Expanding This Year’s Garden

I wonder how many of you are expanding this year’s garden. I suppose it depends on a few things. Whether or not you feel the want or need to do so. Or maybe you already have enough garden!

Personally, I am expanding this year’s garden. Last year I added three more 4×8 raised beds. Soon I will be adding another three. As a result, I will also have to extend the garden perimeter fence – to keep out unwanted hungry critters.

My garden focus this year…

Kennebec Potatoes. This variety is fantastic at over-winter storage. I’ve grown them before and they’ve lasted 5 – 6 months in my cool temperature garage/shop over winter. Beyond that, they turned into seed potatoes to be used for the following year. This year I plan to can a bunch of them too. From a survival & preparedness standpoint, potatoes are one of the best things you can grow (if your climate allows). Why? Because they are calorie dense. They are easy to store for the future. And potatoes are pretty easy to grow – under the right and favorable conditions (as is the case with most anything I suppose). I did recently purchase this year’s Kennebec seed potatoes at our local Tractor Supply Store.

Carrots. Much of last year’s carrot crop failed miserably. And that was my fault. This year, I will overcome that problem. I want a great crop in order to can them. My mistake last year was using inferior soil for carrots. That garden bed was new – so I had no chance to build up good soil over time. So I bought some. What I ended up with was too ‘mulchy’ rather than loamy soil. So those tiny-tiny carrot seeds had a hard time germinating and thriving. This year I will fix that!

Winter Squash. I am focusing on over-winter storage, thus, winter squash. There are several varieties ranging from Acorn squash to Butternut squash. Butternut stores the longest, up to 6 months under ideal conditions. Whereas Acorn may get you about 3 months if you’re lucky. This year I will try some Waltham Butternut. I’m going to grow them ‘up’ on cattle panels rather than letting them vine on the ground. We’ll see how that goes.

Those plants listed above will be my ‘survival & preparedness’ focus in my gardens this year. Beyond that, we will be growing Broccoli, Cauliflower, and a few tomato plants – all of which really must be eaten fresh. I plan to stagger the broccoli and cauliflower planting so that there’s always something fresh coming in season rather than all at once!

I also grew Rutabaga’s last year. They were a smashing success. I knew they wouldn’t store nearly as long as potatoes, but at least now I know that I can grow them – and some of them got huge. They really were maintenance free. I may grow some again this year. Still working out the final plans…

Given the uncertainty in the world we’re living in right now, coupled with a highly inflationary period for the foreseeable future, I sure feel good about expanding this year’s garden.

[ Read: Rutabaga Garden Experiment Was A Success ]

[ Read: Last Year’s Raised Garden Beds Expansion ]