I want to make sure we do a better job this year with the garden and starting seedlings (got side-tracked with goat kids last year); so I’ve created our annual seed starting and planting schedule a little early (see below) to keep us on track. It helps me keep focused on buying seeds, starting transplants, getting supplies, and making sure the garden beds are prepared on time.
I start with my schedule from the previous year (see Making 2012′s Seed Starting & Planting Schedule), copy it to a new spreadsheet tab, consult my notes from last year’s garden, and then work up the new plan. I’ve [...]
Continue reading Making 2013′s Seed Starting & Planting Schedule (w/downloadable template)
I recently learned about a powerful tool for improving our gardening and beekeeping abilities. It’s called Phenology, and it’s a method of predicting 1) when to plant crop seeds, 2) when the bees will bring in nectar, 3) what kind of nectar they’ll be bringing in (i.e. what kind of honey it will be), 4) when to start controlling detrimental insects, 5) when weeds will emerge, and 6) many more things!
It utilizes temperature as a predictor because plant growth and insect emergence depend on temperature. “Growing degree-days” (GDD) are used as the predictive measure, and by knowing the GDD for your area on a [...]
Continue reading Awesome Predictive Tool – Phenology
Lazy Bed Potatoes
Since originally writing on how to grow potatoes using this method, we’ve made a couple of changes that gave us better results (see “Growing Potatoes: The Lazy Bed Method – IMPROVED!”), so I’ve incorporated those options into the method outlined below. Potatoes are such an easy and rewarding crop to grow, I hope everyone gives it a try.
The traditional method of planting potatoes involves digging a trench, placing seed potatoes in the trench, mounding soil around the potatoes as they grow, weeding, and finally digging the potatoes at harvest time. In the original “lazy bed method”, the seed potatoes [...]
Continue reading Growing Potatoes: The Lazy Bed Method + Improvements
We’re running a little late this year on selecting vegetable seeds and getting them ordered; but now that I’ve created our annual seed starting and planting schedule (see below), I can keep us on track. It helps me keep focused on buying seeds, starting transplants, getting supplies, and making sure the garden beds are prepared on time.
I start with my schedule from the previous year (see Making 2011′s Seed Starting & Planting Schedule), copy it to a new spreadsheet tab, consult my notes from last year’s garden, and then work up the new plan. I’ve included a downloadable template (2012 Seed Starting & [...]
Continue reading Making 2012′s Seed Starting & Planting Schedule (w/downloadable template)
I used to do a combined spring, summer, and fall seed starting & planting schedule (see Making a Seed Starting & Planting Schedule), but this year I wanted to start concentrating on extending the gardening season into the fall longer – so this is my first fall only planting schedule. But wow – it seems like the garden just went in – yet it’s already getting late for starting and planting crops for fall! I need this kind of schedule to keep me on track for what needs to be started indoors and seeded outdoors; otherwise I let the dates slip until it’s too late for [...]
Continue reading 2011 Fall Seed Starting & Planting Schedule (w/downloadable template)
I’m not sure my container plantings are always gorgeous, but they usually turn out pretty nice due to one trick I learned years ago – use at least one “thriller”, “filler”, and “spiller” when planting the container. And if you’ve got room, throw in a “chiller” to make it exciting. I read about the concept long ago, but every year as I’m picking out plants for containers, it seems someone asks how I go about planning a beautiful container planting.
This photo shows a container that was planted a couple of days ago, but demonstrates the concept. The “thriller” in this case is a Spike Dracena [...]
Continue reading Creating Beautiful Container Plantings (thrillers, fillers, & spillers)
Over the past few months, I’ve written several posts on growing healthy garden transplants, and I’ve combined them here (for convenience) into one “how-to” on growing seedlings indoors.
I’m always anxious to get a jump on the garden growing season, so I start most vegetable plants indoors instead of direct seeding in the garden; that way, I’ve got stocky transplants ready as soon as the last frost date has passed. Growing them indoors allows me to control temperature, light, and water while eliminating exposure to wind, diseases, insects, and pests. So each year, I consult my seed starting schedule (see Making a Seed Starting & Planting Schedule), and start [...]
Continue reading Growing Stocky Garden Seedlings
Once I’ve gotten my garden seeds each winter (see Vegetable Seeds for the 2010 Garden), I can’t wait to get my planting schedule on paper. Until I’ve got a schedule, I worry about missing some critical date. It’s ridiculous to worry about it now, since I’m in Ohio, but I do … until I’ve got my schedule.
This schedule is great for making sure I’ve got all the seed starting supplies on time, and helping me plan which parts of the garden need to be ready. Also, once you’ve done a plan like this, you can tweak it from year-to-year, particularly if you’re using [...]
Continue reading Making a Seed Starting & Planting Schedule