Monday, April 15, 2013

2013 Spring Vegetable Garden

This Year's Spring Garden Plan

I came across an excellent garden planner.  It's called the Vegetable Garden Planner from Mother Earth News:  It comes with a 30 day free trial and no billing information is required to sign up.  It's easily the best $25 I've spent this year.  It's very easy to use, and keeps track of what you've planted from year to year.  Keeping track of what you've planted where is important.  Crops need to be rotated to prevent soil born diseases.  The red coloring around the squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumbers in the diagram above indicates that these plants are all members of the Cucurbitaceae Family.  In the fall, I will plant these vegetables where the tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and okra are now.  This will minimize the risk of pests and diseases.  Hundreds of common vegetable varieties are available to choose from within the garden planner as well as herbs, fruit trees, and some flowers (marigolds, nasturtiums, etc.).  I rarely endorse products unless I have personally tried them with great results.  This planner falls into that category.
In the diagram above, the broccoli and cauliflower will have stopped producing, and plants will be pulled from the garden before the okra, corn, and melons are big enough to compete with them.  The lettuces from the main garden have already finished producing and are no longer on the plan, but the program will remember where they were when I design this year's Fall Garden. 
I always space tomato plants farther apart than recommended.  Due to our high humidity, tomatoes are very prone to powdery mildew.  Allowing for better air circulation helps prevent fungal diseases.  The program enables users to choose between square foot or traditional gardening, or a combination of both like mine.  You can also add succession plantings.  For example, the okra and melons will replace the broccoli and cauliflower when they have finished producing.  You can choose to receive email reminders for sow/planting dates based on your zone.  Plus shopping lists can be created based on your designs.
I planted the bottom half of my garden today, and will sow the radishes and okra tomorrow.  If you have any questions, just ask.  Happy Gardening!
~Article and Garden Plans Designed by Jill A. Tobin - 04/15/2013

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