Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Garden Planning

Today the wind has been a howling and the snow has been blowing . . . quite the contrast to the record high we set on Monday that was in the 70's! The beginning of the week was beautiful, and we spent quite a bit of time outdoors enjoying the warmer temperatures while they lasted. Weather like that sure makes me eager for spring! Only about a month and a half left to go. :) 

Before the shift back to winter weather, we had over a day of rain (which we are so thankful for as we really needed it.) The rain, and the resulting muddy mess outside, made chores a little more interesting than normal! But since it was warm out, it was kind of fun, too :) . . .

Me a little wet right after getting in from evening chores

While spring is still a ways off yet, I have been busy planning for it over the past weeks . . . .

After going through all of the seeds leftover from last year and then going through the catalogs, I finally finalized our vegetable seed order. Then Dad looked through it to see if there was anything he would like to change or add, Leah figured out which herbs she wants to grow, and we ordered our seeds! 

I always enjoy picking out which seeds to grow, and this year, took my time reading about different varieties, comparing their varying traits, etc. trying to find what would be best for us to grow this year. 

I highlighted all the varieties that sounded good, and then narrowed it down from there

Several new varieties were picked that are said to be more heat and drought tolerant and/or squash bug resistant so hopefully that will prove true! The long term forecast for this year is indicating another hot and dry spring/summer here (though I am hoping it is proven wrong!) so I took that into consideration when planning the garden as well as the different bug problems that we had last gardening season.

Just looking at the colorful packets makes me eager to have these growing in the garden again . . . and harvesting the produce! 

Our order from Baker Creek arrived this week, and I hope to get the onion seeds started tomorrow. We've only grown onions before by using sets or plants so it will be interesting to see how it works. I've liked using the plants and have been pleased with the results, but the ones we have available here are not storage onions, hence the reason we're venturing into starting them from seed . . . .

Then in a couple of weeks, it will be time to start most everything else that isn't direct seeded such as the tomatoes, celery and broccoli.

This morning I rough drafted a garden plan trying to figure out the crop rotation and how to make the best use of our space . . . we're hoping to get the garden started early again like last year, so if the weather is cooperative, that means that the tilling and planting will begin mid-March!


  1. Smart to consider those seeds that are heat tolerant and drought resistant. I'm hoping the forecast is wrong too.
    I've never started onions from seed either. When do you usually plant your onions?
    The weather this week has really been a challenge! Tee-shirts on Monday and coats on yesterday and today, it's hard to stay on the ground without getting blown away!
    It's really hard on the animals especially when it's wet, not to mention us too. :-)
    Have you planted the Waltham 29 broccoli before and did it do well?

  2. Garden planning is the next thing on my list!

    I have seed catalogues and magazines and books to help me.

    I need a proper plan as last year didn't go too well - all that grew were courgettes! x

  3. It looks as though you type up a complete list of what you are ordering, which catalog it is from, page number, etc. Is that correct, or am I misunderstanding the picture? If it is, you are to be commended for your thorough record-keeping as well, Sarah!

    ~ Betsy

  4. We too are browsing through seed catalogues, hoping that the weather will improve eventually. I also have a new Rose brochure!

  5. Ooooo, you are making me so eager to get started with gardening! We can usually start things like peas and lettuce outdoors, under plastic "hoop houses", as early as mid February. Can't wait!!! Thanks for sharing - I love hearing about your gardening. It's very inspiring. :)

  6. Oh, I feel so inspired. Last year we planted our first "real garden." Sadly, not much grew due to the drought and I'm sure some other things.

    I wish I could come along and see how you do it! :)

    Have fun!

  7. Up here in Wisconsin we haven't started all the garden planning yet...though I think we will soon. Ahhh! I don't feel ready for that yet! :-) Spring is coming up quickly.
    I'm sure you'll love growing your onions from seed. It is really fun to watch them sprout and grow. I really like starting from seed, rather than sets. Thanks for posting all the nice pictures!

  8. Planning is so much fun! This year we figure that for now we are going to just grow the things that we eat the most of for now. Sadly, I always want to try different plants ;) I do think it's more economical for now though to stick with the basics. I'm always amazed at all the different varieties in catalogs that most of us haven't heard of. It's sad that such a legacy of food variety is being lost.

  9. Thank you for your comment, Mrs. Anne! We usually plant out our onion plants in mid-March . . . we used to plant more in mid-April, but didn’t have as much success planting them that late.

    The weather has indeed been unusual! On the warmer days, we’ve been enjoying working outdoors and on Saturday, I was even able to get the garden tilled! Doing that sure made the ‘gardening bug’ bite a little harder. :) I can hardly wait until spring!

    This is our first time planting the Waltham 29 broccoli. It will be interesting to see how it does! Have you grown it before? If so, how did it do for you?

  10. I hope that your garden planning is going well for you, Jenny! It’s so fun, isn’t it? What all do you plan to plant?

    I’ve been spending more time planning this week and am really enjoying figuring out where I would like to plant everything, different plant supports to try, etc. One goal that I have this year is to not only get as much produce as we can out of the garden (and keep it all maintained!), but I’d also like to ‘landscape’ it and make it pretty, too. I’ve been pouring over gardening books, gleaning ideas, and mapping the garden out on paper which has been a lot of fun!

    Garden plans are indeed helpful! I wish I would have kept more thorough records in years past . . . I have bits and pieces of things (such as a garden map clear back from 2006!), but no complete records of a whole year. Hopefully keeping garden records will go better this year!

    I hope your garden grows very well for you! And I look forward to visiting your blog and seeing the progress. :)

  11. You are correct, Betsy! That’s one part of the garden records that I generally do well with. :) It’s easier to keep records at the beginning of the year, but when the garden really gets underway, I tend to forget about it. I am hoping that this year, though, I’ll keep up with them throughout the entire growing season as I know it would prove useful in later years!

  12. Isn’t that fun, Elizabeth?! I hope your garden planning is going well for you! And hopefully your weather will improve soon. This time of year it starts getting hard waiting for spring!

    Your rose brochure must be so fun to browse through! They are something we’ve never really grown before, but I would love to get some old-fashioned ones sometime. Enjoy your browsing!

  13. Your comment made me smile, Amber! Isn’t it hard to wait for spring?! The more I plan, look through books for inspiration, and start seeds indoors, the more eager I am to actually get out in the garden and start planting. Only about a month more to go and then it will be time to start! We’ll be starting peas, lettuce and spinach then as well as setting out the cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and onion plants. Meanwhile as I wait, I keep planning and trying to come up with the most efficient (and prettiest!) garden plan I can!

    It’s just about time for you to be able to start things outdoors! I am sure you are looking forward to that. :) You’ll have to share photos on your blog of your garden as I would enjoy seeing it!

    I’m glad the garden posts can be inspiring! And have fun planting. :)

  14. I’m glad that it could be inspiring, Frannie! First ‘real gardens’ are always more challenging anyway, but last year with the drought and heat made it hard for any garden. I really hope it will go easier for you this year! And I hope you’ll share about your garden on your blog. :) It would be fun to see what it looks like and what you are growing!

    I wish you could come along! It would be fun to work on gardening with you. :) But since that’s not possible, at least you can see the garden and a bit of what we do in the photos!

  15. Have you started your garden planning yet, Karen? If so, I hope it is going well for you! Spring is indeed coming up quickly . . . and I can hardly wait for it to get here! Though, I am glad in a way that it is still a ways away as there is still a lot to do before it gets here. :)

    The onions are up and growing now! And yes, it was fun watching them sprout and grow. I am excited to see how they do!

    You’re welcome for sharing, and thank you for your comment!

  16. It is indeed, Nabila! That’s a great idea to just grow the things that you eat the most of for now. That is how we started as well, and then slowly expanded as we learned. It’s easier that way! And yes, more economical, too.

    I know what you mean! I always want to try new plants as well. This year I am trying a few new ones such as eggplant and then a few new varieties of certain plants, too. It will be interesting to see how they all do! And to see if we like eggplant. :)

    Seed catalogs can almost be overwhelming with the great variety of plants! Like you, I am always amazed at how many different varieties there are . . . it makes it hard to decide which ones to grow!

    Hopefully your planning will go well for you and that the fruits of your labors will reap a bountiful harvest for you and your family!

  17. Hi Sarah,
    No, I haven't planted the Waltham broccoli before. I've planted the Early Purple Sprouting and wasn't real pleased with it. It didn't do very well. I may give the Waltham and Romanesco Italia a try this year. Broccoli really hasn't done very well for me.:-(

  18. I have those same catalogs sitting here at my desk! We've been so busy with sickness and David's illness that we haven't done much garden planning this year, but I still love to look through the catalogs. :)


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)