Like gardening. Around September, I'm usually getting pretty sick of gardening. Which is ridiculous, because that's when so many of my plants come to harvest, but for some reason I just get bored with the whole thing. Then around December, usually when the first catalog appears in the mail, I'm so ready to start gardening again that it's embarrassing. "Weren't you just sick of gardening like yesterday?" I might hear from certain unnamed husband. Yes. I was sick of gardening. And now I'm not.
I have so many big plans for my garden, which is silly because my garden is very tiny. Somehow, on roughly a 40x70 foot piece of backyard (that's very shady in one corner and has the house shadow during half the day in the rest of the yard), I've managed to plant and grow:
2 apple trees
4 blueberry bushes
2 five foot long raspberry brambles
1 2x4 foot strawberry patch
4 4x4 foot raised vegetable beds
1 1x16 foot raised vegetable bed
1 2x4 foot raised vegetable bed
As many veggie buckets as I can find space for
Two pretty nice flower gardens
Not to mention room for a swing and a clothes line
Here's a bad drawing of what it looks like.
|My back yard|
So yeah, small city garden with big country dreams. I keep looking at the catalogs and dreaming about what I wish I could do. I wish I could put an arbor above the entryway for my main garden and grow grapes on it. I wish I could have a greenhouse or hoop house to grow peppers and melons. I wish I could grow pumpkins or winter squash. But I have to face the fact that I have a small shady yard and that I have to be happy with what I have right now.
One of the more major things I'm doing next year is planting new raspberries. The last couple winters have been killers in our area. 2013/2014 was what they call an open winter; we had almost no snow at all. Which is great, except it was also extremely cold. We got down to -15 or lower for weeks, and the ground froze five feet deep. That killed my raspberries to the ground. They did miraculously send up new shoots, but being summerbearers, that meant that I would have to wait until the following summer to get any berries. Well, the winter of 2014/2015 was equally cold, except it also had record breaking amounts of snow. I think we had four feet of heavy packed snow in our back yard, which protected the bottom part of the canes but the parts that were above the snow died off. The hard winters were especially rough for the patch on the north side of the garage, and they started dying off from some kind of disease shortly after spring came around. I decided that I was tired of dealing with harsh winters and raspberries that weren't up to the challenge, so I pulled up all those canes, dug in a lot of really good soil amendments, and planted some runner beans there to help boost the soil fertility.
|The raspberry plot after adding lots of good stuff|
I read about a cool new raspberry that Cornell University bred a few years back called Double Gold. It's a blushed gold everbearer raspberry with high disease resistance, designed for cooler regions (Cornell is afterall in NY state, just like me).
|Double Gold raspberry|
I'm such a rambler. I really meant for this to be a short post with some ideas for my garden next year, but I've already gone on a ton! So maybe I'll shorten things up a little.
I managed to save a lot of seeds last year, so I really don't need to buy many. I do want to try a couple new varieties, though. My plans for new plants are:
Cherokee purple tomato
New York Early
|Not actually new, but I need more|
I haven't really decided on lettuce yet, but I would like to try a crisphead type (iceburg) to go with my green towers romaine I already have. I need to get some shelling peas too, but that's one of those things were it doesn't seem to matter what variety you get because they're all the same.
So those are some rough plans so far. I'm still dreaming about the greenhouse and the grape arbor, but I guess those will have to wait a while until we can buy our country home.