My Version of Garden Planning

Tomatoes and Sweet Corn Ready to Transplant

At this time of year, every homesteader or prepper seems to be planning their garden. They use charts and other tools to perfectly plan what they want to put in the space(s) that they have along with just where each plant will be.

I’m not that organized. Last year, I put a lot of information on paper. I decided what to plant, where I wanted to plant it, and when to either start it in modules or straight in the ground.

Let me just say, that was *almost* a waste of time. In the end, I did calculate what veggies I wanted in the garden (and in the greenhouse) and I did put on paper the best times to start them, whether as plants to later transplant, or sowing straight into the ground. I just didn’t go as far as getting a lovely diagram of my dream finished.

Keeping the log of what I was growing and when to start, was a good idea. It helped me to not forget something when the actual time came to get growing. I can recall past years when I would remember that I really wanted to plant that new variety of cucumbers but forgot that I had the seeds, or I would forget to get peppers started early enough and by the time the first frost came in the fall, my beautiful pepper plants were already done for before they had even begun producing.

This year, I started to pencil my garden rows on a drawing of my actual garden space to realize that I don’t have room on paper to put everything I want in there. Hmmmm. Funny how that works. In reality, I am about to fill out a chart that tells me what I want to grow this year, which garden in which to put them – raised bed in the outside garden (I only have one so far), in the ground in the outside garden, in grow bags spread around the upper garden or around the greenhouse, or in the greenhouse itself. My greenhouse only has two raised beds in it and given that it’s only about 10 feet long and about 8 feet wide, I must be selective. Usually, I grow tomatoes, shishito peppers, and basil in there.

I always record what I grew and when I started them and then transplanted them. If something did not germinate and/or transplant well, I record that too. I always intend to record what varieties produced well and for how long, but somehow I get too busy and forget. I do, however, remember when I’m planting in the spring that this variety or that one did not do well in previous years.

I hope you have your seeds ready to go this year and are as eager as I am to get started. Gardening is my passion and it often keeps me sane. I’m praying for a good year, but who knows? We don’t have control of the weather. We do have control over our attitudes and our willingness to work hard. This week I’m going to plant some peppers and onions in modules and keep them warm in the house. Later, as they emerge and the greenhouse warms up a little more, I will move those plant starts out there. I will, at that time, begin other starts with a late May/early June planting time in my mind’s eye. Will I succeed? I don’t know but I plan to give it my best shot.

Wishing you the best with your gardening this year.

Published by Jeff and Rita

Rita is a wife, mother, homesteader, library branch manager, and freelance writer. She enjoys spending time in the garden and later preserving the harvest. Gardening, knitting, tending to chickens and other critters, and taking long summer walks are among her favorite activities. Jeff has had a long time love of waterfowl and gamebirds. He spends his time working full-time as a medical courier when he is not enjoying his collection of wild ducks and pheasants from around the world.

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