Friday, March 28, 2014

I start gardening when?!

It seems like I have been doing a lot of book recommendations lately, but I just keep getting these really cool books and I love to share them!  This one is not just a great resource book - it is also a workbook!  I love when I can write notes in books and not feel guilty about it. 

This workbook is really cool.  Instead of only working for a specific zone or area, they have all of the weeks broken down by how far before/after the last frost date.  So you can use it no matter where you live!  All you need is the average frost date for your area.  I found mine here:

I didn't want to plan for an early date of March 10th, but I thought April 4th was a little too late.  So I chose to use the March 10th and April 4th dates and estimated that my Average Last Frost Date is March 24th.

Since I am not doing a full garden this year, I am not completing the workbook.  Instead I am using it to give me tips for this year and to help with setting up and getting ready for next year.  The first week it has is 20 weeks before the last frost date...which puts it around November 4th!  I don't think I would have ever started that early on my own :)

Here is a view of the start of the planning section:

It starts by summarizing what you will be doing 20-15 weeks before the average date of last frost.  It also gives you an area on the right side to write down any information you want to remember for the next year.  I want to use it to catalog where I buy my seeds and what did/did not store well at that point.  There are summary pages like this for every 5 weeks until 29 weeks after the last frost (which is around October 9th for me) - so it pretty much covers an entire year - I get 3 weeks off! lol    

Then the next several pages break down each week: 

Obviously, the first week is not very exciting - but it does break everything down to simple steps.  I have already found it to be useful - getting this post ready reminded me to order the seeds for what I plan to plant this year!  So now I have organic seeds for artichokes, bell peppers, tomatoes amd zucchini, as well as crowns for organic asparagus coming next week!! 

Here's why I chose to go with these:
     Asparagus takes 3 years to produce an edible crop - so I wanted to get a headstart.
     Artichokes are sooo expensive and I love them - they can also take 2 years to produce.
     Bell Peppers are really expensive as well (especially yellow and red ones) and I use them a lot.
     Tomatoes are supposed to be pretty easy to grow and I really want to start making and
                           storing homemade sauce..
     Zucchini are just for fun - Eric loves them so I use them a lot.

So if you are looking for something to help you get your garden started, or to help you keep track of what you are currently doing - I definitely recommend this book.

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