The reason for planning next year’s garden so early is simple: if you know what seeds you need ahead of time, you can take advantage of seed swaps through the fall, winter, and spring, and lower your required seed budget for the year.
The reason for planning out the planting schedule so early is that, often there are seeds that need to be started as early as January. We try to get our schedule finished before the holiday season begins, because you KNOW you’ll be too busy in December.
If you are a first time gardener and need a little help getting started, check out our post on Garden Planning and Execution.
Our plan is broken down by week. It allows us to stay organized and keep track of when to plant, when to order dirt or other supplies, deliver plants to other people, etc. It looks a lot more complicated than it is; the weeks are labelled with their weeks from the frost date, and the tasks are pasted from our planting page. Our schedule is larger than last year’s because we’re adding in a few front garden; most of the plants going in are perennial or self-seeding though, so the plan will shrink back down again next year.
I love gardening books. There’s something nice about having a paper book in your hands. It also helps that I can read them in the garden, where the glare from the sun is not an issue. Also, if there is ever a zombie apocalypse and I can’t get online, I’m safe!
Today I pre-ordered Niki Jabbour‘s upcoming new book, Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden, coming out in April.
The description from Indigo.ca reads:
Vegetable gardens can be designed for flavor AND fun! Niki Jabbour, author of the best-selling The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, has collected 73 plans for novel and inspiring food gardens from her favorite superstar gardeners, including Amy Stewart, Amanda Thomsen, Barbara Pleasant, Dave Dewitt, and Jessi Bloom. You”ll find a garden that provides salad greens 52 weeks a year, another that supplies your favorite cocktail ingredients, one that you plant on a balcony, one that encourages pollinators, one that grows 24 kinds of chile peppers, and dozens more. Each plan is fully illustrated and includes a profile of the contributor, the story behind the design, and a plant list.
Niki’s first book, The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, was a great inspiration. It encouraged me to garden outside of my comfort zone, and is a constant reference in my home. I can’t wait for the new book to arrive and further inspire me as I layout future gardens!
With the temperatures “feeling like” a cool -30°C today, it hardly feels like weather that inspires gardening. Just a quick glance out the window chills me to the bone. I long for the milder temperatures of the East Coast. I would readily give up Ottawa cold for Nova Scotia snow at this point.
Yet here we are, stratifying the milkweed seeds, preparing for planting in 12 weeks! These early starts are the little things that get met through winter.
Our garden layouts for next year are finished! One of my favourite challenges of gardening is attempting to see what I can fit into such a small space. Each year I learn what is worth the space, and what simply takes too long and needs to be removed from the plan the following year. (Click the images to view the full size).
My inventory list is below, with storage dates listed (some seeds are a few years old, but I am willing to swap them if you’re willing to take a small chance that they may not all be viable. I would also be willing to swap two of the older seeds for one from my wish list.)
If you live in Canada and are interested in doing a swap with me, feel free to comment on this post. I will be shipping via Canada Post. I will keep this list updated by crossing off any seeds I no longer have or need.
This morning I went to pick up the mail, and was so happy to receive my package from Nicky North’s fall seed exchange!
Nicky runs this exchange every year, but this was my first year participating. Basically, the way it is operated is that you send in packs of your spare seeds, and a wish list. Nicky collects all of the seeds from all of the participants, and tries to fulfill as much of your wish list as possible. If she doesn’t have the seeds you are looking for, you will receive bonus (or surprise) seeds instead, adding a bit of mystery to the exchange.( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )
This kalanchoe daigremontiana, also known as Mother of Thousands, was given to me over the summer by a friend. When I picked up the plants from her doorstep, there was a small pot next to them with another plant in it for me. It wasn’t a Mother of Thousands plant; in fact, I don’t remember what plant it was. Whatever it was, though, it died because Mother dropped all of her babies into that plant pot, and they grew like crazy. There are, however, two other mystery plants growing in the same pot. ( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )
My secret seed package arrived the other day from the Secret Seed Exchange, and oh, what a package it was! Our guidelines state that participants must send two seed packages to their giftee – but myself and others have experienced some serious generosity from our gifters!