Happy Garden Week! Like I said last week, there is a hilarious list of official “holidays” this month that spans the gamut of food from the garden to the garden to something that might happen in or around a garden. Hmmm. (See: Walking Day, or Raisin Day.)

I’m already behind, my friends.  Who knew there were so many holidays in April?!  Not me.

But I’m behind for a very good reason.  Just look where I was all weekend:

photo 1

Yes, while the rest of the universe in Minnesota (that doesn’t make sense, but I think you know what I mean) headed south during their spring break, we headed NORTH.  Why? Because it’s just the way we roll. And because this place is so beautiful, it’s totally worth it.

It was a weekend of sunshine and happy kids playing games and more sleep than I’m used to...and going to the bathroom in places I’d rather not...but all in all, it was awesome.

Kids at Jay Cooke

But - I was not allowed to bring my computer. Which, once the shaking stopped, was actually kind of nice. Ha ha.

So I could not post Fresh Tomato Day on time.  Nor could I post this post at the very beginning of Garden Week. But I will get to them, I will! Just not on their exact holi-DATE.  But who are we kidding?!  Nobody knows when it’s actually FRESH TOMATO DAY! So, if I never told you when it officially was, you wouldn’t know that I’m off by four days! (So, let’s pretend you don’t know, and I’m not late. Ok? Good deal.)

But it IS Garden Week!  And what a great way to celebrate garden week than to share with you all of our garden planning for this year!  Jer-Bear has been working really hard on the planning part of his gardening. And though the cabin saw a foot and half of snow LAST WEEK and it feels like summer will never come - it IS coming… and we want to be ready!

Michele - my lovely sis-in-law posted about the Top 5 Things to Do in Winter to Prep Your Garden…(super cute graphic, Michele!)  And Jer's taking his own advice and getting ready for the big thaw when he can spend most of his days out in the beautiful garden.

Here’s what Jer-Bear’s been up to:

Cabin Garden Plan 2014

This year, Jer Bear is focusing on three main things:

1. -  More organized purchasing: 

I love shopping for the garden, and so I get there and just start buying based on what looks good.  I end up forgetting stuff, getting too many of one thing (90 tomato plants last year!), not having space for what I bought, etc.  I know it sounds silly, but I'm being much more organized about my purchases this year, and being more efficient.

2 - Companion Gardening: 

Just read an article about companion gardening, and it suggests that instead of doing two rows of potatoes and a row of flax, for example, you put combine them throughout one row. Like, in one row: potatoes, then flax, then more potatoes - and then in the next row you do the opposite: flax, potatoes, flax. So that they are pairing up together much more. I'm really excited to see what impact this has. We've had so much luck with our companion gardening in the past, and this year we're trying some new combinations.

Some NEW companion pairs we're trying this year:

  • Tomato and Garlic
  • Radishes and Squash
  • Parsley and Asparagus
  • Broccoli, Cabbage and Rhubarb
  • Strawberries and Thyme
  • Borage and Tomatoes/Strawberries
  • AND OTHERS!.... more on this later this season.

3 - More Row Space: 

It's always hard to imagine when you're planting your garden that you don't have enough space. They say you need 2' between plants, and you think, "Really? For that little thing?" so you scrunch it a bit... and then before you know it, the plant is huge and you wish you had more space. Or, maybe that's just me.

This year, Jer-Bear wants to increase the space between rows:

I want to fit my tiller in between the rows more easily, and to help with mulching.  The weeds can get so bad, and being able to till helps tremendously. I am losing a little plant space, but I think it will be worth it.

top 5 ways to prep your garden

So excited to get started on this year's Cabin Garden!  Jer - thanks for all your planning to make this garden another bountiful harvest.

AND - If you have gardening question, ask Jer-Bear!  He's not only an incredibly skilled and knowledgable gardener, he's a really nice guy.  Love ya, Dad!