My 2021 Gardening Goals

Growing a garden this year, like last year, is tricky because I’ll be moving at the end of June. Fortunately, I’m moving back to a familiar place, and will be living with my dad at least for a little while, so I will have space to garden and am already able to start some seeds in Portland with my dad before I move there.

I’ll be in Portland for a few days next week for vacation, and I’m going to use the opportunity to get things growing. I’m a little overwhelmed thinking about all the things I want to do. I need to re-set my expectations and focus my energy. My goals this season are:

1. start small

I don’t want to set my expectations too high for this season, because A) I’ll be moving partway through the summer and will be starting a new job which will require a significant amount attention, B) the garden infrastructure needs some work before it can be a really productive garden, and C) I’m still learning and I know I will make a bunch of mistakes.

I want to focus on just getting one vegetable bed up and running – just one! I want to do it all, and have so many ideas and goals for my garden, but I need to remind myself to slow down and just focus on one thing at a time. It’s making me antsy just thinking about it. (I know I won’t literally have just one vegetable bed, but I want to pick on vegetable bed to prioritize.)

If I can grow enough lettuce for one salad, I’ll consider it a successful gardening season.

My dad has a few seedlings started in pots, but the outdoor garden space could use some work. The soil needs work. Deer and rabbit fences need to be built. And there are endless weeds to deal with. It’s a bit late in the season for my 2021 gardening goals, but a lot has changed since January 1st of this year, so I thought it was a good time to reassess.

2. Focus on infrastructure

If I put in more time and effort this year on the infrastructure for the garden, that will make subsequent years run more smoothly.

  • Sunlight: there are a couple of big trees in the yard, which are great, except for the fact that they shade significant portions of the yard. I want to do a formal sun study to map out which parts of the yard get sun at what times of day
  • Compost: We already compost, but I think the system can be improved
  • Deer and Rabbits: they eat everything. I’ll need to set up a deer and rabbit fence to keep them out.
  • Seed starting: We’ve worked on this already a bit. We started six pots of plants under LED lights. I want to work my way up to starting many more pots of plants. ….but maybe I should remember goal #1. We’ve demonstrated that the set up works for a small number of plants, and maybe that’s good enough for this year.

3. take notes

I want to make sure that I keep track of what I’m planting when and where, when things germinate, problems and solutions along the way, etc, so I can build on the experience each year.

Keeping up with this blog is part of that, so you can be sure that I’ll be reporting on garden happenings here all season long….

Those are my three goals for this year…I can’t wait to get started!

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