It’s the time of year to start planning ahead for next spring. Many plants such as tomatoes and hot peppers need to be started indoors long before the weather gets warm enough to put the plants into the ground. Other seeds and plants can be ordered now and many companies will ship them only when it’s time to actually be planted. Here are some of my plans for the new year:
I plan to devote almost my entire second bed to ‘maters this year. Last year I had only 5 plants in the ground, 4 of which performed poorly. I would like at least 6 to 8 of them this time around, and I’m hoping my experience and preparations will lead to bigger yields on all of them.
We would probably like one each of an heirloom, a slicer and a cherry tomato, since our cherry tomato plant performed so well last year. The rest of the tomatoes to be planted are will probably be plums.
I like peppers so I’m going to try and grow a few. I like making some hot sauces for myself and various hot sauces and other spicy things make great gifts come the holidays. This year I would like to grow some bell peppers and some new hot pepper varieties. I’m thinking tabasco, cayanne, and maybe more cowhorns or serranos, since they were easy to grow and worked great in hot sauces.
This picture shows my second garden plot. The purple area will be filled with tomatoes. The orange area will be hot and bell peppers. I’ll probably only have room for 4-5 small pepper plants, considering how much space is already devoted to tomatoes.
Garlic and Onions
We’ve already got garlic in the ground and I’m hoping when the spring weather comes some if it will sprout. I would also like to put down at least a few sweet yellow onions if I can find a variety I like. The garlic should harvest relatively early compared to some other vegetables, making way for potential fall crops. Scallions and shallots are things we enjoy as well, but I worry about devoting too much garden space to these similar things and then having an avalanche of them late in the season.
Here’s a picture of my first garden plot. Red is where garlic is. Blue is where onions will be going. The rest of the plot is reserved for other vegetables to be decided.
Dana and I would love to plant some winter squashes, especially butternut and spaghetti. We do have enough space for one or two of these. I may be dumb enough to try cucumbers again if I can find a variety resistant to diseases. We’ve kicked around the idea of getting more bushy varieties and planting them in large pots on our patio. I would love to grow some little kirbys and make pickles with them.
I would like to grow potatoes, but it seems you can do that better in a large barrel than you can doing it straight in the ground. I would probably do a few russets and a bunch of fingerlings, if I can find a suitable barrel.
We like asparagus, but it represents a long-term commitment which we might not be ready to make yet.
We like broccoli too, if we have room.
In addition to vegetables, we’re planning to put some fruit trees in the ground this spring. Maybe cherry and peach or pear. We would also like to plant some grape vines to grow around the back porch. I’ve got a lot of thinking and planning before I commit to any fruit trees or vines.