Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Imagine All the Veggies

For many people winter isn't a time to be working in the garden. Soils are wet, cold, and sun is scarce.
Winter is a great time however, to plan out next spring's garden. As an experienced farmer/gardener, I can honestly say that creating a plan is a great way to cut down on the cost of seed (if you buy it), it helps with crop rotation (if you look at past plans), and ensures your favorite crops get top billing during the planting frenzy. If you are in the Seattle or Olympia area and want to learn about garden planning, I teach workshops in January on this topic.

If not, here are a few helpful hints:
1. Make a scale map of your garden space using graph paper or a ruler. If it's permanent garden space, go ahead and laminate the map.
2. Once the map is done, figure out which crops are most important to you, how many you want of each, and then pencil them into your map (or use erasable ink on the laminate). Don't forget to give each one enough space to grow to full size.
3. Create a calendar that includes the dates you will start the seeds for each crop. Is there room/time for more than one sowing?

Keep this information somewhere you can refer to it every time you start new seeds, and for the next year's planning.

I mapped out my first garden, and had great results each year. With only 100 square feet including paths, I planned it down to the square inch.

Peas, radishes, tomatoes, and cabbage all growing in a 4 x 4 bed

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