Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Garden Planning

Like so many, this time of year I get lost in my seed catalogues. I've a wonderful 'seed bank' of seeds to select what I want to plant, and will get more serious about seed saving this year, but I still enjoy haunting my catalogues. I use largely Heirloom, and always Non-GMO seeds and plants, so seed saving will be easily done for healthy plants next year. I've always saved my bean seeds...yellow/wax, Dragon Tongue, and green, as well as a few odd ones I experiment with from time to time, but want to get more organized and spot on saving all the others, too.

I'll be choosing which two fruit trees I want to plant this year, too. I'm thinking the apples first. Because the soil is so nutrient deficient, the holes have to be a LOT larger in order to mix in soil amendments. I also have a thick layer of sandstone under my top layer of soil. Depth varies, so I'll have to deal with that issue, too. I'm thinking about Gala, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious. Will choose two from the three, or...hell...may do all three! I'll do Dwarf trees, not because I don't have space available for a full size tree, but because the shorter/smaller trees will be easier for me to care for and pick fruits.

So, I've selected some seeds to start...most I've planted in previous years, and some are experimental. I like to try different things with different seeds to see how best to utilize them for the growing season. Up here? The growing season is really short, so I'm going to try starting and transplanting a couple of things that I wouldn't normally do that with this year. I keep detailed notes that include soil mix, dates seeds are planted/sprout, where the trays are inside, transplant dates, etc. So I know/learn what works, and what doesn't.
Some seeds I'll be starting inside in the next couple of days.
Seeds to start soon.

More seeds to start soon.
Although I know it's a tad early, I'll be starting my plants inside soon. I want good-sized plants to transplant when the weather permits. I'm uncertain when that'll be...lol...according to some of the planting sites I've looked at, it won't be till June, but I always get things out earlier than dates given...so, we'll see how that goes.
Garden plan
Garden plan

I've always done a lot of planning like the drawings above because it helps me to have something visual to use as a starting point. Notes...notes...notes! I can't rely on my memory...lol...that's for sure.

So, I'll be planting around the shed where I have a nice area to work a smallish garden that has decent sun exposure with some shade for the hotter months. I was going to work my soil mix into the existing soil, but have decided to do raised beds like I had in Illinois. The soil here is extremely poor, and this won't be my permanent garden area...just for the next couple years. So it makes sense to work with raised beds for now. I'll be building up with largish rocks, which are plentiful around here, and some larger dead fall logs...inexpensive (free, as a matter of fact), and using what I have at hand. Of course, I'll have to fence it in...rabbits...elk...etc...would have a field day destroying anything I plant otherwise. I've quite a few T-posts laying around, and the always available chicken wire, too. I'll probably have to get another roll of chicken wire, but there's always a use for that somewhere.
I'll do something like this for the rain catchment set up. Image from www.ecodiy.org

I'll be setting up a couple of IBC totes, along with guttering on the shed to do rain collection. That's how I'll do some watering in the garden. I'll have around 600 gallons for use, so hopefully that'll get me through 'some' of the dry months here. I'm hoping the short monsoons will keep it replenished. Though the monsoon season rains aren't usually enough to water a garden deeply, I'm hoping they'll keep this rain catchment topped off for the deep watering needed.

Funny...I'm finding that to be true for many things...finding a use for 'that' somewhere. Like...I buy kitty litter in those large plastic containers. I've given a lot of them to friends up here for their use, but I found that they're great to use for my chicken feed and scratch. I keep the bulk (several bags of each) in aluminum garbage cans to keep mice out, then refill the empty kitty litter containers with manageable amounts to carry to the chickens. I can think of more gardening uses for these kitty litter containers already! Recycling at its finest. I imagine I'll do that a lot with many items over time.

Thanks for reading...ciao!

1 comment:

Gorges Smythe said...

We had rain barrels when I was a kid (no running water). I'm thinking of reviving the idea at my place. Besides the garden, it might flush the commode a few times when they're working on the lines.