October 17, 2013
Spring 2014 garden planning starts today! My friend Carrie Lang just sent me this picture:
She wrote that she had cut down a tree and was tearing up an ornamental garden to prepare for a big vegetable garden next year.
Joy of joys!
I replied, “Nice, that will be a good spot. Are you going to keep the round shape though? That would be cool.”
Her: “Yes I like it round too!”
Me: A sigh of gladness that another vegetable garden will exist in the world that is not the expected quadrilateral.
Since I consider myself to be the Robert Smithson of gardening, the shapes of my garden plots are very important. You can dig a 10′ x 10′ square but that is just so boring and expected. We started with squares and rectangles and pretty soon the garden started to look like the Transformers logo.
And while I think the Transformer movies are pretty entertaining, I wanted the garden to exude a less futuristic vibe. So I started cutting curves into the earth.
I do have the three rectangular strips in the middle, but this year I rounded off the ends of them.
And am thinking of adding a circle to the end of the one in the middle:
Aside from the aesthetic value of unexpected shapes in dirt, it is very pleasant to walk through your garden, without having to walk in the dirt.
Hence the grass paths between the shapes.
My grass paths started out quite wide, but have quickly gotten narrower.
So this year I will be careful in edging not to widen the plots any more.
I will indulge my need to dig instead in a garden expansion! It would seem the garden is large enough. However, your garden can never be too big. I want more pumpkins next year and I want to try growing those BIG pumpkins. So I need one more pumpkin patch type spot. Plus the trees around Spy Garden are shading more and more areas, and while many plants I grow do great with a bit of shade, some need full sun. I could cut some of the trees down and trim the others. Or indulge my need to dig and just make a new chunk of garden.
So here is the plan:
Here is baby’s plan:
And here is the Spy’s plan for an anti-zombie vehicle:
I love planning and expanding the garden in fall.
The ground is soft. Fall rains and cooler temperatures really make digging a breeze. Fall and winter are the perfect times to dig. The ground is damp, but not too wet. Plus you can really work up a sweat and still stay cool and not accidentally get heat stroke if you whip yourself up into a digging frenzy.
If you start now you have loads of time. You could dig a single shovel-full of soil PER DAY and probably still have a 300SF of garden (but please not in any boring dimensions) by spring. And if you flip over a shovel-full clod of dirt and it is all stuck together (i.e. if your dirt has a high clay content) you don’t even need to worry about breaking it down because the elements will do it for you over the new few months.
Happy planning (and digging)!