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January – Plan Now – Reap the Rewards All Year

If you’re like most folks the hardest part of any job is the mental part. If you get into a busy time and haven’t planned ahead — it’s very likely that many things you wanted to do – won’t get done.

When you plan ahead and note on paper exactly what and when you want to do it —any task become much easier.  In many cases, planning ahead makes the difference in whether the job will get done at all.

While the garden sleeps in January, it’s a great time to plan. You’ll reap the rewards all the rest of the year.

Here are 8 ways I’m planning for spring that might give you some ideas or at least reminders about what you want to plan.

1. What I want and need to plant this year has been noted. Have a few more seeds to order.  Ordering early insures getting what I want.

2. Seed inventory is up-to-date so I can know what I have at a glance.

The following is a simple example of how you can keep a record of your seed.  A reader of TMG who does a great job organizing, inventories her seed this way and this is part of her list.

Vegetables are listed.  Varieties are named under the main vegetable.  The source is noted (abbreviated in most cases); then followed by the year.

PEAS
•    PEA – KARINA – BURPEE 11
•    PEA – BURPEANNA EARLY – BURPEE11
ONIONS
•    YELLOW SWEET SPANISH (SEED)  – SE10
•    BUNCHING – EVERGREEN HARDY WHITE (SEED) – SE09
•    SUPERSTAR – TRANSPLANTS – DIXONDALE 2011
•    CANDY APPLE – TRANSPLANTS – DIXONDALE 2011
CARROT
•    CHANTENAY RED CORE – SE10
•    SCARLETT NANTES – AN11

3. More than 2 dozen jugs of winter sown seed are complete and waiting for spring

4. I’ve made my chart for regular seed starting. It tells me exactly when I want to start each plant from seed and when I want to set it out. Here’s the link to one organic gardening offers for you to print out.

You can adjust the way the dates are figured based on your gardening experience rather than use what Organic Gardening recommends if you want to.

5. For greater production I plan to encourage even more bees and beneficials to visit my garden. Many flowers and herbs are already in my garden and the borders, but I’ll also sow annuals.

(This year I’ll put a shallow container of water in the garden as a drinking station for my bees and beneficial. I’ll put rocks in the middle so they’ll have a place to perch to drink without falling in.)

6. I’ve marked my garden chart to show what will be planted in each bed, keeping my 3 year crop rotation in mind. This makes it so easy when I go to plant.  No time will be wasted in trying to figure out where things go because I’ve already done and noted the mental work.

7. Lot of cover cropping is on the agenda this year.  I have most of my seed and know where I’ll plant and when.  For example:  I planted buckwheat in most beds that were bare in early fall last year.  So those beds will be planted with early crops this Spring.  Beds that were still occupied last fall until frost (like tomato beds) will be planted with buckwheat first thing in the spring.

8.  Great success was achieved with smart bags (the best grow bags) last year. I plan to increase my use of them this year. Three are already placed in the garden and filled with garden soil and leaves, and lots of straw on top. I’ll place and fill the other three this week.  They’ll be ready when it’s time to transplant.

9. I’ve looked over my borders and planned the evergreens I want to add for structure, winter interest, and year round beauty.

Final Thought

There’s always something to do in a garden or yard.  Planning ahead in the dead of winter sure makes life more enjoyable when the rush starts.

Have a Great New Year!
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For Additional Reading follow links in article to topic of interest.

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Organic Gardening is easy, efficient and effective — and it’s a lot healthier!

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All content including pictures are copyright by TendingMyGarden.com.  All rights reserved.

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