2021 garden plans. Here we are already halfway into February and it is freezing in Texas, literally freezing. I know many parts of the US normally have a winter that has many weeks of freezing weather. In the DFW area, this is very out of the norm. Despite the strange weather, we are well into putting our garden and homestead goals for 2021 in action. Last year we added a few things to the garden but kept it low-key because of my school schedule. We hadn't even planned to garden in 2020 but I couldn't help myself. I started some seedlings in late December 2019. By mid-March, I moved them outside to the garden. Scott and I agreed we'd work in the garden when we could but if we didn't have time and things didn't produce as well as normal it was fine.
We had said early on that 2020 had to be stress-free since nursing school would be enough stress. Of course, we all know how 2020 turned out. Crazy year, wasn't it?! In the end, the garden did great, going out and working in it became a great stress release, and the vegetables, fruit, and herbs it produced were wonderful, especially when many items were hard to find in stores. As 2020 came to an end I sat down and planned out what I wanted to grow for the coming spring and what new adventures I wanted to take on. I'm still in nursing school so I'm trying to not take on too much but again, I know when my hands are in dirt or I working on our little urban homestead I feel such a calm that I can't just put it on hold completely. Since it's 18 degrees out and feels like 4 degrees with the wind chill I thought I go ahead and share with you Days Well Spent 2021 Garden Plans.
At the end of December beginning of January, I shared on Instagram that I had started our seedlings. We have tomatoes, peppers, and a variety of herbs growing inside. Outside, we have lettuce, peas, and spinach. I'm fairly certain everything outside will be dead by the time we warm up late next week. Thankfully it's all stuff that can be quickly replanted. I had intended to go out and cover everything using our DIY row covers but the day the weather moved in was the day before midterms so I was busy studying and never made it out there. Thankfully everything inside is looking good! We did have an infestation of fungus gnats that I think I brought in when I decided to buy some aloe vera plants. Thankfully I was able to get rid of the fungus gnats organically. Later today I'm planning to start our luffa and then in a month or so I'll also start some cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumbers.
Each year we bring back the tried and true and like to add some new items to the garden rather it's inside or outside. This year we added two new types of peppers, aloe vera, Mexican oregano, and sage when we started our seedlings.
In April of 2019, we decided to give a greenhouse a try. We started with an inexpensive portable greenhouse and quickly saw the benefits it provided. While we really enjoyed the portable greenhouse it was not the long-term answer for us. This year we've decided to upgrade to a permanent greenhouse. It is slightly smaller in length and width than the first greenhouse. However, it is taller, more sturdy, has mountable shelves, an automatic window option for venting, a rain gutter, and several other features. We plan to use larger greenhouses once we move onto our land so this will allow us to really refine our greenhouse growing techniques whereas the portable one did not. The new greenhouse should be set-up by the start of March depending on the weather, just in time to start hardening-off our plants.
This year I'm starting over with worm composting. In 2017 we set up the Worm Factory 360 and then while out of town for several weeks our worms parished. It was completely my fault because with some basic planning they would have been fine. This year I am going back to a simpler set-up like we had when our kids were little and we used the book Worms Eat My Garbage for a homeschool science project. That worm bin thrived for years! We stopped using it when we created a larger compost bin outside. It was similar to the ones we created in this post.
We are almost to the point of starting to look at land! Our original plan would have had us buying land in 2020. After a lot of discussions, we decided to wait until after I graduated nursing school to move. We continue to refine our homesteading skills and plan out what we need for land and land resources. Right now our goal is 10 acres with utilities and a well already in place. We are not set on it having a structure on it but that'd be nice. So, if you know of some land that is cheap or someone is looking to donate we are interested!