Monday, April 8, 2013

Planting chart part one

 Yesterday my husband and I walked down to our large field garden to make a plan for the growing season. We decided to use Ellen Ecker Ogden's rotation system that I mentioned in the last post, so we plan to move the leaf crops to where the legumes were, the fruit crops to where the leaves were, the root crops to where the fruit crops were, and the legumes to where the roots were.

Our soil is still frozen (though now devoid of snow--hooray!), but we wanted to get a jump start on the season by making a planting chart. Often we squeeze planting in on busy weekends or after work. My hope is that this planting chart will keep us organized so we won't forget to soak the pea seeds or add Epsom salts to our tomato planting holes.

Here's a peek at the chart we devised. Thanks to Julia for making this file a jpg so I could upload it here. Sorry it's a little blurry. Not sure why.

We made a chart for the vegetables and fruit that we typically grow using the following reference books that we have in our library (and highly recommend):

The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch
Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening
Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail

We noted the type of soil each plant prefers, if we need to add any additional amendments to the soil when planting, and if there are other factors to consider such as the need for cutworm collars.

Let me know if you have any questions about the chart. I'd be glad to answer them. We're working on a maintenance chart, which will provide info about what each plant needs during the growing season, i.e. if the plants need top dressing or foliar feeding, etc. I'll share it here when I'm finished.

Hopefully next week I can share some pretty photos of spring blooms.
Until then, happy planting!


  1. You two are so good with the chart! I bet you're so excited to be able to start planting. Thanks for the reminder about the cutworm collar, I'll keep an eye out for those cutworms.

  2. this is genius shari! what do the epsom salts do for tomatoes? i've never heard of that...also- i have some innoculant for legumes that is a year or two old- do you think it's still good or should i buy fresh every year? just curious.

    the chart looks great- if you click on it, it will enlarge and maybe be easier for folks to read.

  3. I love this! Such a simple and organized reference to return to. I know it would be a huge help for me to create a maintenance chart myself, including for plants in the greater landscape - such as fruit tree fertilizing and pruning, rhododendron care, etc.

    I am also curious why you add Epsom salts. Is it for pH?

    PS I clicked on the chart to see it larger and it is clear and easy to read.

  4. Ah such inspiration. We will be moving cross-country this summer and thus won't be able to plant anything, but I am bookmarking your posts to come back to next year!

  5. Thanks everyone. Rodale says that the Epsom salts are for increased magnesium, which is supposed to increase productivity and overall health of the tomato plants.

    Julia: I'm thinking the farmer I worked for bought new innoculant each year. I need to do some research on this.

  6. what a great tool shari! reminds me of the many farm journals chris and i kept over the years. i should really dig them up!!