2015 Spring Garden Planning
It's that time of year! Seed catalogs started pouring in my mailbox about 2 months ago and we've been going over ever inch of them to decide which plants we are going to grow this year.
This is always a big decision to make as we keep on growing our garden from year to year so we can grow our food supply that we produce and preserve ourselves. In late winter we spend time looking at the seeds we have left from last year and the notes that we made on the plants we grew to decide what we want to order for the year ahead.
I also take a look at what we currently have left in our pantry for canned goods and what we have left in the freezer for frozen goods and decide what we ran out of too fast, what we need to plant more of this year, and what we planted too much of and can hold back on.
In this post I'll be sharing with you what we ordered and why and how I planned my garden and seed order so hopefully we produce a better crop of fruits and veggies for our family this summer!
I bought seeds this year from 5 different places. I'm trying out a few new places than I have previously because I needed some bulk seed and some other gardening things. I usually base my seed order on this planting guide.
From Azure Standard:
- Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce Seeds
- Snowball Cauliflower Seeds
- Popcorn Seeds (just planting regular, but non-gmo popcorn to see what happens!)
- Small Sugar Pumpkin Seeds
- Sugar Baby Watermelon Seeds
- Amish Paste Tomato Seeds (canning tomatoes)
- Golden Bantam Sweet Corn Seeds (ordered 2 varieties of corn to see which does better)
- Bouquet Dill Seeds
- Potatoes (haven't ordered these yet but just planning on getting regular potatoes with my next order and seeding them out, worked great last year!)
From Baker Creek Rare Seeds
- Blue Curled Scotch Kale Seeds
- Planter's Jumbo Melon Seeds
- Moneymaker Tomato Seeds (slicing tomatoes)
- Cosmic Purple Carrot Seeds
- A Grappoll D Inverno Cherry Tomato Seed
- Blauhilde Bean Seeds (purple pole beans)
- Bull's Blood Beet Seeds (planting a garden for the pigs)
- Prolific Straightneck Yellow Squash Seeds
- Bloomsdale Long Standing Broccoli Seeds
- Butternut Squash Seeds
- Table Queen Acorn Squash Seeds (planting extra winter squash to sell)
- Muncher Cucumbers (slicing cucumbers, my family doesn't like pickles so no picklers!)
- He Shi Ko Bunching Onion Seeds
- Nantes Scarlet Carrot Seeds
- King of the North Pepper Seeds (bell peppers)
- Sweet Dakota Rose Watermelon (trying 2 kinds of watermelon)
- Zucchini Black Beauty Seeds
- Spaghetti Squash Seeds
- Delicata Squash Seeds
- Little Marvel Garden Pea Seeds
- Jersey Yellow Sweet Potato Starts (going to give these a try!)
From High Mowing Seed Company
- Blue Lake Pole Bean (ordered a pound of seeds)
- Luscious Sweet Corn Seeds (ordered 1000 seeds)
- Green Towers Romaine Lettuce Seeds (this looks good!)
- Purple Top Globe Turnip Seeds (a pound of these as well, planting for the pig garden)
From Grow Organic
- Coco Fiber Pots, 3 & 4 inch (ordered these to start plants in this year, so excited to try them!)
- Wheatgrass Trays (for fodder)
- China Rose Radish Seeds (for pig garden, came free with my order)
- Large and Small Gourd Seeds (came free with order, will be fun for the kids!)
- Hairy Vetch Seed (for fall cover crops)
- Oat Seed (for fall cover crops)
From Dixondale Farms
- Copra Onions (30 bunches, we are going to store and sell these)
It seems like a lot doesn't it? For seeds this year we ended up spending right around $125 (not including the new trays and pots) but we are hoping that will provide us not only produce all summer but also more than plenty to preserve and plenty to sell as well. (We plan on selling bulk melons, watermelon, corn, winter squash, onions, and potatoes.) Oh and we also ordered seeds for my "pig garden", which will be filled with root veggies that they can forage all summer and into early winter to supplement their feed.
Planning the Garden
I'm using a simple grid sheet this year to map out my garden. Since we do have a larger than normal variety of plants we are trying I need to make sure that I get everything drawn out otherwise I might run out of space if I get too overly excited while planting! Grid paper is easy to plan off of using the rule that one square equals one square foot. If you have a smaller or larger garden you can change that equation appropriately to make the garden plans fit on one page (and make them readable).
I'm also starting to plan for the year of canning and preserving all of this garden bounty. For that I've made a list of what we currently have left in the freezer and in the canning pantry so I can see what I made too much of and what we are out of from last year.
I've also begun writing out my canning recipes I want to use this year. I'm writing them out and keeping them in my Garden Journal so I can have them all together and so next year when I want to remember which recipe I used I will know where to find it!
I've also made some Canning and Freezing Inventory Pages that will help me keep track of what I canned and put in the freezer this year so I can base next year's need off of what we will do this year. It may seem excessive but when you are trying to provide as much food for your family as possible it's important to keep track of your hard work.
That's what I've been working on for my garden plans for this year. I'm so excited to get it going and to soon see those little green plants sprouting out from the ground. Aren't you?
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What are some things you are doing to plan your garden this year? What are you looking forward to growing?
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