Monday, February 13, 2012

Last year's garden and planning for this year

Last year, I planted a VERY small garden with my next door neighbors. It was the first year I'd had the opportunity to plant any kind of garden that was not confined to containers. After some deliberation, we chose to go with raised beds rather than an in ground garden and planted a few different kinds of vegetables...Swiss chard, broccoli, peppers, carrots and one or two other things.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in how the vegetables turned out. Admittedly, this is mostly due to our rookie mistakes! The broccoli did ok, but we didn't plant enough of it for four people. Our lettuce did really well, but I planted it all at once instead of in waves, so we ended up with way too much of it and then couldn't eat it fast enough! A couple other things got overtaken by the Bermuda grass that crept into the matter how much of it I pulled, it never went away. The stars of the show last year were the jalapeno bush (I still have jalapenos from last summer in the freezer!) and the chard, which is actually still growing and has continued to re-seed itself.

As I am starting to plan a garden for this year, I have the opportunity to borrow a tiller from a very kind friend. This leaves me with the debate of whether I should plant an in-ground garden this year, or just stick with raised beds? Here are a few of the thinking points:

  1. My yard is not actually mine (probably should get the landlord's permission to till the backyard before I do it). I don't see this as a HUGE obstacle as I can simply spread grass seed through the garden when my husband and I eventually decide to move.
  2. I have PLENTY of space for a garden. My street used to be a fairway for a golf course in the 1920's, and instead of putting a road down the middle of the fairway when the neighborhood was developed, it was simply split down the middle. This means that the lot my house sits on is about 400 yards long. About 150 yards of it is the backyard.
  3. I am a little concerned about time. Does an in ground garden take more time to tend than raised beds?
  4. I could grow more with an in ground garden without having to purchase quite as many supplies...I think.
Did I miss anything? What were your considerations when you planned your garden?

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