2015 Master Plan: The Workshop Quadrant

As I write this, a gentle, fluffy snowfall is blanketing the garden. It looks in life rather like the white planning page:

This is the workshop quadrant for 2015. Across the top are more grapes and herbs--perennials that live there permanently. The long row on the right side is, as always, filled with annual herbs (cilantro and dill) and spring greens. This length of planting space has plenty of sun in early spring before a nearby maple leafs out in May. It makes it a good place for leafy items, especially things like lettuces that enjoy the shade to keep them from bolting as temperatures rise. Since these are the only things that do well in the shade, we don't have much crop rotation going on: we just switch the herbs with the greens each year and amend with compost. We have decided on a four-block succession planting for the herbs this year, with plantings every six weeks. Hopefully this will provide cilantro and dill during the summer when we most need it for salsa and pickles. The spring greens will be started in a cold frame with a succession planting to fill the space the cold frame doesn't cover when the weather is warmer.

The bottom row holds our other trellis of peas (as always, on the north side to keep from shading the other plants in the row), parsnips, and heirloom tomatoes. This planting of parnsips echoes the line of carrots in the swingset bed that will quietly grow between taller plants until they are needed in the fall.

The left-hand rows are filled with a few Ukrainian Yellow tomatoes and the Sungold. We have given the Sungold four square feet this year, since it's always a beast of a plant--we have also made a vow to prune it back ruthlessly. We also cut back our yellow tomatoes to just four plants, which should be plenty.

This center C is the last bit of the garden we penciled in, which explains its patchwork appearance. From the top, we have space for 10 Brussels sprouts, a bit of chamomile, and a patch of calendula. Swiss chard, celery and parsley are grouped together for fall tunneling near the end of the season, though along the edge of that length is another trellis for spring snap peas and just three feet of slicing cucumbers. This is a major reduction is slicers, since we are absolutely overrun with cucumbers every year. Along the bottom is a patch for head lettuces and beets, which will also be successively planted in a five-week series to spread out the harvest. Finally, we have a little spot for nasturtiums.

Looking back, perhaps the center C isn't so randomly planned after all. It's a lot of springtime salad goodies, and that should make for some convenient pre-dinner harvests in a few months. In the meantime, I'm torn between enjoying the beauty of the snowfall and dreaming about balmy sunshine and dirty hands.


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