Garden Planning 2013: Books, Seeds and Layout

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Last year I fully intended on building a gorgeous garden on the property we were renting. It was a beautiful old farmhouse, with plenty of green space and great sunlight. One thing led to another and in early May we were told that the landlord’s son would be taking ownership of the house in August. We had 3 months to let go of our gardening dreams for the year, find a new place to live and pack up all our belongings.

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What sounds like the beginnings of a sob story actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We were presented with the opportunity to purchase a beautiful home, right in the heart of the city with ample fenced in space for a backyard garden. This year, in 2013, our gardening dreams will become a reality, but this can only happen with the help of a well thought out springtime plan.

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Spring is the perfect time to plan a garden. Not just due to the necessity of a plan, but because by March & April I’m eager for warm weather and itching to get my hands in the dirt. Planning gets my gears turning, excitement brewing and directs my pent up energy to a purposeful & productive task.

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One of the most informative and useful books I’ve come across lately has been Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. This book is PACKED full of helpful information regarding fruit, flower & vegetable gardening. My favorite pages are the illustrated collections of common weeds, pests and beneficial insects which will be absolutely vital to the success of my future garden. The guide is something I’ve been reading through thoroughly but will also be helpful later on as a quick reference for maintenance concerns.

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Over the last few months I’ve used information and charts like the one above to determine which vegetables would be “sharing” beds in the coming season. Companion planting is a useful tool to follow, because certain plants have smells or tastes that deter the common pests of another vegetable. In other cases “bad companions” would be those vegetables that share common pests or diseases because if one plant becomes infected the whole bed is likely to be ruined.

I’m incredibly thrilled to be planning a garden in my new backyard. The next step as weather gets warmer is to clean the slate and begin anew. If you’re busy planning a garden or thinking about trying one next year find a friend and plan together. I’m lucky enough to have a dear friend and experienced gardener in town to plan and bounce ideas off of. Tenille has a gorgeous space just outside of town and as the sweet friend that she is, shes shared loads of fabulous seeds with me this year to get me started.

This season, find the potential for growth. Whether it be in your backyard garden, a container on your front porch or a potted herb in your window sill; being a part of growth is a powerful thing.

There’s unlimited potential around you.

love,

tricia

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