Our 2023 yard and garden goals - the seven things we'd like to accomplish around the farmhouse this year, including a new patio area, new plantings, and progress towards a big dream.
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Last year was the first year I wrote up some specific yard and garden goals for the farmhouse property and it really worked to keep us on track with the projects we wanted to do.
So of course I want to update you on how we did and share our list of things we'd like to get done this year. (Spoiler - we accomplished more than I thought we would!)
Remember, I'm just sharing things to let you know what we're working on, to help keep us on track, and to serve as inspiration for projects you'd like to do.
I won't always have a list of garden goals - when we get down to the regular amount of one to two things we'd like to get done, then it will move to my general annual goals.
But right now, year five after having moved to our property (but just year 2 of not spending all.our.time remodeling the inside), there is still so much to do to be able to use the property like we'd like that a list of separate garden goals is helpful.
Last year after sharing I got some comments like, "Wow, you have so much energy." Or things along the lines of "I can't imagine doing all that."
So I want to clarify that some of the things are fairly small - planting things would probably happen anyway when you're a gardener - I just want to list out specific things I want to have planted by the end of the year (usually larger things or new areas).
The larger things are often dreams of mine that I always think if I write them down they may eventually happen, lol. You'll see below that some of the large things didn't happen and the smaller ones did, which shouldn't be surprising!
2022 Garden Goals Review
Here are the nine goals from 2022 and how we did (you can go here to read more details on each):
- Use portable grow bags. Yes. I planted potatoes in each one (no basil like I mentioned) and harvested some small potatoes because the bags dried out a LOT. I learned I need to have some kind of trough the bags sit in that will hold water to keep them more evenly moist.
- New area for seed starting. Yes. I purchased this greenhouse shelving kit that I use for the selves that fit perfectly in the landing upstairs with some LED grow lights. Those hurt my eyes and kind of burned the plants, so this year I added this small florescent light that's already working much better.
- Plan greenhouse. No. I thought about it a lot and collected lots of lovely inspiration photos, and I even looked at Facebook marketplace occasionally for windows and doors. But that's as far as it got, which in all honesty, I'm not surprised about because it was never at the top of the list.
- Rethink round bed plantings. Yes. I planted the basil where it would get the most sun and it did really well. The zucchini planted to the side didn't fare as well since it was more shady there. I didn't plant the tall sunflowers at all this year and though I missed them, I got a bigger harvest of the edibles, so that's a win. This will be constant adjusting as it often is in our gardens from year to year.
- Back door path and seating area. Yes (see photo above)! I was so, so happy to get this project done as black plastic had been down in this area for years (to keep weeds from growing) and was tearing and slippery. Now it's not only a lot more usable, it looks so much better!
- Cement steps (and new retaining wall). Yes. Huge relief to have this done and be able to get to our back door from the driveway now:
- Deck/patio for kitchen door. Sort of. We decided on a patio vs. a deck and do have a plan which we started moving towards. See more on this in the new goals below.
- More deer resistant plantings around new areas. Yes. The new rock wall beds you can see above next to the seating area, plus a few more areas that grew with our newly laid cement, which you'll see more of below.
- Continue with road hedgerow. Yes. I planted more evergreen shrubs, some elderberries, and a flowering cherry. This will be ongoing.
Bonus maybe: left side porch planters. No. Again, not a surprise since it's just my dream - but it is going on the main list for this year!
2023 Farmhouse Yard & Garden Goals
1. Experiment With Growing Greens Indoors
This was a goal I wanted to do this year that I've already started! The photo above is my lettuce seedlings at 3 weeks and I hope to be able to cut my first harvest in another two weeks.
They will be baby greens that I will cut and let grow in between harvests. So far they are growing slower than I thought, but I'm hoping to get some reliable greens as I experiment with soils and timing more.
2. Complete Phase 1 of Kitchen Patio
What you see above is the "plan" we came up with last year. One of the contractors we had give us a quote for the new cement suggested saving money on disposal of the old, broken cement by using it to build up the height of the new kitchen patio.
We still have more old cement to move here and then we will work to even it out and fill in with gravel before deciding on the material for the patio, steps and sides. I'm not really sure how this will work, but we'll just figure it out as we go along!
Phase 2 will be a cover that would be wonderful if it were done at the same time, but I'm trying to be realistic here, lol.
We can't wait to use this area, as it's a perfect eastern exposure (morning sun, shade from hot afternoon sun) with a wonderful view.
3. Add 3-5 trees Opposite New Kitchen Patio and Landscape Around Patio
And there you have the view from where the new patio will be. We love it and even watching the horses in the stable barn is fun, but we would like to be a little less on view, so the plan is to add a few deciduous dwarf or smaller trees right were we see the barn by our fence line.
I think it will add some pretty spring color (some will be flowering) and fall color (some will have pretty red colors in fall) as well as take the focus away from the barn.
I will also need to plant around the new patio with deer resistant perennials, bulbs, and small shrubs.
4. Start More Seeds Indoors
Now that I have more room with the tiered shelf set up, I can start more seeds indoors. I'm especially wanting to start our onions inside as well as annual flowers that I've been having to buy.
5. Plan Greenhouse and Collect Windows and Door
This year I really want to draw up a plan and find used windows and a door - and maybe even start framing!
I've decided I don't want vintage wood windows, no matter how cute they look put together for green houses, since I need to be able to open and close them. We have a place that sells overstock vinyl windows that we can go to when we have our plan and measurements.
Since it will be a lean-to type of structure, we won't need as many windows as if we were doing all the sides and the roof will be the wavy plastic roofing material.
6. Continue with New Plantings
I'll continue planting the hedgerow by the road and fill in the new rock wall beds around the gravel seating area as well as the extended beds that were created from the cement we laid (like the area above in front of the veggie garden).
The area you see above was another eyesore that had a mix of plastic, cardboard, and wood chips - along with weeds.
After squaring off the odd missing triangle in the driveway, I could finally complete the bed with a rock edging and continuing the cardboard and wood chip paths.
7. Left Side Porch Planters
I'm adding this to the main goals this year because I think we can do it, plus I want the boxwoods I plant here to be the same size as the ones I planted to the right two years ago and if we go any longer the bigger plants we'd need will be SO much more expensive.
The plan is to purchase the same cement blocks that were used on our foundation and basically continue it around the porch, which will help this area so much, I think. It just looks a little unfinished to me.
So that's our list for 2023 - a few less than last year because we are making progress on the property, thankfully!
Do you have any garden goals for this year? I'd love to hear them if you do!
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