Monday, February 2, 2009

Plans vs. Reality

It is the time of year that many of us are working on our garden plan for 2009. If you are like me, you're trying not to repeat the mistakes of last year. In the interest of sharing, I'm posting last years Plan vs. Reality.

So, here it is. My high-tech garden plan for 2008. Each bed is 4' x 10', so I have 80 square feet of planting space. So this page wouldn't just be some colors on a page that nobody could possibly read, I went ahead and typed the vegetable names onto the scan. (I want you to know, yes, I did have fun playing with the colored pencils.) I should explain the odd shaped plantings in the right (what will be the east bed). I purchased my seeds, but had no idea how much the packets would plant, so one night I opened them and counted (just the corn, beans & peas, not the small seeds). I wanted to plant all of my beans, so I made the number of squares match the number of seeds I had., then it became a matter of putting the puzzle pieces together. I will try to avoid the jigsaw look this year, as I would like the plan to flow a little better. I put this drawing and and a thin piece of cardboard in a plastic report folder (with the binder piece on what should be the open side) so that it stays clean when it comes to the garden with me.

This photo is of the overcrowded west bed.

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The major problem with this bed is the 4' x 4' area that contains the cucumbers, zucchini and the one (bush) tomato plant. This end became such a jungle, it was difficult to work with. I ended up cutting out some of the bush zucchini leaves in an attempt to give those poor onions I planted in there some sunlight. The zucchini was even creeping in on the cucumber. Most of my onions did not make it. I had a little bit of garlic and no scallions. I planted sugar baby watermelon under the corn thinking that the watermelon could use some shading. Next year the watermelon will be where it gets more sun. I don't think it stayed warm and sunny enough under the corn to make the melons happy.

I did a bit better with the east bed. The biggest problem with the east bed is most of the plants were shorter, but then I had the peas (and pea sticks) in the middle. That meant in order to cover the bed when I needed to, I had to have the cover high enough to go over the peas. Height is going to be more of a consideration for the 2009 plan.

I am expanding the garden for next year, but of course, I'm expanding the plant list as well. I know that there will be errors again next year, but I hope I can do a little better job planning. I'm afraid only time will tell...


Liisa said...


Thanks for sharing the plan and outcome. It gives me an idea of what I have to look forward to and what to keep in mind. I chose smaller varieties of melons, tomatoes, and Squash in hopes to be able to control them.


Amy said...

Thank you Liisa! I hope I can plan better next time. I'm afraid I may create a jungle in another bed since I'm adding more vining plants that I didn't grow before. Live & learn I guess!

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the colored pencils. :) Thanks for putting this up...I think it will be helpful as I re-plan my plan!

Annie's Granny said...

Trial and error is half the fun! I just blundered through last year's garden due to the late date getting it planted, and lucked out on everything except the tangle of green beans (sorry, no more SFG spacing for these)and the fact that some things just got planted too late. But I learned the last dates for planting most of my favorite vegetables, so it wasn't all a loss, and will help me plan better this year. I'm not going to say how many garden plans I've already made for this year ;-)


Ann Anders said...

Amy-WOW! You little green thumb! I want to share this blog with Lyn as she loves gardening. I have great landscaping(from the previous owners) but work hard to keep up with it all. Very interesting!!