Friday, February 20, 2015

{Grows} How I plan my garden...

This winter, the weather has been BRUTAL. For the last five weeks, we have been getting snow on a regular basis in large quantities, and the temps have been below normal! 
And by below normal, I mean below 0 too!

As I write this, it is -1 and with the windchill it feels like -13! Yuck.

Just keep thinking spring...I tell myself!


One way I try to keep warm is reading my garden journal. I've done this for a couple years now and it is one of my best resources. It's accurate information for my climate.  Especially since my garden is located between two houses, mine and my neighbors and I feel that protects my garden a little. So when others in my area are getting frost, my plants haven't! 

I am still using the same composition notebook, as I don't write really lengthy entries! Just the date of planting, or first harvest of something. What worked and what didn't. I also include how many of each plant I planted, which is really important so I know if I want more or the same as last year!

After I read my journal, I check out my pinterest boards. I've got quite a few for gardening. 

After I review my journal and check my pinterest boards, I start working on my garden map. A while back I did some research on the square foot gardening method. While I don't do the 4x4 boxes that most square foot gardeners use, I do use the square foot spacing. For example, tomatoes need one square foot per plant. Then on my map I use one box on my graph paper as a foot. So if I label 22 boxes with tomatoes, I know I need 22 tomato plants.


As I was mapping out this years garden, I asked the kids what they wanted. Carter then took a pencil to my map and added some creative edits. He drew plenty of produce gathering baskets, and a picture of our tractor. Yes. we purchased a tractor last year. Long story.


Now that I have a plan in place, I need to start my seeds. Usually I start my seeds like everyone else, in those little greenhouses in the window. But last year I did an experiment, and didn't document it because I was so skeptical. Well, my experiment did so well I won't be fussing over windowsill seedlings that always die when I try to harden them off. Don't worry, I will be sharing how I started my seeds next week! It is amazing. I will never go back! 

I started out with a super small garden, long before the blog.
 It was 2 feet by 3 feet and all I grew was tomatoes and cucumbers. I think 2-3 plants of each. 
Then I slowly went up to 4 feet by 6 feet, and so on. This is what it looked like in 2012, 2013, 2014.
If you look at the last couple years, I haven't added much space, but have been able to reconfigure so that I get the most growable square footage!   I'll be sharing my plan next week, along with how I am going to come up with all the plants I need for it!

Will you be gardening this year? 
I want to know! One plant, ten plants?