Time to Plan the Garden

If you have not already started to plan your 2015 garden now is the time to start.  Here is a great tool to help and is a valuable educational resource as well.  We used the free version last year and chose to subscribe this year.  It is the “Garden Planner” from GrowVeg.com

Here are the features we like about the Garden Planner.

  • easy to draw out your vegetable beds, add plants and move them around to get the perfect layout
  • works for traditional row planting, raised beds, raised row or square foot gardens.
  • as you add vegetables the space they need is clearly shown by the colored area around each plant and it calculates how many plants will fit into the area
  • crop rotation is easy as the Garden Planner warns you where you should avoid placing each vegetable based on what was in your previous years’ plans.
  • enter your address and the Garden Planner adapts to your own area using a database of over 5000 weather stations.
  • print a planting chart showing how many of each plant and when to sow, plant and harvest them
  • the Garden Planner sends email reminders of what needs planting from your garden plans
  • you can organize which crops will follow on from others using the succession planting feature
  • add customized varieties with their own spacing and planting dates
  • acts as a garden journal by adding your own notes about what and how your garden grows.

This is our “lower garden” designed with the Garden Planner.  (More on the lower garden in a future post.)

 Lower Garden - Garden Planner
Lower Garden – Garden Planner

Have a look at the Garden Planner in action.

Setting up your Garden Planner account is easy, and there is no obligation to subscribe.  If you find it useful the annual subscription is $25.  We have found the Garden Planner a great tool for a successful garden and subscribed for two years for $40.

Subscribe to the Garden Planner at GrowVeg.com

Enjoy planning your garden.

Tom and Di

Buying Seeds

When we first arrived on the Homestead one of the first things we chose to do was put in a garden.  Our garden planning began in front of a seed display near the entrance of the Home Depot.  Captured by the colorful images of beautiful vegetables, we proceeded to select the seeds for our garden.  Although we were aware of terms like heirloom, hybrid, organic, hardiness zones and planting times, we continued to select and plan our garden based on the beautiful pictures on the seed packets.

We did have a reasonably successful harvest and we did enjoy some fresh vegetablesIMAG0579 throughout the summer.  We also were over planted, under planted, wasted a lot of seeds and had a lot of seeds left over.  It is from this experience that we suggest the following tips when it comes to buying seeds for your garden.

  1. Carefully plan your garden before you purchase your seed. Know how much space you have, how much sun you have, frost dates, and growing season.
  2. Evaluate what you grew last year. This emphasizes the importance of keeping a journal of what you planted, where you planted it, and how it performed.
  3. Select seeds to grow food that your family eats. If they don’t like Brussel Sprouts, don’t buy the seed.
  4. Choose varieties that meet your needs for storing, pickling, canning and your favorite dishes.
  5. Share information with other gardeners in your area. Find out what varieties work best for them. Make friends with the oldest gardener in your area!
  6. Check your seed inventory. What do you have left that you can use this year. Learn what you can about seed viability.
  7. Choose a local seed company or mail order suppliers in the same or similar geographical and climatic zone as your garden.

A few more considerations

  • If you plan for succession gardening buy the seeds you need for the growing season
  • Buy heirloom seeds and learn to save your own seeds and properly store them
  • Check seed suppliers for the Safe Seed Certificate and their policy regarding GMO.
  • Buy organic certified seeds.sniegocki-garden-journal-2-e1336703846515
  • Experiment with one or two new varieties each year.
  • Keep a journal.

Remember, quality seed will produce quality food.

Tom and Di

Welcome to the Creative Garden Patch

Welcome to the “Creative Garden Patch”.  We left our home of 32 years in Northern Canada to return to the family homestead in New Brunswick.  We are the fourth generation to occupy and work the land.

This blog will document our efforts, our successes, and our “mess-ups” as we dig our way into our gardens.

Raised Row Lower Garden
Raised Row Lower Garden
Raised Bed Garden
Raised Bed Garden

Follow us as we learn, create and develop our gardens on the shore of Washadamoak Lake.  We will share our experiences on raised bed gardening, raised row gardening, straw bale gardening, garden structures, composting, anything and almost everything to do with vegetable and flower gardening.

You can expect information on garden planning, seeds, garden pests and helpers, and delicious recipes for put ups and other eats.

Please join us by clicking the “Follow” button in the sidebar.

Tom and Di