Yes! It’s the last week of January. I sit turned backward on the couch, resting my chin on my crossed arms , looking out the window at My Urban Farmscape, dreaming and planning as the sun shines on my face and warms me deep within my soul. I can almost feel the warm spring air and see the bright green leaves unfolding. I have all of my seeds ordered, and now I need to plan how many of what veggie goes where. This year, I am going to focus on how extreme my vertical gardening can go.
I am no expert. I love growing plants, eating, and playing outdoors. I like to experiment with gardening, and have successes and failures (clary sage comes to mind). So I am going to need some help. I am reading Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell. Click on this link to see more information Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space
What I really enjoy about this book is how Derek illustrates and explains how to build trellis and support structures. He also covers all the basics for gardening, so I would consider this book good for beginning gardeners as well as masters. There is a chapter on fruits where he includes information on how to espalier berries and fruit trees. I want to do this with some apple trees this summer.
I did learn these past two years how to successfully grow tomatoes closer together. I staggered them in a zig zag pattern about 18″ apart. If you do this, make sure you are selecting intermediate growing varieties and be prepared to make sure you do a lot of pruning. So that along with some better staking and trellising will give me a bigger harvest. Oh! The grafted tomatoes, I can’t wait. I have learned that you can actually train these to have 2 leaders, thus, producing twice as many fruits than a plant with one leader. A leader is the main branch in the center of the plant that serves as the, well, leader. More about this when I am actually growing them in the summer….ah..the summer. I am looking forward to it.
When you prepare your food, do you make note of what ingredients came from the garden? What did you grow? What did you buy from the local farmers market, or local farmer? Try this and see what you come up with. You should have something from your garden or local farmer in every meal. This exercise can help you to determine what to grow and how much, or maybe what you don’t have space for, can’t grow, and should buy locally if possible. Today I had eggs and blueberry muffins. Eggs, milk and blueberries, all came from my local farmers. Today’s dinner, chili! Beans from Michigan farmers, and tomatoes, of course, from our garden, along with garlic and the chili peppers that I grind into powder. Which reminds me, I need to grind more today. So…..with that said, I’m off to the kitchen to cook. Then, this afternoon, more reading and garden planning. Not sure how to start planning your garden? Read my previous post “Online Garden Planning Tools” at http://wp.me/p1GoP9-3x , or create an account and design your garden at this link GrowVeg.com or click on the Grow Veg picture on the right side of my blog. Happy Dreaming!