I have saved my garden maps from the past two years, so I can move my crops around from year to year. The first map I saved is from 2012 and it wasn't on purpose. When I was putting this notebook together, I realized I still had the map and how much I could use it for future reference. Trying to pretend I will remember where I planted my vegetables from year to year is not realistic, so having this history in writing is a valuable tool.
A few years ago, I got out my companion planting information including my best resource, Carrots Love Tomatoes, and typed up a table listing my most commonly grown vegetables. It's a quick, easy reference for my garden when I am planning a new year.
My garden isn't very big so the space has to be utilized as much as possible. It also limits the distances I can manage when rotating my crops from year to year. I'm trying to wait at least two years before putting the same crop in the same place again, but I'm not always successful.
Part of my plan includes when to start seedlings, when to plant them in the garden and when to direct plant seeds into the garden. Once I decide what I am going to plant, I can look everything up and determine when the seeds need to be planted, indoors or out. One of my problems every year is that I want to grow everything! And I want to try too many new things. Wanting to learn and do so much is exciting, but it turns out I am trying to do too many things at once. This means some things grow and some things don't, increasing the failure rates of my crops. This year I am going to (try) to limit the number of crops and the number of varieties within those crops. For instance, instead of growing eight different types of peppers, I am only growing two, jalapenos and an Italian sweet pepper.
Since I have completed my map and my planting schedule, I wanted to share my calendar of events so far.
I need to start seedlings for the following vegetables by February 15th.
- Celery and celeriac - to be planted April 1st
- Peppers - to be planted April 15th
- Beets - to be planted March 1st
- Onions - to be planted March 1st
- Lettuce - to be planted March 1st
- Carrots - to be planted March 1st
- Tomatoes - to be planted April 15th
- Peas - to be planted March 1st
- Spinach - to be planted March 1st
I need to start seedlings for the following vegetables by March 15th.
- Cantaloupe - to be planted April 15th
- Cucumbers - to be planted April 15th
- Pole beans - to be planted April 15th
I will plant some seeds directly into the garden. Most of these are larger seeds and plants that don't take well to being transplanted. I will plant these seeds around April 15th. Our last average frost date is April 1st and most of these plants like warmer weather to germinate.
This list includes:
- Purple Hull Peas (cow peas)
- Yellow Crookneck Squash (which I start off as seedlings sometimes, it depends on how much time I have)
I need to start seedlings for my winter squash on July 1st to be planted around July 10th. These will go where the cabbage, beets, onions and lettuce will be winding up. The turnips I will direct seed into the garden around July 15th. They will take up the space the corn has been grown in this year.
These cold, dreary days of winter are a good time to dream of spring, new growth and warmer weather. And it doesn't hurt to have a picture of seedlings on the blog to cheer things up.
Planning ahead for future needs is an essential task if success is to be achieved, whether it is for gardening, cooking a meal, or surviving a collapse. There are so many things happening in the world right now. Do some very serious planning and pondering. Get what you need, before you need and can't get.
Until next time - Fern