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Snow on the ground and record cool temperatures outside do not exactly evoke the warm feelings of spring. But when holed up indoors, there is a great opportunity to start planning for spring plantings! Last fall, I planned ahead for a new vegetable garden at The Gray Boxwood Farm. You may find it odd that I am so excited about the new space, but I love the organization and layout of the area and cannot wait to start planting! Alas, at this point all that can be done is plan due to the foot of snow covering the ground.
Deciding your garden layout ahead of time may not be something you currently do. Many people simply buy the plants and seed they desire and find space for them when the time comes. If possible, plan ahead! Proper planning creates a very efficient use of the garden space and allows you to know exactly what you need to buy and what quantities to purchase. Drawing up your garden plan also allows you the keep a wonderful record of what you have done in the past, what worked last year, and what could use some changes.
DRAW UP A PLAN
As meticulous as the process can be, it will pay off for you in the future. Start with a piece of graph paper to get an accurate layout of the planting area. Recreating your garden on paper helps you see the amount of space you have to work with so you may evenly space your rows and plants. This will allow your sprouts the optimal area they require to grow. Below is an example of what your plan may look like:
MAKE A LIST
After you have your area set on the paper, start compiling a list of plants you want to utilize. While this garden would not function as the primary location for foods intended to fill a cannery, it will operate for the production of fresh vegetables, herbs, and other produce that may be enjoyed fresh throughout the season.
A great list of items could contain the following:
- head lettuce
- herbs: thyme, large leaf and sweet basil, dill, rosemary, sweet tarragon
- spinach: Bloomsdale, Longstanding, and Tyee
- radishes: Champion, Black Spanish, and Cherry Round
- leaf lettuce: salad mix, zesty salad mix, and arugula
- pepper plants: Habanera, jalapeno, Sweet Bell Boy, and Chocolate Sweet
- zucchini: Black Magic
- heirloom tomatoes: two each of Green Zebra, Big Rainbow, Purple Calabash, and Beefsteak
Various beans, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, Roma Tomatoes, Beefy Boy Tomatoes, peas, tomatillos and cucumbers can be planted in a less formal garden.
PICK SOME SEEDS
If you are looking for an incredible seed retailer, try Gurney’s. From gardening videos to great sales, they have such a vast selection and always produce the best products!
I hope this inspires you to start planning your garden and get your seeds for the year! As you begin to keep track of what you are doing from year-to-year, you will better know what and how much to purchase. Vegetable gardening is such a rewarding hobby and, for some, even therapeutic![hr]
Images by The Gray Boxwood[divider]