Monday, September 3, 2012

Planning the Layout of Your Fall Garden

This week I have the pleasure of helping a dear friend start her first garden.  How cool to think we are starting in the fall!  Usually people are rushing to get going in the spring, really before the ground warms up enough to even plant the heat loving plants like peppers and tomatoes.

So what do we do?  Last week, we talked about planting spinach using a triangle to know how far apart to put the seeds.  This week, we are going to do an entirely different kind of garden.  My friend has 2 roughly 9 ft x 3 ft beds.  Remember, we stop at 3 feet wide so it is easy to reach across.  We are going to plant an array of winter veggies in these 2 beds.  We'll still measure with our triangles, we'll just mix and match the plants that go next to each other.

Enter the Garden Planner.  You can find this on a number of websites.  I happen to use Territorial Seed. You can play around with it for 30 days - go get your free trial by signing up here.  Here's the plan for Claudia's garden:

 Looks like a hot mess, doesn't it?  Click here and you'll see a full explanation of the plants, the spacing and the times to plant.  It's really not that complicated once you see each individual plant.

Now, how did The Maven decide what to plant?  Here's the fun part... The plants in the top bed all benefit from row covers and extended season techniques.  The bottom bed can be exposed with few ill effects.  As a matter of fact, the brussel sprouts and the kale taste better after a frost!

Of course, a lot of this will be eaten through the winter, so we will plan to replant anything that is gone in the spring.  Two full harvests before we plant the regular plants of summer!  Look at all the variety!  Think of how healthy you'll feel!  Think of what a pick-me-up it will be to have fresh veggies from your own back yard during the cold months of the year!

We'll talk later about row covers and winter gardening, but right now, just think of the possibilities. I guess you can tell - there's a whole lot more!!

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