OK, I mentioned over the weekend that I was going to be starting to plant seeds in the house. Well, I lied. It doesn't happen much, and it usually it is by accident... :) I think I was just getting a little too excited for Spring...
Well, I clicked on my handy-dandy Works Spreadsheet. I figured dates and grow times, I figured when each plant would be producing... AND... I put off planting until Mid-March.... Dang it! :) I'm glad I actually stopped to PLAN before I PLANTED!
Here is what I did:
- I looked at the number of days it had on the package. Example, on my Tomatoes it said 72 days, on the Watermelon 105, on my Luffa Gourds it said 95- 105 days and to plant early indoors in the north, but then it also said to plant outside when the ground is warm. So I don't want it to get too big inside, when it is still cold out.
- Are you going on a summer "vacation" any time during the summer? This is always my problem. Last year, I missed the beginning of green beans, which means a lot of waste. If you plan your plantings to start producing well before, or after your vacation, you can save more of your crop. Of course, weather conditions are ALWAYS a factor, and you cannot plan EXACTLY, but you can always try!
- Do you want all of your crops to be harvested at the same time? Or would you like it spaced out a bit? The same principle as above applies. You can stagger your planting according to their days.
- So, on my Spreadsheet, on the left I put the dates starting in March, straight down the left columns. Then across the top, I listed each one of my seeds that I am going to plant. Along with how many days it had on it until it was producing. Then I figured tomatoes would be nice at the end of June so I figured back on the number of days to the day that I need to plant them indoors. Plus, I figured I don't want all of my tomatoes at once. So I am going to make 2 different planting dates for them. Less work all at once! My green beans are 66 days, so I am going to sow them right into the garden on May 1st (on PAPER, my official first gardening day). Then those are going to be ready the first of July... MMmmmm!
- On my Spreadsheet, I am also hoping to track when the plants actually DO start producing. And any other notes, I should consider from year to year.
Keeping track of the types of seeds or plants that you bought, and liked or didn't like is always helpful also. One year you may have had trouble with a certain type of tomato plant. You think, I am going to remember that for next year so I don't buy THAT again! Well, next year comes and you thing, well I remember SOMETHING about this type of tomato... I guess this is the kind I am going to get again! Ooops... Should have kept track of it somewhere! Also, keep track of the cost of your seeds/ plants/ etc, and where you bought them! Then you can compare to how much food you were able to harvest! :)
So, I guess Spring isn't starting for me yet... I will have to wait a few more weeks. I hope this helps save you from any headaches this Spring!
Have you ever PLANNED your garden??? Any tips or tricks to planning?