Monday, February 25, 2013

Garden planning -- the apple tree mound

Apple Tree Mound Aug 18, 2012
I got my hands in the soil yesterday at a friends house helping them plant garlic. That has succeeded in getting my gardening juices flowing. I pulled out my The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide and started planning out my beds for the year. I am making a spreadsheet table for each bed and thinking through what I'm going to want where.

One great idea that Debra uses is to have a "ready to plant" pouch where you keep the seeds you intend to plant this season that are ready to go into the ground. And on the packet, write how long the planting window goes so you know how much flexibility you have if you have to triage what goes into the ground based on how much time you have available in the garden.

I am also thinking that if I try to only focus on one bed at a time, I might find the planning a little less overwhelming. So the bed d'jour is what I am calling the Apple Tree Mound, between the path and the driveway in the front yard.

State of the mound -- July 9, 2012
A harvested squash -- Aug 31, 2012
I liked the tromboncino squash I planted last year. By the end of the summer it had taken over the "apple tree mound". But by July 9 it had just started to spread.

So I'm thinking that this year I will try to get a crop of early veggies in this mound that I will harvest as the squash overtakes them. Radishes, salad greens, etc. I may even be able to selectively prune or arrange leaves to provide a little shade for greens to continue later into the summer.

I also want to get some more herbs established in the north edge of this bed. It makes a nice kitchen garden since it is just a few steps from the front porch and within easy access to water. Last year I had basil and italian parsley. I'd like to also have some oregano and thyme. Long term I'll likely have to do something else here once the apple tree has really established itself.

 I'll probably plant some chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium). It has a long tap root, so I'm not sure if my transplant will work. But I also have some seed to sew.

I also want to grow cilantro, but mostly for the coriander seeds.