Returning to Our Roots // Planning our Vegetable Garden
We've talked about beginning our vegetable garden before, but it was early in the planning stages. It still is, as we are continuing to come up with ideas daily about how we want it to look, which plants we want to grow, and how we are planning on sourcing and budgeting the material. This is something we never thought would take so much planning, but because we are passionate about making our yard and home sustainable, we thought we should probably enter this new project whole-hog and learn all we can. I plan on doing several blog posts documenting our journey as we learn, plan, and project our dream of a kitchen garden. If this is something you want to plan out for next summer, feel free to follow along in our footsteps! We can walk down this path together (:
Planning the Layout. We knew we wanted something aesthetically pleasing, pretty, and functional at the same time. This is totally achievable! We have begun to map out the space where our garden will go, so we can figure out exactly how many vegetables will fit in the spaces. Raised beds is something we all agree that we want (this we is myself, Jill, and Kurt - my dad). There are so many different types of raised beds out there to model ours after! One of the options we liked was galvanized corrugated metal.
The metal wasn't the pricier part, the taller height of the boxes made them each a lot more expensive than we were hoping. We want to have 10 plant beds and $160 a pop was not going to fit into our budget. We decided that wooden beds at a lower height, still tall enough to maintain on our knees, would work better. For now, our pricing is coming out at $60 a bed. Much better! We may still opt for the metal, but it's up in the air. We want to start building them fairly soon! We will have six beds that are 4' x 12' and four beds that are 5' x 5'.
A great tip we read was to make sure the pathways in between your beds are about 4 feet across. This way, if you are using a wheelbarrow, it can fit through the pathways. This would be bad if it did not, and you were stuck hauling vegetables back and forth.
Picking our Veggies. This is the fun part! We have talked so much about which vegetables we want to plant. The possibilities are endless, however, we want to be able to eat and use the majority of them. Part of our reasons for wanting to grow our food is so that we do not waste it. That means we get to learn even more about canning! Yay! For now, here is our rough list of vegetables we want to plant: lettuce, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, baby pumpkins, and green beans. We are also planning on planting about two or three apple trees. Our herbs, which are currently growing indoors, will also get moved to the outdoor beds.
Planting Dates. This is something that we are still learning about! We will need to begin researching the best planting dates for our vegetables, how long they will yield, and how to go about planting for the next season.
Companion Planting. Something we had not really considered, after reading a bit more about gardening, is that it is smart to use companion planting when beginning your garden. This will help your vegetables to grow better and not be overwhelmed by a plant that it does not live well with. We will need to begin doing more research on this!
Composting. I began reading about composting, but I am still unsure when to begin doing this. I have read that it is best to start composting about a month before you want to plant, but I am currently growing herbs and am not sure if I should just start composting now. We would to begin to lessen our waste, and we would also like to lessen our waste in other ways as well. If you have any info on when a good time to start composting is or how long a compost pile lasts, let me know!
Chickens + Purple Martin House. We have discussed having chickens many times. This is something we definitely need more information on and are planning to add to our garden in another two years. So exciting! We are also wanting to place a Purple Martin House near our garden. These birds help to eat mosquitoes!!
Greenhouse/Conservatory. MY DREAM. I have always dreamed of a home with an attached conservatory, like in Practical Magic. We are planning on turning our now laundry room/attached porch into a small greenhouse to grow seedlings and other plants. SO excited for this one!!
I know this post wasn't super exciting, but hopefully it helps break down what we are wanting to do. Keep an eye out for more detailed posts on each of these topics. We will discuss more of what our layout will be, how we are planning to map out our budget, and more. Thanks so much for reading!