With summer right around the corner I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my personal goals for my garden. I came up with 3 big things I wanted to get done, and thought I’d share them here to hopefully inspire anyone else. Read on to find out what I hope to accomplish this summer, and maybe get some ideas for your own garden.
Build a Greenhouse
One of the big ideas I’ve been kicking around for the last few years is to build a greenhouse. Having a greenhouse would give us so much more space to grow, and allow us to utilize some of our outdoor space in the winter. Living in the midwest, there’s a scant few plants that we can grow outdoors that will survive the winter and the snow.
This is the year where we finally have some extra time, and I really want to use that to build a small greenhouse. There are a number of smallish ones available as kits, so I think that’s the route to go. I’m not particularly handy, so having all the parts and instructions together is going to be helpful.
The one big concern I have is that the kits we’re looking at are likely to not be warm enough in the dead of winter. There are some ways we can improve this, but I still think the temperature might drop pretty low in the greenhouse during the nights.
Instead of trying to fix this, I think the correct move is to embrace it and grow plants that are well adapted to it. This means our winter crop is going to include a lot of cold hardy leafy greens like kale and spinach. Luckily, I love these veggies, so it’s not a big deal if that’s what I grow.
If all goes well, we’ll have a healthy supply of veggies during the summer, and lots of salads in the winter!
Grow More Food
Another big goal I have for this summer, and beyond, is to grow more food. This includes anything edible, fruits, vegetables and herbs. I’m not picky here, I want a little more of everything.
Growing food is one of my favorite parts of gardening. There’s something so satisfying about growing an edible piece of food from a plant. Watching it grow, picking it, and finally eating it. The whole process is just so satisfying and I absolutely love it.
I’ve got big plans for my summer garden in terms of edible crops. While I do grow indoors year round, I also take advantage of the summer to expand my crop. This year, we’ve set aside a decent plot in our backyard where we’ll be setting up a few garden boxes.
We don’t have our full crop list set yet, but we’ll definitely be growing hot peppers. We grow jalapenos and habaneros each year, and this is one of the highlights of our garden. We’ve found that these peppers when picked fresh are much spicier than anything we get in the store. These go great in almost any dish where we want a little extra heat.
Outside of that, some definates are cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Each of these are stapes of our meals, and having them on hand is going to make this one tasty summer!
Be More Sustainable
Lastly, I want to work to make my garden and life more sustainable. I’d like to cut down on waste as much as possible, and ultimately become more self-sufficient.
Garden in itself helps us reduce our food waste. For example, we recently needed some cilantro for a meal. The only option our local store had was a big bundle of it, when we needed maybe a ¼ of what was offered. This led to a decent chunk of that cilantro being wasted. By growing and harvesting only what we need we can cut down on food waste like this.
Other aspects also help us reduce the amount of waste we produce. One thing I’m excited about this year is to start composting more. This is going to let us reuse a lot of our food waste while at the same time eliminating our need for a lot of chemical fertilizers.
There are a lot of other little things we can do to reduce our waste and be more sustainable. Over the course of the summer, and beyond, we’ll be looking for more ways to do just that, and of course sharing them here on the blog.
What Are Your Goals?
Enough about me, what about you? We’d love to hear about your goals for the summer and what your plans for your garden are. Hearing and seeing others’ gardens is a huge inspiration, and something I always look forward to.