We’ve had a few days of 40 degrees and the snow has melted off the garden beds and I’ve ordered my seeds so now I’m just waiting and itching and getting excited to get the garden going this year!
In March of 2020 we were under contract to buy this house and then, well, lockdown, but that didn’t stop me from day dreaming about my kitchen garden every single day. That first summer we were just thankful to be in the house so I didn’t grow anything.
In March of 2021 I started growing seedlings without even having the garden beds assembled yet. Almost all of those seedlings went the way of the compost pile but it was still fun to get my hands dirty. We then ripped out the grass, dished out the gravel, assembled the raised beds and then filled them. I grew plants that we bought from the farmers market and started to learn about the garden.
In March of 2022 I didn’t start any seeds because I had tossed them all the year before. I did direct sow some spring crops and then over the course of the summer grew a few things but didn’t do as much as I had wanted.
In February of 2023 (aka now) I’m making a plan so I can follow it and keep track of things once plants are starting to grow.
If you know me then you know that I am following the advice in a few treasured books instead of the internet or another resource.
Kitchen Garden Revival is what started it all. This book walks you through how to design a garden, what to plant when and how to tend the plants once they are growing.
Gardening for Everyone is similar but with a few more details about eco-friendly garden practices.
The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook is my roadmap. This is for more serious gardeners/farmers but the timing is the important part to follow.
Here’s what I’m planting this year with the goal of feeding the four of us out of the garden and not buying these individual items.
|Crop||Number of Plants to Grow||Total||Direct or Transplant||Season|
|Bean (fava) (bush)||4 to 8 per person||8||Direct||Cool|
|Brussels sprout||1 to 2 per person||4||Transplant||Cool|
|Carrot||10 to 20 per person||80||Direct||Cool|
|Chard||2 to 3 per person||9||Direct||Cool|
|Lettuce (Butterhead)||5 per person||10||Direct||Cool|
|Lettuce (Little Gem)||5 per person||10||Direct||Cool|
|Pea (shelling)||15 to 30 per person||60||Direct||Cool|
|Pea (snap or snow)||3 to 5 per person||10||Direct||Cool|
|Radish (spring)||15 to 25 per person||30||Direct||Cool|
|Spinach||5 to 10 per person||40||Direct||Cool|
|Bean, black (bush)||5 to 10 per person||10||Direct||Warm|
|Beet||5 to 10 per person||40||Direct||Warm|
|Broccoli||2 to 4 per person||16||Transplant||Warm|
|Cabbage||2 to 4 per person||4||Transplant||Warm|
|Cauliflower||2 to 4 per person||8||Transplant||Warm|
|Celery||2 to 6 per person||8||Transplant||Warm|
|Corn (sweet)||6 to 12 per person||24||Direct||Warm|
|Cucumber||2 to 4 per person||4||Direct||Warm|
|Cucumber (Pickle)||2 to 4 per person||2||Direct||Warm|
|Edamame||10 per person||40||Direct||Warm|
|Kale||3 to 5 per person||10||Transplant||Warm|
|Leek||10 per person||20||Transplant||Warm|
|Parsnip||5 to 10 per person||20||Direct||Warm|
|Pepper (sweet)||3 to 5 per person||6||Transplant||Warm|
|Squash (winter)||1 to 2 per person||4||Direct||Warm|
|Ground Cherry||1 to 2 per person||6||Transplant||Warm|
|Tomato (cherry)||1 per person||2||Transplant||Warm|
|Tomato (slicing)||2 to 4 per person||4||Transplant||Warm|
We will supplement our fruits and vegetables with seasonal items from the Green City Market which supports the local food producers and several are organic and regenerative farmers. We go as a family most Saturdays April through March and the Wednesday market starts in May. I take the kids down most Wednesdays over the summer and then we have a picnic lunch and spend some time at the Zoo.
I am not one to rush past winter. In fact I love winter. But planning the garden has me itching for spring.