It’s mid-January, and that means its time to reveal this year’s 2018 Garden Plan! Every growing season, we try to tailor our garden plan to fit our food needs for the coming year. And this year, it’s all about growing amazing flavor with classic heirloom varieties.
With the ability to plant without tilling using soil-building cover crops, and little to no weeding, the Raised Row Garden has truly made gardening a simple pleasure for us. And with the Raised Row Garden book just 30 day’s from its big release, we want this year’s garden to reflect pure flavor and enjoyment in the garden. See: Raised Row Gardening
A good garden plan is essential to a successful garden. Not only does it help keep you on track to grow what you and your family need most, it also helps with crucial gardening tasks such as crop rotation and companion planting. Those two chores can make a huge difference between a good garden, and a wildly successful garden.
We rotate each of our four garden quadrants every year so that no single plant variety grows in the same space for another 3 years. At the same time, we make sure to keep plants that do well with each other in the proper areas. Those tasks are extremely important in helping to control pest issues, disease, and soil fertility. See : The Basics Of Companion Planting
Last but not least, planning early allows you to order the seeds you need now. And if you have ever ordered seeds, you know the earlier the better! It can be the difference between getting the varieties you want, or settling for what is left.
So enough talk, lets take a look at the 2018 garden plan. We have included seed links with each section as well.
The 2018 Garden Plan
Tomatoes are a favorite to grow in our garden. Especially when you consider how much we use them to stock our year round pantry. Salsa, picante, pasta sauce, tomato juice, vegetable and chili soup are all staples in our household.
This year’s garden will hold 32 heirloom tomato plants, including our favorite salsa and pasta sauce variety San Marzano. The San Marzano is simply the king of paste tomatoes. It produces incredible fruits all season long, and is by far our most disease and pest resistant plant. Other tomatoes that top our list include Hillbilly Tomato, Tiger Blush, and Black Krim. Seed Links : San Marzano, Black Krim Tiger Blush Hillbilly Tomato
Growing Great Peppers
From mild to hot, we love our peppers! Our all around favorite remains the Italian Roaster. It is a meaty, sweeter green pepper that grows large, 8 to 12″ long fruits that ripen to a crimson-red color. They are perfect on the grill, for slicing fresh, or for stuffing.
For the ultimate hot pepper, nothing can quite top the Chinese Five Color. It is a gorgeous plant with 1″ colorful peppers that are the perfect “hot”! They are great for fresh eating, salsa, soups, and for drying into the ultimate hot pepper powder or flakes.
Peas, Green Beans, Cucumbers and More…
From snap peas to green beans, cucumbers, and zucchini – our Raised Row garden dedicates a row or two to each of our favorites. We love growing our cucumbers and zucchini near the popcorn to take advantage of companion planting.
Sugar snap peas are the perfect snacking crop, and as always, we dedicate a whole row to a spring and fall crop. We are also once again planting both Green and Purple Bush Beans. The purple beans add a touch of color, and they taste wonderful! Seed links : Boston Pickling Cucumber, Purple Beans
We grow all of our potatoes in crates for pure ease and simplicity. This year, we will have two crates of sweet potatoes and two of our favorite white potato, Yukon Gold. Seed Link : Yukon Gold,
You really can’t beat the taste of homegrown popcorn. A tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of home-grown kernels, and a covered pot or wok, and you are in business! Popcorn is our go-to nightly snack, and we grow a lot of it to have one hand. One of our new favorites is Pennsylvania Butter. Seed Link: Pennsylvania Butter
The Salad Crops
And rounding out the garden of flavor, we have a big selection of kale, radish, bib lettuce, garlic, carrots, onions and more. The salad crops are the first to come on, and the last to be harvested before winter. They are truly the “workhorses” of the garden.
Here is to planning and planting your garden this year!
Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up for our free email list. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.