2017 Garden Plans
This year, I have reigned in my experimental side, and hacked our garden produce list down to the vegetables we use most, and that I can successfully grow. I’ve been known to attempt to grow a little of every type of vegetable we grow, which never fully pans out. I’ve had some things never produce (ahem, my nemesis: strawberry spinach) and other items just never germinate, or I simply neglected them completely.
In order to maximize our space the best, and truly load up the pantry and root cellar, I am focusing on producing a heavy crop of the items we use the most. I paid attention to what we used quickly from our pantry, and those jars that continue to sit, as well as which vegetables and fruits stored the best, and were worth the time spent preparing, processing and canning/freezing them.
All of this deliberation has led me to the final list, and my seedlings are well under way, as it is late February at the time in am writing this. I only hope the year is as wonderful as my dreams for it are!
Tomatoes (Chocolate Cherry, Pineapple, Green Zebra, Beaverlodge Plum, and Brandywine)
Bell Peppers (California Wonder)
Jalapeños (Early, and Mucho Nacho)
Beets (Detroit Red, Chiaggia Guardsmark)
Eggplant (Black Beauty)
Corn (Honey ‘n’ Pearl)
Zucchini (regular & 8-ball)
Snap Peas (personal seed stock)
Green beans (personal seed stock)
Pumpkins (Baby bear)
I am hoping this will be the last year I have to purchase seeds. I have listed the varieties for some plants, a few I have to look up as I cannot recall them off hand. A few are already second or third generation saved seeds, and I am hoping to save seeds from all of my plants for future years.
Some of our vegetables and fruits are already in the ground, like our herbs, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I did put an elderberry plant in last spring, but I think our very dry summer got to it, and I am left with little hope that it will return.
We planted two varieties of garlic and some shallots last fall, which will be harvested this year.
This will also be the year we can harvest a small quantity of asparagus for the first time! I put two year old stock in last year, green and a few purple, and all of them did amazingly well! It will be wonderful to start enjoying some of our own.
Indoors, we have two lemon trees, one pink variegated that is doing SO well, and one Meyer lemon that got citrus gnats and I’m hoping it recovers now that I have gotten rid of them! Only time will tell.
We still plan to begin the clearing of our soon-to-be orchard hill this year, with the hopes of getting some apple and peach trees, and a few rows of grapes in over the next couple years.
I’ll also be doing a huge patch of sunflowers this year, expanding some of our other perennial flower patches, and may try to get some collards or kale growing under a fine mesh cover. The cabbage worms were absolutely horrific last year, so no one got to enjoy any greens except the chickens, who were also the only ones happy to see the worms. I did have some tobacco hornworms on my tomatoes last year, but we were spared any serious problems, and our crops were unaffected.
So that’s it! Our garden outlook for 2017! We’re still continuing to harvest as much of our natural resources as we can without injuring the land as well, including maple sap, acorns and hickory nuts! I very happily came across a large patch of Jewelweed last year that I am aspiring to move to a safer spot for future use. All in all, I’m very excited for this year! Come on, Spring!!