March Garden Update (A whole lotta prep)

I've decided to do a garden update on the last of every month this year. Or rather this gardening year. So April-October...and also lets add- or rather near the last of every month.

I've got 2 kids sick with the fever plague of '11 right now and a calender chock full of things that I'm slowly crossing off so I'm hesitant to make any real commitments right now.

But to commence.

It's April and I can legitimately garden now!!!

Last month (or rather over the last 2 months) I:

Built and filled raised Beds. Or rather, Josh did. It threw my old graph and plans for a small loop but I am very excited and everything transferred over to the new layout really easily. I wont be able to trench compost anymore, and haven't quite figured out my new composting plan yet...I think maybe in a garbage can?

Planned my garden. I researched what I wanted and how much I wanted to plant. And then I slowly figured out what I could realistically fit, and where everything will go, keeping in mind companionate planting and crop rotations. I used the 30 day trial at and found it super helpful. It has settings for traditional row planting as well as square foot gardening, which is nice because I'm using a hodgepodge of both techniques. It aided me in making the following graph, as well as a few first-drafty graphs before it:
Bought my seeds. Or at least most of my seeds. I tried to find tolerant, fast maturing varieties, because I am a bad gardener and our summers are short. I'm starting everything from seed directly outside this year because I don't have patience or space or talent for starting indoors, so fast-maturing is especially important, as I'm losing a few weeks. For my tomatoes I will purchase starts.

Made a graph
of what, how much, where, and when I'm planting everything that I'm planting. I also made more in-depth index cards for each thing I'm planting, with growing tips, and space to take notes as the year goes.

Planted Raspberries.
Four of them :)

Did a soil test. Our soil is surprisingly good, but completely depleted in nitrate. Good to know.

Started to clear a potato patch, and build a rock garden. I considered potatoes in a can but after research decided against. I just cant find anyone that has actually had luck with this method. Instead I am battling roots to clear a space next to our soon-to-be rock garden.
And raked Zeke's Garden.

This month I want to:
- Research and decide on a composting method.
- Buy last of the seeds (potato, lettuce, herbs).
- Decide if herbs are going in my window planters or in the veg. garden border.
- Finish digging up all the roots in the potato patch.
- Buy and apply compost and an organic nitrogen source yet to be decided on to the garden beds.
- Build trellis' for the peas.
- Plant: carrots, peas, lettuce, spinach (raised beds), potatoes (pot. patch), marigolds (raised bed border), and wildflowers (zeke's garden).
- Maybe start herbs indoors. Maybe.
- Work on rock garden. Maybe.



Elizabeth said...

This is very exciting! Way to go :) If I give up on gardening this year I will just admire yours instead ;)

ali said...

I love the raised beds!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Looks like you've made a lot of progress.

I'll be coming back to your blog often. I'm also in Zone 5 and trying to get a better handle on gardening this year.

Anonymous said...

I love the chart you created. Can I steal it?!? Also, what does the-negative 1, 2, 3, etc. Line represent?


(same anonymous poster as above... Haven't signed in yet!)

Courtney said...

Steal away, I stole it from a friend myself with a few small changes. The negative , 2, 3, you asked about are weeks before/after my average last frost.

Rachel said...

Too bad I'm just now catching up on your blog... because today was a compost fair put on by the master composters, with lots of great information and a free compost bin (which will work much better than the trash can I saw you mentioned in a later post).

They have it every year on Arbor day weekend, so you'll have to go next year for sure. In the meantime, if you have any questions, I've gone to the compost fair twice so I can probably answer them, and I also have a bunch of fliers from it sitting around here somewhere...

As for peas, I just plant them on my chain link fence - it works great. Peas are also nitrogen fixing, so those will help your soil! :-)

By the way, where/how did you do the soil test? I'd love to do that to mine!

Courtney said...

I heard about the compost fair but our weekends are so busy. Also compost is so ridiculous cheap that i never want to waste energy to make it, lol, prolly why i have so little success!

Unfortunately our garden beds run n/s with our fence on the east side, so growing peas up them would shade everything else :(

We bought our test at nw seed and pet. It was only 20 dollars and included enough to give jonathan my spares.