Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Time to Get Moving on the Summer Garden

Lately, I’ve been neglecting the garden in a major way. I have been watering it on a regular basis, but that’s about it. Luckily, a lot of the garden is more or less taking care of itself. The peach tree I planted in barrel this winter is starting to grow peaches:

The boysenberry I planted in January has sprouted one pretty little boysenberry:

The onions and garlic that I planted last fall are going gangbusters:

The pomegranates, grapes, and apples that I planted over a year ago are all sprouting leaves and flowers like there’s no tomorrow:

But a lot of stuff is from the fall and winter is dying off—the peas, lettuce, spinach, and broccoli are all gone now. (The other day, the kid asked if she could please try some lettuce from the garden. I was absolutely thrilled until she spit it out. When I wasn't paying attention, it had gotten overgrown and bitter. I guess lettuce season is over.)

So I’ve been making some plans about what to plant for summer, taking some advice from Erica Strauss at Northwest Edible Life. Erica recommends rotating crops from season to season in the following order: root vegetable > legume > leaf  vegetable> fruiting vegetable. Using that as a guide, I cooked up a plan:

The left-hand column shows my four primary raised beds from my winter garden. The right-hand column shows what I plan to put in this summer. You can see where I had root vegetables (onions, garlic, potatoes), I plan to put in some legumes (beans, peas, peanuts) to get some nitrogen back into the soil. Where I had leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, lettuce, parsley), I have plans for following them up with fruiting vegetables (okra, bell peppers). In addition to the rotation schedule, I also took a few other location concerns into account. I think I have a pretty decent plan! With any luck, I'll be able to get out this weekend and get them all going.

Now, what do I do about all the weeds?

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