Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spring Garden Plans

I used an Online Garden Planner at Mother Earth News today to plan out four 4x8 foot raised beds. We have 30 Asparagus plants coming in March. I have many seeds in my refrigerator that I have saved from past years or bought on sale. I have a garlic collection arriving in the fall, too, for when most of this garden has gone by. I also want to add kale, mustard greens, and some cover crops for the fall, but I will wait to plan out the successive plantings.

This planner is free for the first 30 days. So far I am impressed enough with the planner that I am considering paying to subscribe. There are online tutorials that explain how the planner works. I do not plant in rows, so I was happy that there is a "Square Foot Garden" intensive-gardening mode. I plan to try to trellis my squash crops, but the planner doesn't seem to allow for this.

I had wanted to grow potatoes and sweet potatoes. I had also wanted to grow Hubbard squash as a "trap crop" this year, but the potatoes and trap crops will have to wait until we have time to add more beds. This is already double the growing area that Don wanted to commit to installing this season. The asparagus takes up more room than I'd expected, too.

I especially like how the planner has a list mode that tells me how many plants of each type or even variety I will need to install my beds as planned. It will send me emails when it is time to consider starting plants indoors or direct-sowing them outside. It works with the average first and last frost dates for my zip code. These can be adjusted for personal preference, too.

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