2014 Master Plan: The Patio Quadrant

After a week of March-like temperatures, we are in the midst of a surprise snow storm that (so far) has dropped three or four inches of fluffy wet snow on us this afternoon. While it was warm, I had been thinking about these plans and looking out at the dirt, feeling ready to dig and plant … which of course it's far too early for. So back to water, and back to looking at drawings and snow instead of soil.

The patio garden gets easier to fill every year, because the strawberry bed expands every year (until it fills that whole row on the left side, anyway). The bottom row is where our roses, rhubarb, and lavender are, so there is much less planting space here.

Across the top and part of the right side are 20 staked tomato plants. These are our salsa and eating tomatoes: heirloom varieties of Rose, Moskvich, and Ukrainian Yellow. Along the top there is also a pea trellis, and sandwiched in between the trellis and the tomatoes will be a double row of carrots. The carrots will be sown a good month before the tomatoes go in, so they will get a fine start. The tomatoes will likely block some sun to the carrots as they grow, but we plan for these to be our late summer and fall carrots, so they should have plenty of time to plump up. We did this with parsnips in the past and it worked really well, so we are hoping the same conditions hold try for their carroty cousins. There is also a little beet patch between the strawberries and the tomatoes in the upper left corner. 

The only other section left to plant out here is the lower right row. On the center path will be our pole beans, which will be trellised on a temporary PVC arbor up and over the center path (there are more pole beans directly opposite the path as well, to cover the other side). This will be similar to our bean house from last year.

In the rest of the bed behind the pole beans will our pumpkin patch. The squash-and-bean pairing is something we've done for several years now, and it's always worked well. The squash is close to the house and will be in shade as fall comes on, so hopefully that won't be a problem. I am definitely looking forward to the shady bean arbor, which should make a nice "doorway" from the kitchen into the garden.


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