So I’m a big goal setter! Every year at the first of the year I sit down and try to map out a few things that I would really like to accomplish in the different aspects of my life. The gardening goals are no exception to that. So here’s a look at what we have planned for 2015 around Stoney Acres.
Garden Production Goals for 2015
In 2014 the home garden produced a total of 711 pounds of produce. That was short of our goal of 775 pounds. But last years shortage came from a combination of poor soil (it was our first year in this garden) and no melons from the home garden. I got the melons planted late here at the home garden and they never really got a chance. We only got one small Crenshaw melon the whole year.
So our goal for the home garden for 2015 is 875 pounds! Yeah I know that 160 pounds more than we had last year but I’m pretty confident I can pull it off! Why, well for one we will be adding some new beds this year and the other is I’m determined to get our normal 100 + pounds of melons from the home garden this year.
What about the borrowed garden space? Leo has told us we can use it again this year but we are planning a few things differently for that space. For one we are not going to grow as many melons there. Last year we grew a ton and sold them to the neighbors, but I’m not sure I want to do the “selling” thing again this year. It worked out okay but I wasn’t all the big on trying to round up customers to sell melons to. So this year I’m going to grow fewer melons and just give the extra away to friends and neighbors.
We are also going to grow more potatoes in place of the melons. Last year we had 3- 40 foot rows, this year I am going to add a 4th. We also want to extend our sweet corn harvest so we are going to do that by adding another 3 rows of corn and staggering the plantings a bit so that we have a longer amount of time for fresh corn on the cob!
Last year we had 600 pounds from the borrowed garden, this year I will be happy with 400. The breakdown will be 200 pounds of potatoes, 100 pounds of corn and 100 pounds of melons. I may use some of that space to experiment with a winter squash or something else like that as well.
New Beds and Structures for 2015
As you may remember we got a new fence (or really a wall) on the south side of our property last year. We weren’t planning on that so it ended up adding a lot of shade to two of our garden beds. The one closest to the wall was the one impacted the most, It will be in the shadow of the wall for all but maybe 3 months of the year (June, July, August) so that will cut down the production in that bed a ton!!
We have decided to replace that bed by adding a bed here on the west side of our yard. We are going to add an 8 x 12 foot raised bed. For the next few years we will use this bed for popcorn, melons and pumpkins. The bed will get plenty of morning and afternoon sun so I think it will do great! We will have to hit it pretty quick in the spring so that it is ready for planting by early May.
We are also going to add a small 30 inch bed all the way around the patio out back. We will use this bed to plant some flowers, herbs and veggies. This will be a great addition to the yard and will soften the look of this other wise bland concrete patio.
Last year we planted these two grape vines. By the time we got them in last spring it was pretty late, so the plants spent most of the year getting established and not growing much. But I’m sure they will take off this spring so we will need to get them some support. The plan is to add a nice trellis here that will look similar to the one at the front. Valerie has always wanted a grape tunnel in our yard so this will make a fun entry to the back yard!
Potted herbs; in the past our garden grown herbs have been limited to parsley, chives, basil and some times some dill. This year we really want to expand the number of herbs we are growing so we will be adding some nice big pots to the back patio to grow herbs in.
New Plants for 2015
So I found this year that I’m getting a little bored with the same old veggie varieties. Many of the veggie varieties we grow we have been growing for the entire time we have been gardening (that’s 17 years!!). This year I’m going to shake things up a bit and try a few new varieties to replace old favorites:
- Glacier tomatoes (this is an early cold resistant tomato)
- Crocket Bush Beans
- Royal Burgundy Bush Beans
- Two or 3 types of shelling beans
- Arcadia & Umpqua broccoli (Arcadia for the larger heads, Umpqua because it is open pollinated)
- Leeks (we like leeks but have never grown them???)
- Peanuts (Valerie really wants to try these so I’m making space this year)
- Sprouting Broccoli
- Winter Density Lettuce
- Tom Thumb Lettuce
- Napa Cabbage
Also if I can find the room I want to try the following:
- A pumpkin with an edible (hull-less) seed
- A smaller zucchini plant
- Some kind of fun summer squash (i.e. a fun color or shape)
- A hotter pepper for making paprika
If you are interested you can jump to this page to see a list of all the edible plants we will be planting this year (the list is surprisingly long)
We also hope to add a few new perennial and annual flowers to our yard this year
- A climbing rose bush on the east of the house
- A forsythia bush
- Bleeding heart
- Snap dragons
- A trailing petunia for some of our flower pots
So there you have it, my 2015 gardening goals for Stoney Acres! I’d love any input you guys might have!