Sunday, 29 November 2009

Organizing a Garden

by Lynn of Viggies Veggies

Seed catalogs are rolling in for next season and I face the daunting task of planning a full sized garden with 54 varieties for the first time. Since I had no idea how much I needed to plant with the goal of supplying all of my produce in mind, I started out by reading The Backyard Homestead. They have a nice chart of suggested vegetables and how much to plant to feed one. I modified this a bit to suit my tastes and add a few fun items to try and will track when I run out of preserved food next year so I can adjust again to what I actually eat.

future garden plans

Next I turned to measuring my yard and planning the new beds. I used spacing guides from the book to divide my space into planting areas. The extra space was used to fit in herbs and edible flowers to use the space as productively as possible. I started this part just early enough that I was able to dig up the sod from all the new beds already this fall.

first batch of seeds

Then came the fun part. Pouring over websites and seed catalogs to pick the best sounding varieties. I'm feeding one so I went with some smaller fruited items like icebox watermelon to avoid waste. I also picked varieties like Siberian Tomatoes that are more cold hardy than necessary so I can work on extending the harvest even further next year.

planting chart

Finally, not wanting to be caught unprepared when it came time to plant I made a list and added each seed to it as it arrived. This contains all the vital information for planting and seed starting, including little calculations to help me know exactly when to start plants indoors and when each item can be moved outdoors. Now I'm busy saving containers I come across so I won't need to buy any fancy seed starting trays come spring.

How do you think I did? Is there anything special you do to prepare for spring?