P+M Upstate Adventure: Planning the 2016 Garden – Check out our layout!

Remember I posted about the garden shivers on Monday?  That feeling you get when you’re so excited about the upcoming garden season, you shake from happiness?  Yeah. I got the garden shivers bad.  I’m so excited.. I just can’t hide it.. I’m about to lose my mind and plant way too much corn!

The garden season is always exciting, but this year it has a new excitement to it as it has so many unknowns.  As many of you know, Matthew and I will be starting a larger garden Upstate this year, on our new land project.   To go from growing on our rooftop in Brooklyn to growing in the real ground Upstate, there’s going to be changes and surprises.   To begin with, our garden season is going to get shorter.  Usually we’d start planting our seeds indoors in January but we won’t be planting them until next week as the last day of frost is May 31st in our new zone of 5A.  (by the way, I found this really helpful site that lists growing seasons by zone).  From there, the garden season lasts “safely” until the last freeze free date which is October 1st.  We’ll try extending it as long as we can!   The big change here is size.  Our garden just got a whole lot bigger with the land.   That means we can grow more vegetables and try new things.  It also means figuring out what can grow best in this zone, along with our rocky clay soil (I’m getting a soil test done right now – will post about results!).    I’m also ready for heart break.  There’s going to be heart break.  Animals.  Weather.  Diseases.   A gardener has to be prepared for a few garden tears.  But a gardener also has to dream big in my opinion.  That makes it so much more fun and exciting. 🙂

Knowing that we have to get our seeds planted soon, and being affected by the garden shivers at a very high rate, we sat down this week to plan the garden.  This is not 100% firm as things change once you are in the garden space, but it’s pretty close to what we’ll do.

Here you go (click to enlarge):

Here’s my direct link to the garden layout if you want to get more details.  I use GrowVeg.com to make our garden layouts which is great to keep our garden organized.

Lots of corn!  We’ve grown corn on the roof, but it’s hard.  It either grows ok, or doesn’t grow at all.  Last year, after many corn fights between  Matthew and I we didn’t grow it at all.  This year, I’m excited that we’re going to devote a whole row to it.

Dry beans.  We grew some dry beans last year to much success.  Since going no-meat, I’m a bean eating machine.  This year we’re going to grow much more dry beans and try new varities.

Baby Bok Choy.  I eat about 5 pounds of bok choy a week.  I’m obsessed. So we’re growing to grow lots of it.

Celery. Weirdly enough we’ve never grown it before.

Arugula. Weirdly enough we’ve never grown it before.

Potatoes. Maybe.  We’ve grown potatoes on the rooftop, and it’s only been successful half the time.  Our soil is a bit rocky so we’re not sure how potatoes will grow, but we’ll have to experiment.

Pumpkins.  Basically I would grow pumpkins on all 7 acres of our land if I could.  So we’re growing 3 varieties of pumpkins and lots of them.

Berries.  We grow raspberries on the rooftop but I want to grow much larger amounts.  I also want to start blueberries.

Fruits.  This is a whole other story and not listed in the layout graph, but I want to start growing fruit trees in a separate area of the land.  

Carrots.  Lots of them.  Different varieties.  Matthew is like a rabbit with carrots.

Cantaloupe.  We aren’t growing it this year.  I always feel like it just goes to waste as neither of us love it.

We’ll be growing our usual suspects:  beans, soybeans, dry beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, corn, cucumbers, greens (lettuce and arugula), bok choy, lettuce, onions, garlic, sugar snap peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, tomatoes, tomatillos and watermelon. And berries.  And herbs.  

WOOOH! That’s alot of vegetables.

So now with the garden planned, we’ll start the seeds soon, and we’ll keep working on the fence!  
Here’s a sneak peek on how the fence is going…..!
Building a Fence_11

Building a Fence_1

Building a Fence_7

Now tell me about your garden! Are you planning already?  What are you growing? What aren’t you growing? Do you have the garden shivers?



Leave a comment
  • Dry beans and bok choy – two of my favourites too! Your fence is looking awesome, btw – I just have a simple, chicken wire setup but we don’t often have to contend with deer, so it does the job.

    Each year, I add a few new things to the garden…this year it will be arugula, parsnips and napa cabbage. And yes, I can relate to the garden shivers…although until you mentioned it, I thought it was just a draft 🙂

  • I’m so excited for you! I can’t stop thinking about gardening these days – I’m posting about it nearly every day, I think my readers must be getting tired of my garden dreams! Your fence looks incredible, by the way. I haven’t finalized my garden plan yet but I would also like to do more dried beans this year – corn I’m afraid to try as I heard it will bring the bears right into the garden, fence or no fence. Not sure if that’s true, so I just buy my corn at the farmer’s market. Last year I had 10 types of tomatoes, lettuce of all sorts, carrots, onions, garlic, green beans, dried beans, celery, eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, hubbard squash, herbs galore, and blueberries. Oh, and peas. And I have a wild berry patch on my property. And strawberries in pots. Supposed to hit about 65 up here in our 5A zone on Weds – can’t wait!

    • I love seeing your big garden list – that’s so exciting! I’m so jealous of your berry patch, I hope one day I’ll be able to have a area dedicated to blueberries! Your comment made me watch videos of bears climbing fences – woah! I guess if they go through all that work, they deserve the corn! haha

  • I too am excited for you. Love your fence, it sure is coming along very nicely. I am growing celery for the first time this year. Started a number of seeds, way too early for my planting zone so most will end up in containers that can be brought into the garage if needed to.

    • Thanks Norma, I always look forward to what you’re growing too! Glad to see you’re growing celery for the first time too – can’t wait to see how big yours grows (your garden always looks great!).

  • I use to grow all my taters in straw. I would throw down a 12 -16 in layer of straw, making it about 2 foot wide, throw the cut taters on top, , and then layer another 12-16 inches of straw on top. Water in, and keep moist but not wet.
    This is growing taters that are clean. No dirt to scrap off. and you can take peeks at them too. Just waiting for those baby taters to get big enough for a nice batch of creamed new taters. Yummy. 🙂

  • Looks fantastic Pamela,lucky you having all that land and talent to take on such a huge gardening endeavor. How will you tend the garden, do you have help upstate? Just wondering. I would love it if you had a stand at the local farmers market, I would be your best customer.

    • Hey Suzanne, if you need veggies I’m your girl. Seriously, let me know, I’d be more than happy to share some with you. We don’t have help, it’s just and Matthew, and some friends who will be stopping by to help. We’ll see how it goes with us not visiting everyday… a journey it’ll be!

  • This is my first year trying a vegetable garden. I used to rely on my sister’s crops but since we’ve moved to Long Island…two hours one way is too long of a trip for some tomatoes and cucumbers. I’m excited to give it a try and so are my kids although they were very disappointed we couldn’t grow corn.

    • I can’t wait to see how your vegetable garden grows, I hope you’ll be posting pictures! Corn is one of my favorite plants to grow, there’s something magical about seeing those ears growing!

    • Haha, yeah I know what you mean! It takes some dedication to finally start planning, we dragged our feet a bit! Glad it’s done though!

    • Aww, that’s so nice! We’re still up in the air about it. We’re going to have a few rain barrels set up, and thankfully the soil is more on the wet side. We’ve gotten a few quotes on a well, and since we’re high up there, you can imagine how expensive it is! I’m going to get a few more quotes this Spring and then take it from there..

  • The fence looks great – it’ll sure keep out the deer! The other critters… they’ll just dig under. BUT – maybe you’ll be lucky, they’ll leave your garden alone… if there’s lots of other stuff around for them to eat. I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed for you!!
    Sad to say… I just don’t want to work so hard on my gardens anymore. There was a time for that – and I LOVED IT!! But now I just want to travel and not have anything to think about – not even this wonderful house. (I think I told you some of this before.)
    For every thing there is a season – and now is the time for me to travel. I’m 65 (I’ll be 66 this August). I still have lots of energy and zest for life & I want to meet new people and see new things.
    By next year – around planting time – I just may be in Europe…. or somewhere else… and I’ll get My Planting Jollies from keeping up with your gardening adventures!! ; o )

    • Hey Cecile, nice to see you here! We’re going to be doing some type of system under the fence as well, but thankfully the soil is pretty rocky so it will give those critters a tough time if they’re up for the challenge. I’m expecting some heart break, but it’ll be a learning experience.

      I understand what you mean. It would be nice to travel and see the world (and taste it!). I’ll be following your adventures!

  • I know it will be a lot of work-but what fun you will have! I just ordered 2 4 ft garden beds and am so excited. We had a garden years ago, but our trees have overtaken where I used to plant. The garden beds will help and way less weeding. Can’t wait!

  • Great plans! So nice that you have a new garden! We are at zone 6a and I’m already done with some seed starters ( even if the seedlings are ready earlier we have a small greenhouse and we can plant them there). My husband started with the soil preparation and we are planting onions next week. Got some nice ideas from your post and definitely sharing it to my friends. Greets!

  • Just in the final stages of pulling up our summer garden and preparing for the winter, not sure that I am going to bother with gardening during the cooler months tho. But I do indeed love your planning, and that block looks wonderful, have been stalking your face on Instagram. 🙂

  • Hi Pamela,

    You guys are so inspiring. I would love to start my own garden some day! I had a question. How will you guys water all the plants and vegetables? If I got a plot of land, I wondered how I would be able to keep everything watered with no water supply from a traditional house/hose watering source other than rain of course. I wasn’t sure if rain water would be enough to keep all the plants hydrated.

    Thank you for your input!


  • Hi Pamela,

    Sorry for not reading all the other posts earlier. I just did and saw you already answered the question about the watering and that you’ll use rain barrels and maybe get a well dug. Thanks for that info! I may do the same some day : )

    All the best with this shiver inducing endeavor!


  • Waw, this is so cool for the 2 of you! That is a lot of land too! Woehoe!

    I love your cool plan. This year, we are trying to do permaculture. We do it organically too, as always. We will try to grow quinoa, a variety that is great to grow in Belgium & The Netherlands. We will grow lower sunflowers, black corn, old varieties of plants, a lot of different flowers, special salad leaves, pumpkins, etc,… The list goes on forever! 🙂

  • What nice huge garden you are planning! We may be moving to a place with just a courtyard but you can bet I will be planting in pots! A whole new learning adventure. Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope that you will have time to come again! Nancy

  • I can’t believe this is the last post I read about your garden… waaay before you even planted anything. I sure DO have a lot of catching up to do.
    I know exactly how that ‘shiver’ feels when you just can NOT wait until it get to start digging in the soil again. And visions – but not of ‘sugarplums – dance in your head!! ; o )

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.    |     Privacy Policy