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My ambitious money-saving garden plan

January 8th, 2009 at 06:56 pm

I just posted that I ordered the seeds last night. here is the plan!

(this originally appeared as part of a longer post on

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Last August, I drew out a plan of what I wanted the gardens on our half-acre lot, surrounding our 1957 ranch house, to be like. I live in the city, on a typical used-to-be-suburbs but now I'm in the city limits lot. I grew up in the country, in wide open spaces with plenty of sunny room for a garden. Not so here, but despite its limitations, I am determined to convert as much of our land to agriculture as possible.

I'll tell you what I am going to plant on my modest lot, in the flower beds I have reclaimed from lawn.

* Mary Washington asparagus. An heirloom variety, to establish a bed.
* a hot pepper garden, so that we can dry them and use them to flavor our food all year long. We have chosen to grow Kung Pao hybrid, long red slim cayenne, false alarm hybrids and hot lemon heirloom peppers. We'll also plant one or two green pepper plants.
* five each of heritage everbearing red raspberries and royalty standard purple raspberries.
* red pontiac potatoes. We will be 'forcing' these in a trash can, like my grandpa used to do. By stressing the plant you can get great yields without wasting precious space.
* six Roma tomato and six cherry tomato plants. I don't know what variety, as we buy these from my former grade school every year during their plant sale fundraiser. They have always been good producers.
* the herb garden will consist of cilantro,pesto perpetuo basil,and Greek oregano.
* a patch of Ozark beauty everbearing strawberries.
* bloomsdale spinach and nantes carrots, for my raised bed and fall coldframe. I use these to extend the growing season. This will be my first year trying to extend the fall harvest into winter with the coldframe.
* green beans of a yet undetermined variety, at the request of hubby, who could live on these alone.
* the obligatory zucchini plant, also from the school fundraiser. I may get ambitious and plant two, even though I know I'll be up to my neck in zucchini. I have two new recipes for zucchini, and it always makes a great extender for sauces and such, so maybe I can keep up.
* A butterfly garden, including five varieties of echinacea, two types of bee balm, and some butterfly weed. I will frame this flowerbed with butterfly-friendly annuals, and maybe with lingonberries, which are delicious on Swedish pancakes, unusual, and look like an ornamental plant.
* Luffa. Yes, the luffa sponge is a squash, not something that is plucked from the ocean. This will be a fun experiment. They grow as a vine, so with staking shouldn't take up too much space in the garden.
* English lavender, for its aromatherapy qualities.

8 Responses to “My ambitious money-saving garden plan”

  1. Carol Says:

    I love your plan - it's well thought out. I too dread some of the marathon sessions (I can most of my surplus rather than freeze it), however it's very necessary! And also worth it when you crack open that jar of jam or sauce on a cold winter day and still taste the freshness that you enjoyed in the summer months.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Sounds wonderful. It is that time of year to start planning. I'm trying sugar snap peas this year. We loved our green beans last year...but we'll love our sugar snaps even more.

  3. Caoineag Says:

    Sounds wonderful. We finally have a yard this year so I think I am going to try to plant a few items and gradually build up each year.

  4. thriftorama Says:

    I started with peppers and tomatoes the first two years, added mesclun and herbs last year, and now I am ready to really get going.

  5. mom-from-missouri Says:

    I am thinking that asparagus takes 3 years before you can eat it? Am I right?

  6. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Ooh, I've grown luffa off and on ever since my HS chemistry teacher gave me seed 31 years ago. It makes very long vines and as long as a significant part of it is in the sun, you can let it grow up into a tree. When I had more space than now I used to trellis it up an old swing set draped with wire panels. Have fun with it. You know you can eat the fruit when they are young and not yet fibrous?

  7. thriftorama Says:

    Yes, it takes about three years for asparagus. Two years or so for most raspberries and strawberries. And about three years for fruit trees. I'm hoping to plant cherry trees but don't know if I can do all of it in one year.

  8. shiela Says:

    Great plan. Our problem here also is not having enough space. I plant our herbs in pots so I can move them around, it seems to work.

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