Saturday, January 2, 2010

The 2010 Garden

Happy New Year!

Welcome to USMC Sis. Thanks for following my blog.

January 5th will mark the one year anniversary of the "Garden Journey". One year, I can’t believe how fast it went by. I've learned a lot this past year and hope to continue to improve my gardening skills as I move on to the 2010 garden.

I ended 2009 with a total harvest of 122.4 pounds. I'm amazed at how much I could get out of such a small space and to tell you the truth I think I can do better. Looking back now I can see I didn't use all the growing space to my advantage. I have made a few small changes to the garden and planting plan that should increase my harvest. I would like to see a harvest of 150 to 200 pounds in 2010.

This year will be a busy one for me. Outside of my garden duties at home I have been asked to take the lead in revitalizing a garden belonging to Shelter Network. A few years ago Haven Family House was blessed with a vegetable garden donated by Sunset Magazine. The staff has been so busy helping homeless families in the Bay Area that they haven't been able to devote much time to keep the garden going. Since my sister is the Facilities Manager, among other titles, she has asked me to help them get back on track. I am very honored that she has asked me to help and I'm looking forward to my first meeting with the staff a week from Monday. I will post photos and updates on this project in future posts.

Lets move on to what's happening in my garden…

Ribbit over at The Corner Yard has an offer to purchase Square Foot Gardening / Intensive Gardening Planting Templates. Well guess who got herself a Christmas present....

For those of us that are a bit challenged when it comes to spacing and lining things up straight this template is heaven sent! I orderd two sets of both the 9 and 16 hole templates. I used the 16 hole in my new kitchen bed to plant some baby spinach seeds.

Photo Below: Planting Template

For the 2010 season I thought I would post a "View from the Roof" monthly garden photo. Below is the January garden from the roof...

Not too much going on in the garden now. With the lack of sun this time of year I am very limited to what I can grow. I will be setting up the seed starting station in the pop-up green house next weekend.

Today I had Sweet Husband give me a lesson on how to use power tools to help me put up the rest of the hoop houses on beds 3 and 4. I now know how to drill pilot holes and can use the drill in place of a hand held screw driver. Every girl/woman should know how to use power tools... why should the boys have all the fun!

I was told I have good form...

Photo Below: After the hoops were put in place Sweet Husband zip tied the center pole in place.

Photo Below: Living in zone 10 I don't get much in the way of frost to really justify hoop houses, but I do have a band of ruthless squirrels that will stop at nothing to infiltrate my garden for their food storage. I have declared war and I will win! This should hold them back behind enemy lines...

If you have been following my blog for the past year and still need inspiration to start your own vegetable garden, take some time to read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver.


  1. How cool! I'm hopeful the grid will work out for you. I'm looking forward to nice, even spacings, myself!

  2. Happy Blogiversery!

    Yes, every girl/woman should know how to use power tools. I am hoping to get more experience with them this summer :)

    What an exciting opportunity to revitalize the garden at the Shelter Network. Wow, you ARE going to be busy.

  3. Ribbit - I will be using the templates a lot this season. I'm going to try more direct sowing in my beds. I may even use it in the Haven House garden. :-)

    Muse - Thank you. I am really looking forward to helping out at Haven House. I was out there last week taking photos and putting together a to do list. We will be looking for volunteers in the communtiy to help with this year round project.

  4. The photos are very helpful: i I am planning a hoophouse for the yard this spring. I live where the gardening season is quite short, 90 days at best.

  5. bewing - Thanks for stopping by. Glad I could help. The hoophouse should help to extend your season a bit.

  6. Liisa - don't get your hair caught in that drill! A girl at my workplace did that, and was crying and stuff.....hehe. Squirrels are little demons, I tell ya! I like the plant spacing tool, and may have to make one myself some day. Hope 2010 is a wonderful gardening year for you!

  7. EG - Thanks for the advice! Note to self.. pull back hair when working with power tools. Hope 2010 is great for you too.

  8. Hi, I love your blog - I need the inspiration for my blog - I am way too inconsistent. I had a couple of questions. I to am challenged by squirrels, cats, etc. I noticed you had a grid on one of your beds, does this help keep critters out or is this for planting guidance?

    Also, where did you order your template from.

    Happy New Year!

  9. ChloJoMama - Thanks for stopping by!

    The grid is for planting. Check out Square Foot Gardening at

    The template was ordered from Ribit over at The Corner Yard at

  10. This is truly inspiring. Barbara Kingsolver will be presenting writers' workshops at the San Miguel Writers Conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico February 19-23 2010. I just signed up. It looks like a rare opportunity to meet her. Are you going?

  11. Thanks for stopping by. No I will not be attending the workshop. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is the only book of Barbara Kingsolver's I have read. I'll have to check out her other books. I do like the way she writes.