Feb 21, 2013

Garden Planning

The days are growing longer, the sun is growing brighter... I can feel spring just around the corner. And with spring comes one of my favorite things - the garden!

Here you can see the plan for this year in all the different beds:

Garden Plan 2012 | Garden Plan 2011

We practice crop rotation, so each bed moved over one again this year. It helps the soil recover from particularly needy plants and to reduce the number of pests, since we try to garden organically. This year I’m on the lookout for those squash vine borers that killed my zucchini and summer squash last year.

There’s a bed solely devoted to tomatoes (with marigolds for natural pest protection). As usual, I will start the tomato seedlings ahead of time from seed in a few weeks. The flower bed (dahlias, snapdragons and zinnias) and vines bed (cucumbers, squash, zucchini, musk melons) will be the same as last year.

In the bed with the beans, carrots and herbs I’m making a couple of changes. This year I’m adding sugar snap peas to the rotation, on the bean tower. Peas are a spring crop and green beans are a summer crop, so I can actually do both in the same spot. I’m also going to plant rainbow swiss chard in this bed where I had radishes last year.

Now if we could just get the weather to warm up... where is that early spring we were supposed to see?


  1. Hi Alissa, I LOVE your blog, especially the garden section! I have to confess, I have almost totally copied your design, right down to the garden fence and gate! I am starting this ambitious project this weekend, can't wait!
    Have had very bad luck in the past 3 years with Rabbits and poor soil as we live close to the coast in North Florida. Anyway, Thank you so much for your inspiration..... Happy Gardening... Mary

    1. Good luck! It's a lot of work up front to build raised beds and put in two layers of fencing (half buried chicken wire and deer netting), but once finished it's very low maintenance. Our fence has only been breached twice - once by a very smart raccoon and once by a chipmunk that found a gap in the deer netting. And the beauty of raised beds is that it doesn't matter what your soil and yard is like. You get excellent drainage and good quality soil if you bring in a compost mix.

      Also we use buried soaker hoses for watering (minimal waste and no standing there with the hose every day) and black plastic over the beds with cutouts for the seedlings (prevents weeds, warms up the soil, keeps moisture in from the soaker hoses and diverts rain water to the plants and not weeds).

      Happy Gardening!

    2. Thanks! Fence is up, boxes are set with beautiful soil and I planted broccoli today. A friend commented "that rabbit will jump right over that fence" ha ha.... I didn't laugh!! It's a few inches over 2', hopefully it will keep him out this year.

  2. Ahh you are putting me in the mood for warmer weather! I envy your super organized plans! We have one raised bed so far, and last year I did several varieties of tomatoes which turned out amazing!
    I'm so excited to have learned of the marigold trick! I had no idea!( does this help fend off deer as well?hah;)
    Cant wait for Garden season!

    1. Good luck with your garden again this year! Since tomatoes are such heavy feeders, be sure to add plenty of compost / fertilizer to your bed to replenish the soil. Marigolds work great for bugs... I wish they kept deer/rabbits/chipmunks/raccoons away! I've heard good things about planting spearmint and lavender to keep deer and other critters way, but I've never tested it out. For me the most effective thing is a good fence (or two!)!