The project I showed the other day is nearly complete. I will be doing the "big reveal" shortly, I promise.
In the midst of all the maple syruping, projects going on, wood splitting, and wondering where the ducks have gone (because every day they disappear ALL afternoon-but hey, I've wised up and now just wait for them to come back), I have neglected to show you what I came up with for all my seeds this year. I have a system, which is a first. Normally I just guess how many plants I want of a certain type, plant them, and hope for the best. It's a totally right brained approach (read: lazy). Last year, this bit me in the butt, and I wound up with not enough food being produced and too many weeds. Great food for the geese, but not for us. This year I want to rely heavily on the garden's production, and get real results. This meant I needed to get my act together.
To do this, I first went to the Garden Planner on Territorial Seed's website and created my garden for next year. The nice thing about this app is that it gives you a list of how many of each plant you would need for each space you're trying to fill. As I have proven that the guessing I was doing wasn't working, this was very handy for me. I found that I was going to underplant pretty much everything, and wind up with the same problems I had last year. Not good. So I did the tally, figured out loosely what was lacking seed-wise, and placed the orders.
After all the orders were received, I put all my seeds into the cool narrow box that my Christmas knives came in (nothing says Christmas like knives, after all), and proceeded to catalog them. I was going to share all the seeds I have here, but the list came out to be 6 pages long, and that's just ridiculous. I'm not trying to put you to sleep, after all. Many of the seeds I have are from a few years past, and there are a few left in the envelopes. Some are new, and some are gathered from the garden. No matter what, I cataloged them all so I knew what I had. I categorized them first by type of plant (tomato, pepper, annual flower, etc), then by name (Brandywine, Black Cherry, etc), then by company, year of the seed packet, and then by the amount of seed left in the packet (I didn't count them; I wrote things like new packet, very few seeds, that sort of thing). It looked like this:
Then the work began.
Working with a few books and some web sites, I calculated what needed to be started when--which is always my other problem. Usually I'm too late when starting plants and they don't produce as they should. Many plants needed to be started inside, but quite a few should just be started outside instead. I noted all of this and figured the dates on when it should all be planted. Then I made a chart.
It looks like this:
But I'm a visual person, and this wasn't enough for me, so I made it look like this instead:
And that works for me.
So, using my fancy new system, I have started the perennials for the gardens, the leeks, and the onions. The onions are a little earlier than scheduled, but that's because they chitted faster than I thought they would, and I had to put them in the dirt. They are doing just fine.
I am hoping this is going to work out for me this year. Last year's yields were pathetic, and there just was not enough food produced. This year I hope to redeem myself. If I do, the systems works, and I will be one happy camper!