2015 Spring Garden Planning

by Merissa on February 16, 2015

in Gardening 101

Spring Garden Planning

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!

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Seeds Ordered

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!)

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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.

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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).

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Planning Preserving

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?

LittleHouseLiving3dDo you want to make a Gardening Journal just like mine? I can help you with that! Sign up for our free weekly newsletters HERE to get a FREE copy of my Gardening and Preserving Journal. If you are already signed up for newsletters simple email me at [email protected] and ask for a copy!

 

What are some things you are doing to plan your garden this year? What are you looking forward to growing?

merissabio

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5:30 am

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy (Savory Moments) February 16, 2015 at 5:51 am

I really like your canning and freezing inventory sheets. I’m always trying to keep track and these things to make sure I use them all – but this is a much better idea than trying to remember in my head!

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2 michelle February 16, 2015 at 7:19 am

thanks so much for this info. we are wanting to start our garden back. my question – if the seeds say ‘heirloom’ are the nonGMO or do u have to make sure they state “non GMO” thanks!

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3 Merissa February 16, 2015 at 9:20 am

You will still need to make sure they are non-GMO, even if labeled heirloom. However if they are labeled organic they should be non-GMO.

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4 AlyssaL March 22, 2015 at 10:57 pm

Baker Creek Seeds are organic and non-gmo. I have always had great results from their seeds, and delicious vegetables and fruit. They’re website is http://www.rareseeds.com

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5 Jennifer February 16, 2015 at 7:58 am

When do you start your seeds? I live in the area and it seems like my seedlings are always so small so I want to plant as early as possible.

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6 Merissa February 16, 2015 at 9:21 am

I will be starting many of my seeds indoors at the end of March which gives them about 6 weeks to grow before I plant outside during around the 2nd or 3rd week in May.

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7 Barb Wright February 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

We have also been planning the garden. Hubby does what you do,only on his laptop. I have never been a “list maker”,but he is so it evens out! We try to save seeds each year,but we have to buy some,too. `I grew the Amish paste tomatoes last year and had good luck with them…so I hope you find them to your liking. Our air temp was -30* this am,so at this point,the photos in the seed catalogs look very inviting!!! Shall we dream on? Just kidding..spring will be here before we know it!!

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8 judy February 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm

I plan to have raised rows in the garden this year. I also plan to do more drying of vegetables and I am going to build a garden shed with a “root cellar” in it. I have a lot of ideas for this shed. I have a dehydrator but I am going to try some sun drying also. I have ordered from SeedsNow for organic’s and non-gmo’s. I will also be using alot of mulching to decrease weeds and work. Judy

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9 Tejas Prairie Hen February 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

Our garden areas are fairly small, but I’m currently growing onions and potatoes. Rosemary, thyme, and oregano are annuals here, so no need to replant them. About to plant 2 kinds of beets, carrots, and turnips. Pumpkins grew crazy last year, but the kids loved having 15 big pumpkins for decor. Spaghetti and butternut squash, green peppers and Jalepeno peppers and tomatoes always on our list. Going to try growing some corn this year. Found all organic seeds locally. Collecting curbside limbs to border all the garden areas. Limbs are free ! and last about 4 yrs. Gives a nice woodland, organic, old-fashioned look to our back yard 🙂

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10 Amanda February 18, 2015 at 7:50 pm

This is so wonderful and gets me so excited for spring! I’m still a fairly new gardener, but every year I’m learning something new, thanks for sharing!

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11 Rose @ Walnut Acre February 18, 2015 at 7:57 pm

I love the idea of using grid paper to plan the layout of the garden!

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12 JIM February 21, 2015 at 8:50 am

Hello;
Last year I planted Yukon gold potatoes after lot of years of kenibeck, they were quite scabby but after a little research I discovered. The high acid is not for Yukon gold that too much cow manure is what did the nasty, I should have added lime to neutralize it. kenibeck potatoes don’t care they just want to grow. Sweet potatoes were fine also.
Oh well another lesion learned, remember GREEN UP when planting.
Old Jim

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13 Merissa February 21, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Thanks for sharing that!

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14 Vickie February 21, 2015 at 5:32 pm

I love your idea of keeping track of the canned goods. Looking on our canning shelve I realize what a benefit that would be to me. Some of our canned foods are in need of resupply already. So I definitely have some areas I need to plant more.
Stopping by from the Let’s Get Real Friday Party

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15 Nicky February 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm

This is a reminder that I need to get started on this year’s garden. I have once Baker Creek Seeds for several years and have been very pleased with them. Thank you for linking up and sharing this at the Let’s Get Real Link Party last week.

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16 Angelia Johnson March 19, 2015 at 10:36 am

Wow, that sounds really cool. I have a small garden every year I have been using found food grade containers and table top planters to grow in and this year we replace the food grade containers with galvanized water troughs we also planted 14 blueberry plants and in a year or two we will have lots of blueberries and we will plant 12 feet of strawberries too….I am very excited we are also adding 2 dwarf trees apple and peach..How big is your garden this year? I bet pretty big because of the new space you have.

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17 Merissa March 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm

We haven’t measured the space yet but I would say at least 100′ x 100′? We are going to get an orchard started this year too, hopefully! 🙂 I wish I could plant blueberries but the soil is just too alkaline without some serious amendments…maybe a future project. I like the idea of planting in water troughs!

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18 Alejandra February 12, 2016 at 11:56 am

I have been signed up for your newsletter but I am never able to get any of your free booklets! this email said to look for the garden journal but it is no where and I cannot access it!
i wished it would be easier for us to access the promotional booklets you provide to new sign ups

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