A cold wintry January day is perfect for staying inside and planning the 2022 garden. My planning involves reviewing the diagrams from last year showing what was planted where. Then, buying seeds is another key component. But, looking back on my notes is the most important of all.
Diagrams of the Garden
I began drawing out plant placements of my garden the second year I lived here. Because, I couldn’t quite remember what was planted where. And I wanted to rotate my crops. Crop rotation is necessary to not deplete the soil.
Before I can create a new plan, I check last year’s and then I research. There are so many facets of crop rotation that I can’t remember them all so I check and re-check with my resources both in print an online. Since I am new to growing brassicas, I need to experiment a bit with them. This year I plan to plant one section from last year with potatoes. The other area will see a repeat of legumes following the brassicas.
Last year I planted quite a few flowers in the big garden to attract pollinators. I will expand on that this season. So many people use/overuse pesticides and bees are not as abundant as in the past.
The squash were decimated by squash bugs last year so I am undecided as to where they should go or if I should skip a season. It is a fact that I need to be more diligent next summer in examining the vines. Not sure if both virus and bug repellant seeds are on the market.
Buying Seeds and Planning the 2022 Garden
In addition to the seeds I save from the garden, I also scour seed catalogues during the winter months. I am almost done with the winter purchase of seeds. However, they still need to be organized. Starting seeds indoors is just around the corner.
Reviewing notes is a key part of seed buying. Varieties that worked are bought again. One of my favorite slicing tomatoes was discontinued a few years ago. I still have an unopened seed packet for this year. The plant is a hybrid so saving seed from the produce does not guarantee successful reproduction. Alas, once these seeds are gone…..
I love looking at the new varieties featured in the catalogues. Experimenting with new types makes the garden fun. And if I don’t like the outcome, an easy solution for the following year is to try something else. This will be the case with cucumbers in planning the 2022 garden.
Reviewing Notes in Planning the 2022 Garden
For each of the past four years I have kept notes in my yearly planners. The notes encompass weather, bug attacks and crop yields. Notations are also made on the health of the crops. The year over year comparisons are insightful.
Adjustments on starting seeds as well as outdoor plantings are made from these notes. These changes are not infallible as weather changes year to year. Climate change is also making an impact over a longer time period. (Most farmers I know recognize climate change regardless of their respective political beliefs.) Bumper crops one year can turn into failed crops the next. But the overall trend in my part of the world is drier and hotter. I need to adjust for this reality as well.
As the snowflakes drift down outside, I am warm and cozy inside and dreaming of the mornings where I am up with the sun poking through the garden rows. I feel such incredible joy watching the little plants grow and then produce wonderful veggies for the dinner table. There is a satisfaction hard to match and I swear the food tastes better. Winter is here for a few more months, but planning for the 2022 garden is a productive diversion from the dreary cold.