2011 Plans

22 03 2011

Sooo many.

I’ve scanned and provided two alternate plans for the garden and yard.  These are not to scale at ALL but they provide some idea of what will go where.

My wife and I had lived in South Korea for 4 years.  We had plans to grow a “kimchi garden” (mostly what we have planned anyways….but no cabbage) as well.  Perhaps that time will come but this year, I have different vegetables I’m interested in.

Here are my projects for this summer:

1) Compost bin.  A good friend of mine who is both handy and experienced with making compost bins will be helping me construct one of my own sometime in May (me hopes).

2) Grinding out the stump and in its place: ?  The big mystery.  This year, I want to make that space just a wee spot for a big crop of bush beans (and maybe carrots) so we can decide what will happen next year.  I would love to make it a little asparagus patch but I think it may end up being too small.

3) Berries!  I’m very excited to be finally planting something called “Honeyberries” (or Haskup berries).  These are NOT very well known.  I first heard about them while reading the alberta home gardening blog (link in the links section).  They can provide outrageous amounts of fruit.  I plan to grow only two plants thinking, for now, they have to share the space with raspberries.  It’s going to be nice to have so much fruit and (hopefully) vegetable production going on.

Lastly, I’m hoping that the layout, budget and plan will allow me to have a small planting of strawberries.

4) Cukes and corn.

Cucumbers: I look forward to growing a TALL vining vegetable.  Hopefully it’ll provide a nice aesthetic break in the back of the yard from that busy corner.  I’m not growing pickling cukes this year but if this works well, next year for SURE!  I can’t wait.

Corn: Who doesn’t love corn?  Why would I not want to plan a delicious, green explosion that can also help screen out the compost.  I’m curious to see how it will work.

5) a Cold Frame:  We will be replacing a window in the back of our house and using the vinyl windows to make a cold frame.  We’ve wanted to grow peppers but it sounds as though they require some serious heat and, most people seem to also suggest, an enclosure to extend the season.

6) New planting beds.  There are currently two new beds beside the deck with not much in the way of planning for them.  Probably mostly ornamental stuff but I’m hoping to grow some grapes in the south facing bed.  Also, along our far fence where we’ve been putting things down and slowly killing grass, we’ll be putting a long bed.  Unknown right now what will go in there.  Something big and decorative.

7) A Pea and bean teepee.  After we cut down that stupid cherry tree, I want to build a BIG teepee trellis for these vines and, perhaps, get to a point where Ella will enjoy sitting inside the teepee snacking on delicious crunchy peas and beans on the inside.

8) I want to build a little apparatus that will fit under the apples tree designed to catch apples.  Too many apples will fall to the ground, get bruised, rot and remain uneaten.  I am NOT okay with that.  I look forward to great consideration of that design and building.

9) Something is going to grow underneath our big pine tree.  That whole area needs to be cleaned up and made to look nicer.  It looks like a pile of dead and rotting wood  My guess is there will be plenty of hostas and something else I just read about in a Lois Hole book but forgot about.  Personally, I’d love the area under there to be a seating area with our cement blocks (just a small pad) and a north south running trellis to inclose the space from the people going by being able to see into the yard.  In the middle of that pad, I’d leave one or two cement pads out and make tiny little beds there for some plants.

I’m fairly certain that a lot of the wood underneath that tree (long cut trunk sections about 6ftx 6″ diameter)  will probably line the back of the new garden bed.

10) Upside down tomato plants.  Seen these danged things all over the place.  I bought them at Ye Olde Giant Tiger for 5$.  It was originally me thinking “Hey, that’s 50% of the regular price!”.  Then, it became me thinking “These cheap knockoffs are going to be hard to get the plants into because of a design flaw”.  So long as I can get the plants into them though, I expect good things.  I mean, tomato seedling, potting soil, couple of fertilizers sticks right off the bat and then just watering; that’s all that it’s supposed to need.  Though my understanding is that daily watering (or even twice a day) in the heat of summer is crucial.  They claim to get “30lbs of fruit off a single plant”.  I will definitely be curious to see exactly how much I get.  I’ll be growing one cherry tomato and one “traditional sized” plant.

11) Garlic!  I planted garlic last October cause that’s how long it takes.  I should be harvesting this September.  Excited about home grown garlic!  Roasted, nice baguette with some homemade cheese alongside.  Brilliant!

12) Beds.  Just before the snow flew and after we moved the stairs on the deck, we opened up a couple of beds along the side of the deck: A toasty hot southern exposure and a lukewarm “nor-western.”  I’ll have to put some edging and amendments in there to make it good; dig the soil down nice and deep-like.  On the southern exposure I hope to plant some grapes.  I would never have thought grapes would grow here but I had a client at my old job who swore that his single grape vine did manage to produce fairly well against his wall.  I’ve always wondered what fresh-off-the-vine grapes taste like.  Hope to find out in a few years!

The nor-western bed?  Well, hopefully some kind of vining flowering deal.  Perhaps honeysuckle or, if there is a clematis that requires only part sun.

My wife and I have also agreed that chain link fence is ugly; even with the “cool looking” (uggh) slats.  So we’re going to figure out what is going to go there as well.  In addition there are a couple of street lights that shine directly into our bedroom that really chap the Mrs.  So we may, instead of shorter plants, source out a couple of bigger something or others to assist with that shade somehow….

13) The end of the deck.  What a long go it’s been to get that silly thing finished up.  Because of drainage issues, I may have to remove a few boards and run a  jump jack RIGHT against the house and build it up a bit.  But I also need to install one straight +-32ft stretch of railing.  The idea will be to grow grapes in the beds that grown underneath it as this southern exposure (with a white wall behind it) is a PRIME grape location in my mind).  Also will have to stain the danged deck too.

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