Garden planning is one of my favorite times of the year. When I was a kid I loved helping out in the garden in terms of planting and harvesting, but I never really understood garden planning until I started vegetable planting on my own. I suppose I just felt like my parents picked random things to grow and just tossed them in the dirt. There’s a lot to consider when attempting to grow an abundant harvest to carry into the winter months. Sunlight, vegetable container pairings, soils, fertilizers, bugs, wind, etc. Things don’t always fall into place in the way you hoped.
My garden last year was terrible. I was not prepared in the slightest for the heat wave that hit most of the country, my region no exception. Most of my crops died out because I hadn’t been able to provide additional care to keep them going. I ended up with a ton o cherry tomatoes, a few eggplants and little else. This wasn’t great for my pantry. I have the luxury of being able to buy what I need at the grocery store, but I’d hoped I would be able to rely on canned items in the pantry to get me through the many food runs and shortages my area experienced. This year I’m trying to be more prepared.
- Old Farmer’s Almanac for 2022 – for keeping track of frost dates and planting recommendations.
- Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Planner – this software subscription allows you to draw out where you want to plant, and provides recommendations based on available sunlight in your space.
- Territorial Seed Co. – I ordered a number of garden supplies through TSC that I couldn’t find locally.
Baker Creek – Some items were purchased through Baker Creek as well, if I couldn’t find them locally.
- Local Fee and Seed stores – most seeds were purchased in town. These stores are also a great resource for gardening tips and troubleshooting.
- 2020 – 2022 Herbal Almanacs – Some gardening choices were made based on HA recommendations and articles.
Outdoor Garden Design Last year was the first I’d used the OFA Garden Planner and I really enjoyed being able to visualize and keep track of the garden. I used it again this year and actually measured out my whole yard. This included the garden container’s distance from the house, the trees, fences, etc. I measured out my garden building (which includes three raised beds and some extra space for planters), and all the area around to give an accurate depiction of sunlight and wind blocks. Here’s one of the drafts for an example:
Blessing and Charging Seeds Once I decided on my planted items, I purchased the majority of my seeds from local feed and seed stores. There were a few items I had in reserve and others bought online if I couldn’t get them locally. Those seeds were placed on my altar space to energetically charge, and I also requested a blessing for the success of their harvests.
Starting Seeds Seeds that are blessed and charged are then ready to be planted. I start a lot of my seeds on a New Moon will verify I have at least 4-6 weeks ahead of the last frost. These are grown indoors in my plant cabinet, but can be kept anywhere that is warms and receives sunlight everyday.
Buying Plants Some plants are easier to buy than seed start in my area. I have terrible luck with seed starting peppers, for example. I only seem to be able to grow them well when I purchase starts at our local farmers market or a similar garden center. Those plants will still be blessed and charged when purchased.
It’s yet to be seen if the garden will turn out well this year. I’ll maintain hope and will sprinkle some moon water on the plants here and there for luck. If you’re planting a garden this year, what tips do you always share with new gardeners? What are you hoping to grow this year?
Until next time, bu-bye!