We’ve got a plan!

Whoowhee! What a weekend!

There was: Sun, Movie Night, SUN!, food, worship, babies, and oh did we mention sun? Thats right, over the last couple weeks, that glowing orb is trying to make its springtime appearance here in the Pacific Northwest.

We’ve been gearing up for another great garden season to go one step further on our overall plan from last year. Remember this wonderful archi-nerdy post with a plan sketch for the yard? Well, last year we took this plan about 60% to fruition. And while we acknowledge our yard is probably never going to be picture perfect, we’re excited to take it further this year.

Step 1: Prepping for veggies! Remember this rambling post where I chronicled every leaf of last year’s veggie garden*. Yeah. That was probably boring for all of you. But it helped get our thoughts organized for our 2011 direction.

We strive to keep an organic yard, but last year we had a real problem with pests. We also had problems with fertilization and ground nutrients. So this year I was determined to plan our garden based on companion planting strategies. The long and short of it is that some plants naturally benefit one another due to nutrient sharing and/or pest repellent. Last year we planted more based on aesthetics, so this year we will give nature the benefit of the doubt.

Photo via Calyx Flowers

In my research, I discovered that both nasturtiums and marigolds are great to plant amongst your veggies. Nasturtiums repel all the bugs that attack brassica plants (cabbage, broccoli, etc). Marigolds add essential nutrients to the soil. Plus, they’re bright and vibrant and will add a spunk of color to all the greenery. We’ll also try some fragrant herbs such as chamomile and dill to repel the buggies.

When you take companion planting and combine it with crop rotation, its quite a puzzle to figure out where everything is going to go. Its like a puzzle with only one solution, but guess what?! I found it!

And we have a plan! (nerd alert….)

And yes, you see that right, we’re planning to add two more raised beds to a sunny patch at the back of our lot so we will have a total of 6 (count em!) raised beds. Its going to be glorious.

We’ve already done some of our shopping and we’re excited to get these new little veggies in the ground and growing (if only sun meant nighttime warmth 😉 Soon. . .

In the meantime, our collard greens have been going gangbusters since they survived the frosts. If you have any new and different collard recipes, be sure to send them our way!

* For those who are curious, or 2011 crops will be: Bok Choy, Basil, Strawberries (overwintered from last year), Peas (2 kinds), Pole Beans, Cukes (including pickling cucumbers), misc greens, peppers, carrots, leeks, potatoes, onions, beets, cabbage, broccoli, squash, chamomile, dill, and of course, tomatoes. Gawd, we are overachievers, aren’t we?

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