It is hard to believe, but the new year is already here, and that means it is time to start create our 2022 Vegetable Garden plan for the farm.
This year, since we have now moved to the new farm, we are starting with a completely blank slate. Something that is both extremely exciting, and a bit daunting as well. After all, we absolutely loved our No-Till Raised Row garden at our old place.
Not only was it easy to maintain and care for, it was also extremely productive. And after 11+ seasons of building the soil organically with cover crops, compost and a simple no-till method, the soil in the garden was easier than ever to work and maintain.
But with all of that said, we love a good new challenge. And creating an entirely new garden and garden plan from scratch is honestly something we have been looking forward to ever since we decided to move to the new farm.
Here is a look at the new garden set-up, and our garden plan for 2022. We have included both the plan and the varieties we grow near the end of the article.
Starting From Scratch – The New Garden At The Farm & The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
A new garden and plan gives us the chance to lay everything out exactly like we want, including long-term perennial crops such as our asparagus and strawberry plants. But even more, it allows us to set up our vegetable garden to fit our current and future needs better than ever.
When we designed out first garden some 12 years back, we had a big family to feed. Now, with just the two of us remaining, our needs have changed. We still want to grow all of the vegetables we love, and want a bit of extra space to try new things as well. But we certainly don’t need it to feed a small army anymore.
Most importantly, we want it to be simple and nearly effortless to take care of. Even more so than our last garden. We want to be able to garden for a long time to come, and that means keeping everything as simple as possible as we age too!
The Garden Design – The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
We are extremely excited about the new garden and the new plan. It really is a testament to low-maintenance gardening. The entire garden area is created as a no-till gardening space. It uses all of our favorite gardening techniques – from raised rows and raised beds, to bucket planters and straw bale planters too.
Probably the biggest difference and change in our new garden is the overall size. Our old Raised Row garden was 60′ x 40′ – and did it ever produce a lot of food! But honestly, with just the two of us now, we knew we could downsize a bit and save on both the planting and harvesting chores.
The new main garden is 30′ wide x 40′ long. Because there is so much wildlife at the new farm (deer, rabbits, groundhogs and the occasional wild pig are all frequent visitors), the entire garden will be fenced in with a 6′ high post and board fence with black welded wire mesh installed to the fence. Without a fence, we simply would be feeding the animals instead of us!
The garden is made up of (6) 20′ long x 18″ wide Raised Rows, (5) 3′ x 6′ x 18″ high Raised Beds, and (4) Quad Bucket Planter Boxes. The back of the garden holds (6) straw bale crates for growing, and a double bin compost station as well.
Keeping It Low Maintenance…
All of the walking spaces will be covered in thick wood chips to eliminate weeding. And we will also be installing a buried drip irrigation system that will be fed from our rain water tanks. Hopefully, it will give us even more time to enjoy the garden than ever.
Last but not least, we will surround two sides of the fence with Chocolate Cherry Sunflowers. The sunflowers these plants produce are like no other around with their unique orange and brown flower heads! Seed Link : Chocolate Cherry Sunflower Seeds
The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
The Planting Plan – The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
One of the biggest things we always talk about is the need to grow what you personally love to eat and use. For us, that has always been a big selection of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes and popcorn, along with a large variety of salad crops as well.
We love making so many products from our tomatoes and peppers – from salsa and sauces, to diced tomatoes, tomato juice, and even our favorite, our homemade Bloody Mary Mix!
No, there will never be egg plant in the garden plan for us. We keep trying, but just have never warmed to the taste. Nor will there be shelling peas, another no-go for both of us. But beyond that, we are always game to try a few new things each year.
Companion Flower Planting
We will certainly be planting a lot of marigolds, zinnias and nasturtium flowers in the garden. Both in the raised rows and in pots all around the garden. These three master companion plants are perfect for attracting pollinators. Even better, they are incredible for deterring pests such as aphids, mosquitoes, nematodes, horn worms and more.
Here is a look at everything that will be growing in the garden this year and where it will grow. We have also included some of the main varieties we love to grow. We get most of our seeds now from Eden Brothers, and they have been kind enough to include a 10% coupon below for anyone ordering their seeds as well.
Raised Row Garden Area : Tomatoes, Peppers, Green Beans, Popcorn – The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
All of the above crops will grow in our Raised Row portion of the garden. I can’t say enough about raised rows. They have great yields, make growing easy, and pretty much say good-bye to weeding chores! See : How To Raised Row Garden
We will grow our usual favorites this year when it comes to heirloom tomatoes – San Marzano Paste, Brandywine, Mr. Stripey, Black Krim, Celebrity, Mortgage Lifter and Tiger Blush will lead the way. You can’t beat San Marzano if you want to make pasta sauce, salsa and pizza sauce.
For our hot peppers, we will be growing Cayenne, Chinese Five Color, Jalapeno, and Red Cherry. On the mild and sweet side, we will grow Red, Green and Yellow Bell peppers, and of course, our favorite – Shishito peppers. Shishito peppers are hands down the best appetizer pepper around!
We will plant several rounds of beans over the course of the year, keeping with our Purple (burgundy) and Green bush beans. The purple beans are always a big conversation piece. For popcorn, our favorite snack of all, we will be growing our normal Ladyfinger and Dakota Black varieties, along with our new favorite – Glass Gem Corn.
If you have never heard of it, you have to check out article on our sister site out : Growing Glass Gem Corn. It is the absolutely most beautiful and interesting popcorn you will ever grow!
Potatoes, Cucumbers & Zucchini – The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
All 3 of the above crops will be planted using our straw bale crate method. The Raised Rows work perfectly well to grow cucumbers, potatoes and zucchini – in fact, extremely well. But over the past four years, we have found that growing our cucumbers and zucchini in our straw bales is even easier! And the same goes for growing potatoes in our crates as well.
For the cucumbers and zucchini, we can grow three plants in each bale. The vining plants trail down over the bales and crates and make harvesting a breeze. And the combination of straw and soil are perfect for keeping moisture in for both crops. (See: How To Grow An Amazing Crop of Cucumbers In Straw Bales)
The potato crates are simply the best way ever to grow our Yukon Gold, Red and Fingerling potatoes we love to eat. We plant in the bottom of the crates, add soil, leaves and straw as they grow, and then simply lift up the crates at the end of the year to harvest.
No digging. No stabbing at the potatoes and damaging them. And no constant hilling of the potatoes with soil in the row during the season. It is pure planting and harvesting magic!
Lettuce, Carrots, Onions, Garlic, Kale, Spinach, Sugar Snap Peas & Various Greens – The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
Our 3′ x 6′ Raised Beds are wonderful for growing all of our greens, onions, garlic and carrots. The raised height make it easy to plant and harvest. Even better, we can rotate our crops from bed to bed each year to keep the soil fresh.
As we did with our old raised beds, we will rotate our fall planted garlic and onions, and then succession plant our lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots and other greens in the remaining beds.
Quad Bucket Planters – Tomatillos, Tomatoes & More – The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
We also will be using (4) of our quad bucket planters in the garden to grow some of our favorite specialty crops. The bucket planters have been a huge hit in our plans shop, and with gardeners all around the world. (See : DIY Bucket Planter Plans)
They really do make growing a breeze for those without big garden spaces, or ones that might have mobility issues. We will be planting shishito peppers, tomatillos, black cherry tomatoes, marigolds and herbs in our 16 planter buckets.
We love showcasing these in our own garden for the blog. But they also happen to be incredibly easy to grow in and ultra low-maintenance.
Strawberries, Asparagus – The 2022 Vegetable Garden Plan
We reserved (2) of the 3′ x 6′ Raised Beds for the perennial crops of Asparagus and Strawberries. If there was one thing we were sad to leave, it was our perennial strawberry and asparagus beds at the old farm. One thing is for sure, we will be replanting both this spring!
We are certainly excited to get growing this year at the new farm. We will be starting our seeds here indoors in March, and will be ready to grow again in 20222. One thing is for sure, we will be sure to update with plenty of photos and videos as we do!
Here is to creating a great garden plan that works for you and your family! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.
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