For now the garden is under snow. Difficult to believe that a year ago at this time I was posting about crocuses. Clearly this year we’re going to have to wait.  And it is just as well, as there are changes afoot.

Here is the garden layout from last year. Notice anything wrong with it? Well really, there’s nothing wrong with it, but it may not be the best set-up. Sure it produced very well, but I think it can be better.

Here is  the layout from 2012.

The first thing to do is reorient  (probably rebuild) beds 1 & 2 to orient them east-west.  Hopefully this increases the sun exposure in those beds as well creating room for another narrow bed.  The rebuild is an opportunity to re-imagine beds 1 & 2  as cold frames with the North side 4″ higher then the South side. I love a good construction project, and this is a chance to have some fun. Not only will I rebuild the beds, but later in the season I’ll construct the “lights” or the cold frame covers.

Bed #3 will be expanded. The carrots and potatoes did so well I’m greedy for more.

The biggest physical change will be the beginning of an installation for a hoop house. Not the little hoop house, or low row covers, though I’ll use them, but a bigger more substantial installation based on Eliot Coleman’s book Four Season Harvest. I owned the book but Spencer over at Chohocton River Rock Mini-Farm sparked me to read it. And so, I worked my way through it this winter and while I won’t go into the whole epiphany thing; one part stands out.  That is, I should be able to harvest some greens all winter long with a bit of planning, construction, and proper crop selection. Next winter will be the test, this spring and summer we’ll lay the ground work.

So here is the plan for 2013:

The plan is not to scale and as with all things gardening, is subject to change. I want the hoop house big enough  that I can access bed #1 from both sides. The long bed to the North is only 2′ wide  so that is not an issue. I’m really looking forward to the new challenges.

So some questions for you. 

Are you making changes this year? If so, what do you have in mind?

Have you built a hoop house?

Are you harvesting year-round?

Now I’ll have another cup of coffee, and wait for the snow to melt.

Until next time, Keep Digging and Eat Well!