Still undecided on seed potatoes
- ≈ 60 Broccoli – Calabrese Green Sprouting & Belstar F1
- ≈ 60 Cauliflower – Amazing
- ≈ 700+ Lettuce – Red Wing Mix & Rocky Top Mix
- ≈ 100+ Spinach – Space F1
- ≈ 20+ Swiss Chard – saved seed
- ≈ 20+ Kale – leftover Black Magic
- ≈ 100+ Parsnip – Hollow Crown
- ≈ 300+ Carrot – Danvers 126 Half Long & Amarillo
- ≈ 120+ Radish – French Breakfast & Easter Basket Mix
- ≈ 100+ Turnips – Purple Top White Globe & Boule D’or
Main Season Annual Crops
Our summers tend to not be hot enough to get good crops of peppers or tomatoes without careful selection of varieties, starting plants early, and for indeterminate tomatoes, weekly pruning.
Sometimes corn isn’t able to ripen in time so this year I’ll be starting it 2 weeks early and then transplanting out.
Both winter and summer squash do well though!
- ≈ 20 Amaranth – Red Spike & Golden Giant
- ≈ 8* Pumpkins – saved seed, Jarradale, Tetsukabuto
- ≈ 8-10 Zucchini – Flaminio F1
- ≈ 115** Corn – Bodacious
- ≈ 10 Cucumbers – H-19 Little Leaf
- ≈ 70 Tomatoes – Sun Gold F1, Moskvich, Japanese Black Trifele, Speckled Roman, & leftover seeds of many types
- ≈ 30 Sweet Peppers – Jimmy Nardello Italian & Ajvarski
- ≈ 15 Hot Peppers – Anaheim
- ≈ 100 Green Beans – Annihilator (bush), Kentucky Wonder Pole, & saved seeds
- ≈ 20+ Ground Cherries – Aunt Molly’s
*= If I’m able to get part of my additional growing area setup I’ll be planting 64 pumpkins.
**= Ideally I’d need to grow another 35 to provide a full year’s supply for my family.
- Mountain Mint
- Oregano – leftover Vulgare
- Thyme – leftover Mother-of-Thyme
- Marjoram – Sweet
- Chamomile – Zloty Lan
- Bee Balm
- Yarrow – Colorado Mix
- ≈ 24+ Parsley – leftover Giant of Italy
- ≈ 45+ Cilantro – Slo-Bolt
- ≈ 70+ (eating) & 20+ (bouquet) Basil – Lemon & Everleaf
- ≈ 45+ Dill – Bouquet
No particular amounts on my garden plan for these except for cilantro, basil, parsley, and dill.
- ≈ 30+ Ageratum Mix
- ≈ 12 Aster – Moonstone
- ≈ 20 Bells of Ireland
- ≈ 20 Dahlia – Bee’s Choice Mix
- ≈ 20 Dara – Chocolate Lace Flower
- ≈ 20 Gomphrena – Globosa Mix
- ≈ 20 Statice – QIS Apricot
- ≈ 15 Scabiosa – Fata Morgana
- ≈ 15 Strawflower – Vintage White
- ≈ 10 Snapdragon – Potomac & Chantilly
- ≈ 30+ Stock – Vintage Brown, Quartet Rainbow, Katz Formula Mix
- ≈ 50+ Gaillardia Wildflowers
- ≈ 20 Celosia – Texas Plume Summer Sherbert Mix
- ≈ 10 Nigella – saved seed from Delft Blue
- ≈ 60 Zinnia – Benarys Giant Mix
- ≈ 70+ Sweet Pea – saved seed
- ≈ 20 Cosmos – Xanthos & Apricot Lemonade
- ≈ 30 Rudbeckia – Sahara
- ≈ 10 Bachelor’s Button – Classic Magic
- ≈ Nasturtium – Bloody Mary & leftover Alaska Mix
- ≈ Marigold – Tangerine Gem
- ≈ 30+ Sunflowers – saved seed & leftovers of Strawberry Lemonade, Florenza, & Mammoth Russian
- ≈ 30+ Poppies – Hungarian Blue Breadseed & Mother of Pearl
- Salvia – Sirius Sage
- Gaura – Cool Breeze
- Purple Top Verbena (not the herb)
- Firecracker Vine
- Swamp Milkweed
I’ll be adding a number of perennials this year. These are coming from Burnt Ridge Nursery in Washington.
- 1 Seckel Pear
- 1 Italian Plum
- 1 Black Beauty Mulberry
- 50 June-bearing Strawberries – Hood & Totem
- 1 Silver Linden (not in garden – for honeybees)
- 3 Mock Orange (not in garden – for honeybees & cutting)
- 10 Red Osier Dogwood (not in garden – for erosion control & cutting)
Deer Barrier Experiment Plants
I’m going to test out creating a deer barrier around a garden area to see how effective it is against the local Black Tails.
The amount I’ll need will depend on how large of an area I decide to put them around. At this point, I think I’ll start every seed.
- Artichokes – Green Globe (thorny)
- Eryngium – Blue Glitter (thorny)
- Maximillian Sunflower – perennial sunflower that is extra fuzzy
- Litchi Tomatoes – thorny