Garden business seriously begins to occupy me in February because often I can start planting at the end of the month. These are what I call the “early crops” and include lettuces, radishes, peas and carrots. Some years, that also includes spinach.
Because we have such a long growing season in Virginia, I plan for early crops and summer crops. I usually don’t plan for fall crops because they are limited to garlic (planted in late August and harvested the next June), any remaining salad green seeds, and root crops if I don’t feel like a rest from growing.
Currently I’m working three plots. There’s my own, which is 10 feet by 30, and two plots I work with volunteers for the Plot Against Hunger. These are a small plot inside the community garden fence and a larger, triangular plot outside the fence bordered by the sidewalk and street.
While I try to draw maps of the gardens for planning, I do it because there are existing plants and structures in all three plots. For general purposes in a clean garden, Territorial Seed’s garden planner is incredibly useful, especially if you have any tendencies to overplant. As you drop the rows in, whatever plant you’ve designated immediately expands to its full-grown size, thereby showing you just how small your garden is. Because I tinker with the plan and also forget certain plants, I like to draw the gardens. This gives me an idea of how many seeds I need and how much room I have. I can also make changes in the garden without going online. In a few weeks, I’ll be planting my early crops:
For the small Plot Against Hunger garden, I’ve got big plans as well.
For the large, outside garden, spring plantings will be mostly root crops and lettuces.
I’ve planned the summer plantings as well. For my own garden, they may be a bit over-ambitious, but I’ll make adjustments as I plant.
For the large outside garden, my plan was to make it low maintenance and difficult to pilfer. This garden needs a lot of watering because of the heat from the sidewalk and the street.
Now all I need are a string of days in the upper fifties and a few willing volunteers for the Plot Against Hunger!