Each March/April, my gardening partners and I get together for a planning session. Susan, Natalie and now, Terry, and I share three plots at Rosedale Community Garden in Denver. At our initial meeting, we convened at Panera with last year’s garden map, seed catalogs and the wish list. After a catching up over a bite to eat , we reviewed what worked last year, what didn’t and talked about improvements we can make this year.
Last summer, we had problems with rabbits and bean beetles — both of which we want to seriously manage this year. Most of our plants did great. The heirloom tomato crop was excellent, hot peppers outshone the sweet, pumpkins, squash, salad greens, beets, flowers, carrots, cukes, broccoli and zucchini were all gangbusters. Our deadbeats included beans and corn. Using garden plans designed my Michael Buchaneau, a landscape architect who leads Denver Urban Gardens, I drew up sample plans for each month highlighting succession planting. Together, we discussed where seeds and plants will go, when they will go in and started to divide up the list of seeds, plants and equipment purchases.
Here are some of the decisions and plans we’ve made for the new season:
- install rabbit fence around the perimeters of the beds
- no rotatlling; hand till soil in raised beds
- probably no beans
- research and purchase row covers
- plant more onions, scallions, garlic and fragrant herbs around the perimeter
- test clay plot irrigation in some areas
- no corn — save water