Garden Plans 2012

Antonio weeding garden.

Anthoni weeding his garden.

The unseasonably warm weather has prompted me to seriously start planning  my gardens for the 2012 growing season.  Because I followed Flash’s suggestion mentioned in my December blog–Preparing garden to “sleep”, I will put forth less energy than others.  I have been saved from the back breaking job of pulling up ground cover as Anthoni  my nearby neighbor is doing in his garden.

Instead of planting one of the various types of ground cover for “putting my garden to sleep,” I have selected using a combination of mulch and cardboard.   The flattened cardboard boxes used last year to keep weeds from growing during the “sleep period”  have decomposed.  This organic matter is now incorporated into the soil.  Spading my soil in various spots, I have found lots of earthworms and other organisms that will support a rich soil structure.


Sandy recording plant location, variety, and yield.

Skipping over the weeding and pulling up ground cover I have moved ahead to planning my garden.  Planning is as important as attending to your garden.  This season my garden is new and double the size of my previous one. Because I don’t know what the previous gardener grew, plant rotation is a hit and miss proposition for me.  My plan is to make sure my plants have adequate soil nutrients.  Mulching my garden with horse manure last season will definitely help, and rotating plants is important as well.  Sandy, another gardener knows this well, she maintains a record book of where and what she planted from one season to the next.   She has several years of notes, realizing plant rotation reduces the return of the same pests.  Also, it allows soil to replenish from previous crop deletion of nutrients.

Instead of maintaining a notebook, this year as I am using Grow planning guide.  (See advertisement on this page.)  It is an excellent guide for gardening, and you can retain this year’s plan to use for plant rotation next year.  Grow continues to refine this software, adding new and useful tools to help we gardeners.  Learn more about crop grouping on their site.  Essentially, there are four major groups:  1) Legumes, beans;   2) Root vegetables, onion, radish; 3) leafy greens,  spinach, broccoli;  4) Fruit-bearing – tomato, eggplant.  Grow lists eight crop families.   I strongly urge you to visit Grow Veg’s web site to get a more in depth discussion of crop rotation and crop families.  You will find this extremely useful and informative.

This year Grow has announced software guide you can download to your iPad, and later this spring your iPhone.  I prefer using the iPad is preferred because of the larger screen.  There are lots of guides out there, but the Garden Planning Pro software has proved invaluable in mapping out what, when, and where to plant my vegetables.  Having this software is extremely helpful not only in planning and maintaining, but also in harvesting.  During the growing season I will receive alerts about harvesting, planting a second crop,  and other guides to increase crop yield.  Below is my initial plans using Grow planning software.  Soon, I will prepare for spring planting knowing what, when and where to plant.

Clifton Park garden plans 2012

Garden plans 2012.

About Harold McCray

Artist in the kitchen enjoying my three passions: cooking, photography, and writing.
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8 Responses to Garden Plans 2012

  1. Hi Harold! Love this article and the page looks terrific. I had a friend direct me to this video: . This woman is amazing and her method of doing less work in a smarter way makes me think of the the approach you are talking about. It’s a cool video to watch either way. Also wanted to direct you you to: . Eileen is a good friend who is also an artist in the garden. she posts (blog and magazine) great recipes and garden photos. xoxoxo to you, Jenni

    • Jenni, it’s always good to hear from you. Thanks for sending me the links to the sites of your two friends. I will visit them. I have focused too much of my attention on the writing part of blogging. This year I would like to include more photos and guide more to my website. Email me and let know what you’re doing.

  2. Donna says:

    Hi Harold! I am supposing that the photo is of your veggie garden…how wonderful. Your planting plan looks very ambitious! Thanks for sharing this. Unfortunately I don’t have a vegetable garden but I can live vicariously.
    J’espere a bientôt! Gros bisous!

    • Yes, most of the photos in my blogs are of my garden. There are a few photos of my neighbors in their garden to illustrate a point. Yes, my planned garden is ambitious and I hope to pull it off. My plan is to sell my overflow at the local market and a near by small grocery store that my friends own. This year. I am growing French beans,savory,thyme, and tarragon. I will send you an update.

  3. SueCitySue says:

    Virtual greetings, Harold! My husband is the family gardener at Clifton Park; he came home today delighted that he met you there. I look forward to your future posts. Aren’t we all happy that the City turned on the water!

    • Thank you for the greetings. Is the name of your “husband … the family gardener” Rich? Thursday, I went to the garden not knowing the water had been turned on two days earlier. So, I ceremoniously fetched the deep wheelbarrow and made my way up to the golf course shed at the top of the hill to get water. I would have made a second trip if it were not for a fellow gardener informing me that a workman had turned on the water. Yes, we are all happy the city turned on the water. Now, I can step up my planting. I’ll look forward to seeing you at the garden soon.

  4. chrisknipp says:

    With Anne in NYC; she directed me to your blog and I sent it to a friend of mine who gardens and cooks well as you do. Anne suggested I refer you to my Flickr photostream (new thing, as of Dec. 2010)., I would greatly appreciate if if you’d go there and become a friend/contact. I’m not much of a cook or anything of a gardener but I promise to stay tuned to you here now. Chris. May 4, 2012 en route to Paris.

    • Good to hear from you en route to one of my favorite cities–Paris. Enjoy! I visited your site on Flickr, and will return there to become a friend/contact once I have figured it out (smile). Thanks for forwarding my blog to your friend who gardens and cooks. Let us hope he is willing to share a recipe, or a trick of the trade. Meanwhile, I will follow you on flickr because I curious to see more of your visual artistry. What type of camera are you using?

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