Garden Planning Part Two

Hi guys, it’s Jen and this is part two of my gardening video series. If you missed part one, I’ll put a link to it right here so you can check that out. In this video I’m going to walk you through, spacing, grid planting versus triangle, and days to maturity, so here we go. For this garden bed, I’m going to use a 4×8 foot bed example. So I have 32 square feet of growing space. These are the varieties I’ll be growing this year. 2 of each for a total of 10 plants. Each of these Lettuces will be planted 12 inches apart from each other.

But more about that in a second. Remember the rule about succession planting? I don’t want all of my lettuces being ready at the same time. Because I can’t eat that much salad in a week. If I eat one lettuce head each week day, for a two week period. I get 10 heads of lettuce. My first planting will be right around 4-5-13. Since I wait, between 10-15 days between plantings, my schedule for lettuces will look like this. I am only going to do 4 sccession plantings. Because I will also have Spinach, Kale and Swiss Chard to eat. When planting all this, I use the triangle method. I’ll explain what that means in a minute. But first an explanation about row, or grid gardening. Imagine this blue square and this pink triangle are both 12 inches. How can this be you say? The triangle is obviously smaller. What if I turn them like this? I’m going to use this blue square That is 12 inches in your imagination, just to prove a point. In a typical garden, it might take shape like this.

See, isn’t it pretty? You can fit 16 plants that are spaced 12 inches apart. In 1/2 of this 4×8 bed. But now, let me show you what happens when I use this pink triangle. If I planted this entire 4×8 garden bed, using the triangle method I would have 4 extra plants. Remember before, when I said I would use one lettuce plant per day for salads every night? Now I have dinner for 4 extra nights, using the same space! Pretty cool huh? Now I designate sections of my garden into 4×8 plots.

This one, the lettuce, plot will take shape like this. I’m going to do 4 lettuce succession plantings My first planting as I said before is going to be 4-5-13. The first 2 sets of plantings I’ll begin growing in a mini-milk-jug greenhouse. Which I’ll show you in a future video. The last 2 plantings will be seeds, planted directly in the ground. Let’s breifly pause, and talk about days to maturity. You’ll see this on the back of seed packets. Most of my lettuce seeds are 45-50 days to reach maturity. What that means is, from germination once you see that little baby seed growth, you’ve got 45 days give or take before dinner. So that means, dinner starts to look like this. Keep that “days to maturity” in mind. Because some varietys of lettuce can take up to 60 days to reach maturity. For my growing area I need fast growers that can tolerate the cold and rapid swing into hot weather. But what happens to the space after 5-20-13. After I’ve pulled and eaten that very first set of lettuce.

I’ll start planting green beans or even a zucchini plant. Remember it won’t get too big, before the second set of lettuces are going to be eaten. And now the only trick is to do this with the rest of the crops! Which can make me a bit frassled, but greatful I start this process in January. Okay a short list to finish up. About things that can grow, or be planted before or right around your last frost date. Think creatively about your garden bed. And try to follow something from the before first frost with the after first frost.

In my growing area, because I leap so fast into hot summer temperatures. I can really only get lettuce done, before something needs to be put in the ground where it used to be. Next time I’m going to talk about the tools I use to plan. Things like books and websites that have been really helpful to me. Thanks for watching guys, and Hanklerfish..

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