Time to go over the plans for the 2022 garden! I might be a little too optimistic, but I’ve made some big plans for growing foods this year in my backyard. I’m not just worried about store-bought foods and the chemicals used to grow commercial crops (although most of what I have learned grosses me out) but I am especially worried about upcoming food shortages. Food shortages are a real threat this year with all the things I have been hearing. I’d rather be safe than sorry. Also, since I homeschool this is something I can easily add to our curriculum so my children will see where the food they eat comes from.
I originally wanted to use raised garden beds but two things stopped me. 1) The start-up costs are bigger than my wallet. 2) I don’t know if we’ll be living here in two years.
Raised garden beds aren’t that expensive, especially if you build them yourself using things like recycled pallets or cement blocks. If you are planning to make the beds or buy garden beds, the costs easily add up. Lumber is expensive. I did a cost analysis of making my own chicken coop versus buying one made with particleboard and it was almost double the cost for the materials. I had to put my chicken adoption plans on hold.
Filling garden beds with dirt that plants will actually grow in can be pricey. I’m thinking back to two years ago when my mother was staying with us and I helped her set up a 4′ x 8′ garden bed in the backyard. It took a lot of bags of heavy dirt to fill it. If memory serves, it took about eight or ten bags of dirt. I’m wanting to go 100% organic, so I can’t just throw any on-sale dirt in there. Well, maybe I could, but that’s not my plan.
I don’t want to invest a whole lot of money into making my backyard into a garden nursery when we may move come winter. Our plan has always been to live in Connecticut for three years and then transfer back down south. It has been seven years and my worst fear is that we end up retiring here. I was born and raised in Florida. My relatives are spread out in Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida now. I am trying to make the best of the situation, but I hope in my heart that our time here is almost up.
So with all that in mind, I will be putting almost everything into garden bags, varying in size. The only things going into the earth here are corn and wheat. I bought 5 of each- 7, 10, and 20-gallon bags. I purchased 12 bags of organic container mix.
I also got started on a backyard compost bin. My compost bin is an experiment. It is only 3ft high so eventually, I need another one at least the same size, if not bigger, to turn the compost into when it gets hot. Composting is actually a science. I’m just so grateful there are so many people out there willing to share their knowledge and help out a newbie, (also BOOKS). If I get it figured out correctly, the compost will come in handy for fall-season vegetables.
The nice thing about gardening bags is that I don’t have to worry about fixing the soil that already exists in my yard. I did get the soil tested and it turns out the soil pH is lower than recommended for the seeds I plan to grow there (corn and wheat are not meant for garden containers). For this low pH problem, I purchased some limestone and will be added it as prescribed to the soil just before I till it.
Regarding the plants themselves, I plan to grow a variety of vegetables that I know my family will eat, not just ones that are easy to grow.
- Brussel Spouts
Does this seem like too much or not enough? I can’t decide. I bought seeds primarily online. I purchased seeds, not seedlings or starter plants (although it would have been easier, it would also have been less cost-effective). Both the berries I bought as starter plants in containers. The only thing I don’t have seeds of yet is potatoes. I plan to buy those from a local farmer’s market for planting.
I started my indoor planting a few weeks ago. I set this up in the living room which is where the kids do their homeschooling. They have been good about turning the light on and off each day for the plants. If some of these don’t make it, I’ll try again once we get closer to the last frost date of the season. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about spring.
Happy Spring! Got any gardening plans?