Garden Scheduling

July - a time of transition in the garden

July always feels like a time of transition in the garden. The summer squashes, tomatoes and peppers have begun producing, the spring peas, potatoes and garlic are coming out and the fall brassicas, beans and turnips are going in.

Quite a few of the garden beds are transitioning from one crop to another: peas to pole beans, garlic to turnips, fava beans to cauliflower, potatoes to broccoli, and onions to salad turnips.

There are also succession plantings of the same crop in some garden beds: fall carrots have been seeded between the rows of spring carrots and bok choi has been replanted between the few remaining spring plants.

The least appealing aspect of this time of year is doing battle with the mid-season diseases and pests. Squash vine borers have made their appearance, along with the first signs of mildew.

And this year's drought has increased the wildlife damage to our tomatoes and eggplants. We seriously need some rain!

 

Scheduling with a Garden Gantt Chart

Garden Gantt Chart
 
We're growing 44 crops in our 2,000 square foot garden this year, each with its own ideal growing schedule in our area. Fortunately, we've also been recording our experiences with these crops. (Our 2010, 2011 and 2012 Crops Lists record our planting and first harvest dates.) Now it's time to put all that information to work.
 
Our first ever Garden Gantt Chart is an attempt to give us a visual, week-by-week schedule for our crops. In the spring, the chart will help us determine which garden beds need to be prepared and planted each week. In summer, it will be helpful to make sure we start our late-season seedlings on time.
 
Multiple plantings of short-season crops (such as Lettuce and Radishes) and space-saving scheduling of different crops in a single bed (such as Peas and Pole Beans) are reflected in the chart. We've also included times for starting our own seedlings indoors (something we hope to do more of next year).
 
The chart is still officially in the draft stage. We'll be adjusting the information as we move through this year's gardening season. The removal (or last harvest) for the crops wasn't recorded, so information for later in the season is a bit speculative. Look for a finished version in late fall.
 
Please note: Though this is our third year of gardening this space, it's our first year of early spring gardening. Planting was delayed our first two years by the need to build the garden from the ground up in April. Permission to leave the fence and garden beds in place last winter allowed our first on-time start this year.
 
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