The Potager

The Potager

Monday, February 12, 2018

How I plan my Garden

January is when I typically plan my garden. This post is a bit late, but there may be some of you who have not yet begun your planning, so let me tell you what I do.
The first thing I do is stockpile the seed catalogs that begin to arrive around Christmas.
Once Christmas has been packed away, I fix a cup of tea and pull out the catalogs and do a first go through. I put post it tags on everything that I want (which is always more than I need!) Then I go into my leftover seeds and eliminate any duplicates and make notes of things that are low or missing.
The next thing I do is pull out my garden notebook from last year and pour a second cup of tea while reading over my notes and making new notes in this year's notebook. For example: In 2017 we tried one Black Krim tomato plant for the first time and loved it. So in my 2018 notebook, I write buy seeds for Black Krim tomato. I buy my notebooks from the Dollar Spot (or whatever they call it these days) at Target. 
Then I start my Garden Notebook with some goals (cough cough, Restart blog didn't get done) and a list of what I ordered, from where, and how much I spent. I'm not sure why I track what I spend, because even if gardening put me at a negative balance, I'd still do it. 😉
 In my notebooks I keep track of what I planted, what it needs in the garden and, if I gathered some information from watching You Tube (💓) or reading (💓💓), I make notes of it in there. Eventually, I will make an index so I can find my onion information, or leek information without having to read the whole book. (This year I've gotten more colorful - lol)
Then comes the fun part - trying to fit it all in my garden. This year I came up with an idea that I really am excited about! I started out with a map of my garden, as always.
It's not totally to scale, but it's close enough.
Then I put tracing paper on top and planned out my early spring plantings.
This is a game changer for me because it helps me to visualize what beds need to be prepared. I can tell you in the past I would have prepared beds all over the garden because I wasn't thinking seasons.
Another piece of tracing paper for April planting. The photo doesn't show it as well, but I can still see to my original garden plan, and the March planting plan.
Here is my May plan - these are all subject to change up to a point. For example, I still don't know what I'm doing in front of the cucumbers ... but I am excited that this actually works and it will help me use my space wisely throughout the gardening season.  

Another thing that I always use, and I will give a shout out to Niki Jabbour, who wrote two of my favorite gardening books, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener and Groundbreaking Food Gardens, is my  "what to plant when" notes that I wrote in the cover of my well worn copy of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener.
It's my own personal guide based mostly on Niki's advice and some trial and error.

This is how I plan. I'd love to know how you plan! Send me a note in the comments below.

  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Debbie for the book love!! :) I'm so excited about the 2018 growing season and think I have one more seed order to place. Maybe today! I also just got a copy of Donna Balzer's new Three Year Gardener's Gratitude Journal which will help keep me organized this year. Thanks again! - Niki