Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Kitchen Garden - Week 1

Last month we bought a house with a stellar kitchen, big backyard and lots of space to garden. After clearing out the weeds, we set out on planning, and planting our garden. We chose not to start from seed with this garden, as its our first year working with this soil, and I'm lazy like that.

Kristi used cloud-based garden planning software,  Given that Kristi and I both work at high tech companies, we applied our nerd-ish best practices to our home projects (we opted out of creating a PRD, however, we are developing a garden road map for 2013-2014).

Out key objectives were to create a garden:
  • Where food is easily attainable
  • Serve as our primary source of herbs for the Summer/Fall
  • Can be eaten off the plant and/or preserved
  • Provides a sustainable source of nutrient-rich soil
  •  Remains organic - no pesticides, no GMO seed, plants
Deciding to take this project on in phases, we prepared the area by clearing out the plot and turned over the soil by hand. Following that, we designated a corner of the garden to serve as the compost pile.

So, what did we plant in Phase 1?

Let's start with the herbs:

- Basil (Lemon Basil, Sweet Basil, and Herb Basil)
- Terragon (2 plants)
- Dill - (1 plant)
- Sage (1 plant)
- Cilantro (6 plants - turns into coriander)
- Rosemary (2  plants)
- Spearmint
- Peppermint
- Italian Parsley
- Oregano (2 plants)
- Thyme (1 plant)

Veggie Vegetables

A relative of mine runs Love Apple Farm, a kitchen garden for many high end restaurants in the  San Francisco Bay Area. So we have a lot to live up to here.

We have to have tomatoes. started with 5 tomato plants, and I can't wait to try the new one we've never planted in the past.

- Green Grape tomatoes (delish)            
- Yellow Pear (my favorite)
- Sweet 100 (first time with these)
- Cherry Tomato - 2, solid standby

- Jalapeno
- Serrano
- Thai Chili Peppers
- Caribbean Red Hot Pepper
- (plan to plant Fresno chilis and habaneros as well - and ghost chili if I can find it)

Leafy Greens
- Argula (5 sprouts)
- Assorted Kale
- Rainbow Chard (6 sprouts) 

Other Great Vegetables    

- Artichoke
- Carrots (GARDENING TIP: Tomatoes love carrots. Sow your carrot seeds between your tomato plants)
- Sunflowers
- Sugar Snap Peas (EXPERIMENT: I planted the peas and the sunflowers close together in hopes that the pea vines will climb the sunflower stalks. 
- Zucchini (I think I planted way to many seeds, but we'll see what comes of it)

Next steps: Layout a paver path with flagstones, construct a compost bin, plant beets, lemongrass, cucumber, a strawberry patch, beans, the above mentioned peppers, install a drip system and get some ladybugs!

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