Spring is here! Spring is here!! Spring is here!!!
I’ve always said that summer was my favourite season, but this spring with the anticipation of planting my garden, getting back into canning pretty much every week, and starting up on this season’s field work, I am tempted to say I have a new favourite season. The daffodils are all coming up, the trees are starting to flower and smell amazing, and now and then we actually get some sunshine. I apologize to those of you out east – but here, dare I say I think it’s spring.
I thought the first day of spring would make a great day for my first gardening post. A tour of the little plots of land that I have, what I plan to do with them this year, and that sort of thing. So here it is, my front yard. If you don’t know me, we live in a duplex where we only have a front yard, but it’s at the very end of a cul-de-sac so we have full sun all the time which makes it a great area to garden. So here is the grand tour! In my yard I have a few raised beds, and the front of the house area. The beds are 4ftx8ft, 4ftx4ft and 2 that are 3ftx8ft. Then that little box is 2×2 and I plan to do potatoes in that. The front of the house bed is abut 12ftx3.5ft. Then I have a triangle ish area by the side of the house (pictured next) that is probably 40-45 square feet. So all in all I have about 180 square feet, if my math is okay. Not too bad for such a small little yard and only in the front! 🙂
The side yard is a weird shape and not ideal , but I make do. The landlord built a fence around it so it’s more shady than I’d like, but I will do my best to put more shade tolerant plants over here. Excuse the weeds, planting time isn’t quite here yet…
So what have I done so far to get ready for another great year? I’m so glad you asked! I’ve started planning everything I want to plant this year and have done a few early seed starts. I pulled out all my leftover seeds from last year, and bought a bunch more, here they are!
It’s still early so I’m trying not to be over excited, but I did start some things that I know can handle a bit of cold. So far I started a bunch of lettuce, beets, spinach, kale, peas, herbs and some flowers – alyssum and marigolds. In the past I haven’t done a lot of seed starts, but it’s a nice way to get things going. My beets did quite poorly last year so I’m hoping this will help. So here are the babies only about 5 days after I started them. I can’t start many more, my window sill is full!
Beets! So adorable!
Another thing that can go in this early is potatoes. I got my “seed potatoes” ready to go. I have that in quotations simply because these are potatoes I found in the back of my cupboard and thought, “sweet, I forgot these were there, what perfect timing, I will plant them.” Don’t let the garden centre fool you, seed potatoes are just potatoes. ha! Anyways they are cut and being planted this week.
And last but not least, for things already started and growing – brace yourself for some rhubarb recipes, look how big it already is!
Awesome, spring is here and I’m ready to plant! So let’s take a quick look back at last year’s garden. Spoiler alert – this jungle is what my front yard will look like in a few months. This shot is from mid August last year. You really can produce an amazing amount in such a small area and even with fairly shallow beds (mine were only 6-8 inches, but more discussion on this later!)
So what’s on my list for this year?
Tomatoes – millions of them. OK that may be slight hyperbole, but I can’t get enough of them. They are probably the most versatile thing when it comes to canning, and though you have to wait all season for them, they are a great bang for your buck in terms of how expensive they are at a farmer’s market, and how many of them you use if you can them for salsas and sauces.
Zucchini – although maybe less than last year.
Lettuce, kale and spinach – gotta get those greens!
Potatoes – I am trying the potato box again. It was moderately successful last year so here’s take 2! Basically as they grow larger you add another layer and build it up to get more taters.
Beets – I love ’em!
Carrots – maybe, they were delicious last year, but take a long time
Peppers and onions – probably cutting this year as they take a lot of space and effort for the price of them at the market or farm stand
Beans – It’s my nickname from my sister and who doesn’t love beans! Also my very first canning project
Pickling cucumbers – Check out that sweet trellis I built for growing them vertically.
Lots and lots of spices
OK – I’m sure I forgot something, but such is life! There will be more posts 🙂
Do you have a small garden space that you are trying to utilize efficiently? What are you planting this year?