Monday, January 3, 2011


The office renovation is complete and I've begun to plan this year's garden. After fiddling around with several online garden planners I finally got out a piece of good old fashioned paper and a mechanical pencil (my new love) and started drawing. I didn't like the online programs for several reasons:
1. I can't see the whole garden at once unless I scroll out so far that everything is microscopic. I really need to see the whole garden at once. Splitting it in half disorients me and I can't quickly reference beds when I need to see what I've got planted where.
2. It doesn't do anything that I don't tell it to do. It boasts all kinds of email reminders and frost dates and succession schedules, but only if I tell it when those things are happening. At that point, I'd rather write it down in a simpler form than use their strange (to me) format.
3. It doesn't know the difference between succession plantings and relay plantings. Worse yet, it thinks "succession" means "relay." Relaying is when you follow one crop with another crop as soon as the first is finished. Succession is when you make several plantings/sowings of the same crop at weekly/biweekly/triweekly whathaveyou intervals. Trying to manipulate this feature into doing what I want just seems like a waste of time.
Finally, it should be said that I am not a computer savvy person, and these programs may very well be the bees' knees and I just don't know how to use them properly. I think ultimately my problem is that I don't know what I need or want in a program of this sort. I'm taking the "I'll know it when I see it" approach.
A few highlights of the rough draft include:
-one more bed of sweet potatoes for a total of two beds
-one more summer bed of beets for a total of three beds
-broccoli raab
-1 bed shared by eggplant and hot peppers. In the past, they've each had their own bed, but nobody eats eggplant, and hot peppers are insanely prolific.
-one more bed of cabbage, for a total of three beds.
-ONIONS!!! We usually say "No" to onions on account of their long season requirements, but we can't do without. It just isn't right.
-Winter Squash- two beds!!! We also usually say "No" to winter squash on account of its hogging all the space, but we absolutely can't do without that butternut, and neither can anyone else. We are going from 0-2 beds this year.
-So far, so good. I've got to show the plan to Matt when he comes home so we can tweak it. Then maybe we can order our seeds.