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Being a gardener  in Lubbock is a greater challenge than I imagined, but each year is getting better.
Come follow my progress as I get my hands in Texas soil.

Joy Blooms . . .
with veggies, flowers, birds, butterflies, & creatures
                                                                                                                            This page last updated:   05/08/2016 08:07 AM

How Big?  That is, how large a Vegetable Garden do I want?
In 2011 I used the beds that the previous owners constructed.
In 2012 I'll do it my way - build new raised beds.

My continuous goal for my vegetable garden is for it to produce enough vegetables for our daily consumption as well as a surplus to can, preserve or freeze.  That's a whole new chapter in our Lubbock adventure.  I've never had a garden big enough for a surplus.

The first question is "How big should the vegetable garden be?"   Most people start with a 10' x 10' plot.  Everybody I talked to advises me to start small, but for me that is not an option.  Most people are limited by the size of the lot.  With an acre to play with I am not limited.  I certainly don't want the garden so big that working it takes all the joy from it.

Hubby and I mapped out an area for 20 4'x8' raised beds. I mapped out an area 55' x 39' That's 2145 sq ft of growing space.  I read on the net that 400 sq ft was generally enough space to feed a family of four.  So I should have plenty of room to for veggies & fruits (blueberries, strawberries & raspberries).

I have been a container gardener for years.  Old habits are hard to break so I envision that I will have some containers with veggies - tomatoes & lettuce & radishes - on the patio where I can quickly harvest enough for a salad.
I realize that in order to be self-sufficient (i.e not having to buy vegetables at the store) both hubby and I will have to devote time to the garden every day.  I enjoy working the soil, so I am looking forward to planting, pulling weeds, watering, and harvesting the crop.  It will take to back to childhood days working beside my Daddy.
My plan is continue my practice of being an organic gardener.  I'll ban pesticides from the garden.  I may break down and buy commercial fertilizer.  My emphasis will be to rely on companion planting to control pests and improve the flavor of the veggies.

Not at all sure about this red dirt, but everybody tells be it is fertile.

I'd like to plant:
  • Several varieties of Beans.   I could grow both bushes and pole beans types.   In Colorado, I built trellises out of PVC pipe on which the pole bean could climb - guess I'll do that again.
  • Several varieties of Cucumbers. We both enjoy cucumber salad and will learn to appreciate pickles.  I too will make trellises of some sort on which the cukes can climb. 
  • Several varieties of Peas.  One of the challenges I have with peas in getting them to the kitchen.   I enjoy feasting on them in the garden.   Here they will do well in early spring and in the fall.
  • Salad Garden.   I'll grow lettuce, radishes, kohlrabi, etc .   All of these are pretty easy to grow. Radishes, for example, will  mature in only less than a month.   I'll grown the salad garden in containers or under the trellises.   
  • Several varieties of Tomatoes.  I'll see which varieties are offered locally.  With tomatoes I'll have many varieties from which to choose.   Some will be early and other late.  Can't forget to plant some Sweet 100's.  They too rarely make it to the kitchen.
  • Must have corn.  Because corn is cross pollinated, it is essential to plant in a square and not a single row.  Planting in a square ensures that when the wind blows the ears will be pollinated.
  • Establish an Asparagus bed.  I'll have room now to dedicate one of the beds to growing Asparagus.  Can't wait - 2 to 3 years before I can harvest.  It is a long term investment.
  • Potatoes.  Can't wait to plant some potatoes - I'm planning red, yukon gold, and russet potatoes. 
  • What else?  I'll decide that later.

The seed catalog start arriving shortly after Christmas - What a joy to plan next years garden.

Generally Recommended # Plants Family Per Person

Asparagus 5-10 plants Lettuce, Head 2-5 plants
Beans 10-15 plants Lettuce, Leaf 5-8 feet
Broccoli 3-5 plants Melon 1-3 plants
Brussels Sprouts 2-5 plants Onion 10-25 plants
Cabbage 3-5 plants Peas 15-20 plants
Carrots 10-25 plants Peppers, Bell 3-5 plants
Cauliflower 2-5 plants Potato 5-10 plants
Celery 2-8 plants Radishes 10-25 plants
Corn 10-20 plants Squash, Hard 1-2 plants
Cucumber 1 2 plants Squash, Summer 1-3 plants
Kohlrabi 3-5 plants Tomatoes 1-4 plants
Leafy Greens 2-7 plants Zucchini 1-3 plants

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