The detailed month-by-month lists are great and all, but sometimes you need the overview, the synopsis, the big picture. This is particularly true at the beginning of the growing season, like now, when all the little details are popping up: what plants do I grow? How many? How long till I can eat them? Where do I plant them? Next to what? Following on what? Why is this all so confusing!?!?
Without a little organization, it’s hard to turn the puzzle pieces of a high-yield, year-round garden into a cohesive vision. Even with organization, you still need perpetual flexibility and unwavering hope as you work with the uncontrollable’s of nature.
That’s where a Year Round Planting Guide comes into place. It’s your at-a-glance plan for the year. There’s enough detail for conflicts to be seen (fall brussel sprouts can’t go in after tomatoes! They’ll never mature in time!) but not so much that you’re lost in the weeds.
I put together my Year Round Planting Guide so I could have all the things I repeatedly look up at my fingertips and in one place. I’m always asking myself questions like: “Now, is Derby Day a spring cabbage or a fall cabbage, again?” or “About how many days do those parsnips take to size up again?” or, “Can I get beets to size up if I sow them in late September?” It’s nice to have the answers all in one place.
Take a look and feel free to modify this database to suit your own gardening climate and needs. This is garden geek stuff, but if you are just beginning, don’t be intimidated. Just go through and delete all the rows that include plants you won’t grow. Not growing kraut cabbage? Delete! Dry beans not on the plan? Delete! Plug in dates that are about right for your region and pretty soon you’ll have a Year-Round Growing Guide framework that works for you year after year.
Download the guide free on the Downloadables page, or click on the links below:
My Year Round Planting Guide isn’t the only one out there – if you geek out on this kind of stuff, check out the Fall Planting Schedule put out by Annette at Sustainable Eats (and author of The Urban Farm Handbook) and MethylGrace’s Seed Starting Schedule, which comes complete with a growing season calculator. You’ll notice we all build our planting schedule tools a little bit differently. That’s good! You can look at how we all do it and find the way that makes the most sense for you.
How do you organize your year-round growing?