Which has lead to this
Before the snow fell and it got too cold I took some measurements and made up a drawing of my vegetable garden as it is now. Since then I've been sitting in front of the tv at night and drawing in new beds, erasing them, and drawing some more. I've been asking myself questions like, do I want more space to walk between beds or is it more important to cram in as many beds as possible? Another question that has popped up is what do I want to plant in these beds? It helps to know how much I want to plant and then I'll have an idea of how many beds I need.
So I did an inventory. This is what I pulled out of my fridge.
|What? You mean to say you don't have a fridge drawer dedicated just to seeds!|
I discovered I have a lot more seeds than I realized! Among the extras I had forgotten about were black currant (Ribes nigrum), red flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) and beauty berry (Callicarpa bodinieri). I think I'm going to try growing these and if they germinate they'll likely stay in pots for a year so I don't need to worry too much about where they will eventually be placed.
I also discovered a boon of perennial flower seeds. I would rather put annuals in my vegetable garden so I will need to find a place to put these. I'm considering renting a sod remover and rototiller next spring and creating several flower beds in one push. It's possible those beds could be seeded with these packets.
The perennial seeds include:
Hollyhock (actually a self seeding biennial)
Hidcote Blue Lavender
Shasta daisy; and
Mountain Meadows Wildflowers (this mix includes annuals and perennials such as blue flax, gaillardia, corn poppy and plains coreopsis)
Finally the annual flower seeds! There's a good mix here including:
Cactus zinnias; and
And I can't forget my dahlia tubers as well. Looks like I'll need at least one full bed just for flowers!
Vegetable seeds are aplenty as well. Looks like I don't need to order as much as I had thought. Good thing I decided to do this inventory as I found the following:
Plato Romaine Lettuce
Rossa di Milano onions
Chantenay Red Cored carrots
First Crop Beets
Zesta mesclun mix
Simpson Elite lettuce
Progress No. 9 peas
All of these seeds, with the exception of the peas, were planted in my 5 beds this past summer but I did find that it was too crowded. Some of the cilantro and onions didn't have enough space and light and the lettuce did not grow as well as it should have. So realistically I should create another bed or two and space my plants out more to properly accommodate all these seeds. Add to that the half bed of garlic I planted this fall, the 25 strawberry plants I intend to order as well as peas and flowers and I think the answer to my question is I need A LOT more beds in my garden.
The key I think will be to use the space efficiently. I need as many beds as possible but also room for wide rows. I placed a couple of the boxes too close this year and I'm not happy with the result which is a slight nuisance. I also need to be careful about ordering too many seeds. I'm glad I took an inventory because I really didn't realize how many flowers I had and I thought I was short of lettuce seed which isn't the case at all. It's tempting to go through the catalogues and order up all sorts of new vegetables and flowers but I'm trying to increase the size of this garden just a bit at a time so I won't be overwhelmed by all the work to do. I'm looking forward to getting on my bike and visiting the beach next summer, as well as eating fresh vegetables, so I need to ensure I've got time for both.