#3: PLANNING THE PLOT

I feel like it would be easier and take less time to solve world hunger!

Things to Consider (to name a few):

  • SOIL– good earth is so important for a successful yield. You can do soil tests and buy fancy products, but I have neither the time nor the resources this year so I’m just going to work with what I have.
  • SUNLIGHT- most plants need 6-8 hours of sunlight/day. Also, taller things should be planted on the north side so they don’t overshadow your little guys.
  •  SLOPE- flat is best to avoid water runoff.
  • ACCESS- close to your kitchen (so you will use it) and especially to your water supply- less time lugging water around means more time loafing. Also, I want to plant my beds so I can reach everything without stepping into the garden (i.e. 3 feet wide). That’s better for the soil, the plants, and my pants.
  • SHELTER– from the wind. I am too overwhelmed to tackle this right now. I can’t even build a Kinder Surprise toy on my own. My yard has some natural barriers (shrubs, slopes and house structures) that will hopefully do this for me.
  • WHAT, WHERE , HOW MUCH, and WHEN to PLANT: almost impossible to plan for chumps like me without experience- this is why I’m glad I stopped by the great blog Grow Your Groceries, which brought a very helpful (and FREE!) website to my attention:

Smart Gardener <– click to try it yourself!

I’ll walk you through how it was helpful for me:

You tell it where you are (for climate), your garden’s orientation (for sunlight), the size and layout of your beds, and how many people live in your household (for quantity calculation).

Then it tells you your growing season and the total square footage you have to work with

Then you select your growing season and it provides a great list of vegetable options for your area at that time. You can choose from the list (even order the seeds by mail, if you wish) and add in anything else you want to try. It tells you how many plants you’ll need for your household, how much space they’ll take up, and provides a calendar of care from sowing to chewing. Unbelievable.

Then it suggests how you can best maximize your garden plots given the vegetables you’ve chosen. It combines crop rotation and orientation to the sun. You can make changes as you like. This is the one it made for me. I am still not sure about it- have some lunch dates with friends of mine who know more about this kind of thing to review it. Any of you have any thoughts? I was hoping there might be some mention of companion planting but I didn’t see anything.

PS- What I’m growing (I think). This may look a little… “off” to some of you! Chances are, that is because I have no clue what I’m actually doing. Or I may be over/under-supplied. Or both:

… You think I’m nuts, don’t you? Nah, it’s cool. You can say it.

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One thought on “#3: PLANNING THE PLOT

  1. Super post. Can’t wait to check out that link. I bet you’ll end up with a fantastic garden! We’re so excited to get planting this year. Thanks for sharing!

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