Garden Planning

I’ve been spending a lot of time going through my seed catalog and marking possibilities for this year’s garden. Pretty soon, I’m going to need to go ahead and place my order. I can hardly wait to get started. We had so much fun with our first year of square foot gardening last summer, that not only are we going to garden again, we’re expanding. We’ve already marked off what I’m calling the “garden annex.”

But first, the seeds. I buy nearly all of my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I like to buy local whenever I can and although they ship seeds nationwide, their company is located about an hour and half from where I live. They also have a no-GMO policy and carry many heirloom varieties. I love the history that goes with these seeds. My grandmother, who is 87 at this writing, remembers a cornfield bean her family grew when she was growing up in the “hills” of Eastern Kentucky. Southern Exposure has a variety of cornfield bean this year that dates back to pre-Columbian times; they believe this particular bean was “one of the oldest beans cultivated by the Iroquois.” I can’t wait to grow some to see if they are what my grandmother remembers.

We were pleased with what we grew last year, but want to add to it. This year, we’re planning to switch from bush beans to pole beans. We’ll grow the cornfield beans, but also a row or two of Kentucky Wonders. We’re also going to add corn, watermelon, zucchini, and pumpkins to the mix.

The annex. We’ve decided to keep the three boxes in the square foot garden area. There we’ll grow our tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, herbs, carrots and radishes. We’re going to plant the corn, beans, squash & zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkins directly in the ground in the annex. As soon as the ground dries out a bit, I’ll get some pictures of this area and post them on the site.

Our helpers in early summer 2009

As I’ve grown increasingly concerned about the pesticides on our food, and the cost of organic produce, and the emissions involved in shipping vegetables all over the country, our own garden has seemed like a better and better idea. It’s also a lot of fun. Last year, it was a great learning experience for our two young helpers and I think it will be again. They’ve already been naming all of the things they want to grow.

I’d love to know if any of you have plans for a garden this year. If so, what will you plant?