I have a giant notebook compiled from my Master Gardener class. Of course, the vegetable section was one of my favorites.
I was interested to see how our manual breaks down the major components of growing a vegetable garden. 1) Planning and 2) Maintaining growth momentum.
Planning includes site selection, soil, type of garden (raised beds, etc), how you will irrigate. It also includes planning what to grow, how much, and what to plant where. It includes deciding whether to grow from seed or use transplants, where to obtain these, and generating a planting schedule.
Maintaining growth momentum includes what you need to do after the garden is planted (or after seeds are in pots under lights). I’m thinking that this component includes both maintaining good momentum of plant growth, as well as – maybe more important – maintaining momentum of the gardener. For the vegetable plants, maintaining momentum requires using proper practices for individual plants such as fertilization, irrigation and mulching, weed control, pest control, succession planting, cold protection, harvesting, winter clean up and cover crops. (For the gardener, maintaining momentum for an entire season requires …?)
So, I’m now moving into the planning season. I’ve already received a couple seed catalogs. At our community garden, we’re planning programs we’ll run next year. I’m looking forward to trying some changes in my garden including improving my soil, installing drip irrigation, interplanting, and trying some new varieties. I’m even planning for the weather; The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that after a mild, snowy winter, our area will have a cool and wet summer. Ha! That’s hard to believe! We’re still in a severe drought here. I think I’ll take that forecast with a grain of salt.