Sustainable Saturday - Planning for our Garden 2011

It's January and I'm starting to think about the warm weather that is to come and gardening.  Every year I have lofty goals when it comes to gardening and after our disappointing summer growing season last year due to pests, I am starting to think about how to make the space we have work better and to extend our harvest further into the year.

The Backyard Homestead is ready for me to pick up at our local library.  I am excited to read this book and will do a book review here when finished.

The Backyard Homestead:  Produce all the food you need on just one quarter acre!
Edited by:  Carleen Madigan

Put your backyard to work! Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it's done. And when the harvest is in, you'll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor.

From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts.

I've started to receive catalogs and emails from the different companies that I subscribe to for the upcoming growing season.  Gardener's Supply Company has Preplanned Family Gardens.  These gardens show you the items that you will need to have or purchase to complete your garden from a logistical standpoint and also what vegetables to plant and how much space you'll need.  What I love about this guide is it gives you a printable guide that tells you when to start the seeds indoors, when to plant outdoors, etc.  These guides really make it easy to get started.  I am interested in these tools because I want to maximize the space that we have and produce a more plentiful and longer lasting harvest.

In addition to the Preplanned Family Gardens available from Gardener's Supply, you can also find these great resources:

Not sure when to start your seeds indoors: 
Seed Starting Chart available on 

For new gardeners:
Gardener's Supply - Kitchen Garden Custom Planting Map

Drag and drop your vegetables into a very user friendly Planting Map.  This planting map is always FREE to use.

For formal gardens:
Garden Planner

Arrange plants, trees, buildings and objects using an easy to use 'drag and drop' interface. Use tools to quickly create paving, paths and fences. Then produce a high quality color print out of your design.
Download the trial version right now or buy the full version for just $19.95.

For veggie gardeners: is an innovative garden planning tool which helps you grow fruit and vegetables to the best of their ability, whatever the size or shape of your garden or plot.  They offer a FREE 30-day trial or you can Subscribe for $25 for one year or $40 for two years.

Three-Season Garden Plan (Limited Space):

If you don't know where to start and have a small space, Organic Gardening Magazine  in their Feb/March 2010 Issue took all the guess work out of planting a Three-Season Garden.

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