Less Noise, More Green: Gardening Plans for 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gardening Plans for 2015

I have to admit, I'm enjoying the physical break from gardening that winter brings. The weather is now bitterly cold and the threat of a snow storm is always on the horizon. We are enjoying the food I put up over the summer and fall, along with sweet potatoes and squashes from my winter stores and kale, Swiss chard, red cabbage and carrots from the garden beds. My physical work has moved indoors where I am taking care of some maintenance chores but my mental focus is definitely on the views outside my windows. It is time to plan and dream. It is time to get stuck into the task of preparing for my 2015 urban garden.

Last year, I had some pretty big plans and I was able to pull a lot of it off, including transforming my  traditional front garden into an edible landscape. For 2015, I plan to do a lot of tweaking of plants and introduce new elements to my garden that will help me be a more sustainable gardener.

Here are my plans for the coming year:

Each year, I try growing a few new and exotic things in the veggie beds. This year, however, I am feeling the need to go back to basics. I want to focus on producing yield in our staple crops and concentrating on improving performance in fall/winter crops such as leeks, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

I plan on adding more perennial fruits and maybe a dwarf fruit tree. Space and available light are such issues for me I will really have to do my homework.

I grew more flowers than I ever have before in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed watching all the pollinators and having cut flowers for the house. I will tweak my annuals in the vegetable garden and add some new perennials to my edible landscape, including bulbs for the spring.

For 2015, I plan to add more trellises and maybe an arbor to make use of height and to accommodate  perennial vines such as hardy kiwi. I also want to think about how I can use my house and garage as supports.

With the loss of two trees by the road, I now have two ugly strips of grass to dig up and plant. I'm still deciding what to put there - a rock garden, wild flowers or something else...any ideas?

In the winter, all the sun is in my front yard. I really wish I had thought about using cold frames in this garden to accommodate some winter greens. I'll be ready next winter!

I have had spotty success with vegetable container gardening and this is the year I plan to change that! With limited space and a lot of hard top, containers can add considerable growing space to my property. I need to really master the watering/ feeding part of container growing, though.

2015 is the year I will improve my compost production! I have plans for a new bin and to add composting worms to my repertoire. I'm also planning to start growing comfrey, which makes wonderful fertilizer and is a great addition to the compost bin because it aids in the decomposition process.

One of the ways I can stay ahead of my gardening costs is to do more seed collecting and plant propagating.  These are skills I'm exciting to learn more about and put into action this year.

Last year, I took beekeeping classes and helped care for a Master Gardener hive. I am working on securing a location where I can place a hive of my own. Fingers crossed on this one!

Lastly, I am going to start a sustainability group, consisting of like minded friends and neighbors. This is something I've been thinking about for a while and 2015 is the year to get that going. I feel a support group like this is especially important in urban/suburban neighborhoods where everyone has small yards and no one can do it all.

Wow, seeing all of this written down it seems like a lot but I'm excited by the challenge and potential outcome.

What are your gardening goals for 2015?


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