I am happy to report that my garden project is going very well! I am learning so much and – as things go when you’re working with living things – I can see growth daily! The biggest tasks that I had to get to during this last month, was to get the soil ready for planting, get seeds in the seedling trays and set up my veggie garden. The veggie garden set-up is still a work in progress – more on that next week. But for today, I am very excited to share my planting plan with you. And the only way to do that I find, is by using a garden diary. So here is my take on how to plan and keep a garden calendar to help you in managing your garden.
I used inexpensive foam seedling trays and filled them with great quality, weed-free potting soil. Your plants are really only going to be as healthy as the soil, so ensure that you use the best you can find.
Next, I identified the Mayford seeds that I wanted to sow into seedling trays (some seeds are direct sow only). Mayford has a delicious selection of veggies and herbs, as well as pretty flowers to complement your kitchen garden. You’ll notice that these seed packets have the words hermetically sealed printed on them. This just basically means that the package is airtight – just in case you were wondering ;-).
I made little labels using craft sticks and permanent marker. Make sure it’s permanent, otherwise the writing will wash off and you won’t have any idea what you planted where!
Put the markers into the seedling tray first and then, using the dibble, make holes in each tray and pop the corresponding seeds into the soil. Cover up with more potting soil, water – and wait!
Make sure you keep it moist, but not wet. I have a little makeshift green house in the back yard – a lightweight aluminium frame covered with heavy-duty plastic – that works perfectly for seeds and delicate plants. It also keeps my strawberries safe from peckish squirrels. I have a very basic sprinkler system in there that is connected to my irrigation system so that I can easily control the amount and duration of water I want.
So that’s the easy part. Knowing what’s what, how long before you need to transplant, and how long until harvest time is where the garden calendar comes in. I am a bit of an excel-fanatic, and putting everything on a spreadsheet really makes sense to me. And once you get the formulas right, it is very easy to plan what you need to do when. You don’t HAVE to use a spreadsheet, but for the amount of things I planted, and for the size of my garden, it is essential.
Make notes of the day that you plant the seeds, at what height / size or after how many days you have to transplant, and how many days to harvest. My calendar looks like this:
So now I can see that I will have a wonderful harvest come January and February, with a few things next month already and some only in May. And this where staggered planting comes in. But more on that in a future post!
Here are my seedling trays 1 week after planting. So much happening in such a small amount of time!
In my next post, I will show you how to make raised beds, and how to plan for companion planting. Exciting stuff!
This post is sponsored by Efekto.