Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Early Garden Plans

We've had some really beautiful sunny days here. There is usually a week or two in February that make us all think Winter is over and Spring is about to begin. Then it will start raining and continue to rain until July 5th. This may not be statistically correct, but is pretty much my rule of thumb. Despite knowing that, this weather makes me want to shop at the nurseries and start planting things I never intended on buying in the first place (like purple primroses.)

My biggest question right now is when can we compost and rototill our garden? Last year was my first at the community garden. I ended up paying another gardener to till, he had already done a few plots, but the rain delayed doing ours. While I've been reassured that you have the same yield no matter how early or late you start, but I'm ready to till and get some cool crops in the ground.

Thursday night is the orientation at the community garden (H. you are welcome to come). The Master Gardner's program is taking over from the County. So there may be some changes. I hope to get an answer to my question there. Our last frost is usually in April, so I may end up waiting, yes it's still February.

I've finally sat down and sketched out an idea for what I want at the garden. I'm using notes from last year about: timing of plantings (specific to our garden location), companion planting, and a veggie calendar from a local nursery. Last Fall I created a blog page for the community garden so I could keep notes on what worked and what didn't. There's a tab for it at the top of the page just above the date of this post.

One thing I'm using to layout my garden is Smart Gardener. It is a free website that I tried last year. I haven't fully explored it, so I don't think I mentioned it before. Last year I named my garden, sized it, chose my veggies, and continued to receive reminders on fertilizing, watering and harvesting throughout the growing season. I didn't update anything, but I really liked the e-mailed reminders. 

Right now I'm using the layout to figure out how much I can cram into the space. They block out space for large plants like squash or tomatoes. I know there are several sites like this one,  I'm sharing Smart Gardener because I've tried it and liked it.

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