I'm not comfortable sitting in front of a computer and mapping things out. I get fidgety, or there's someone that needs something, and if I want a quick change in something I have to go to the computer, load the program, wait, and then fix it. Keeping my plans on paper allows me so much movement. I can take the plans to work or to watch the kids play in the park, but honestly, I mostly take them to the couch with me at night. Planning the garden and holding that pencil, knowing I can change the whole feel of the garden with one stroke is so cathartic to me. There are times when I just lay on the couch with the pad on my lap and never really change one thing, but I know that I could.
This year I've taken to keeping a graph paper notebook which is infinitely better than the loose leaf papers I have had scattered around. I've a colored graph for each season and each of my three garden sections have their own page within that season. For example:
This is this past fall's plan for the corner yard. It's obviously been well loved and I've written in actual planting days and successes and failures as the season continued. I have a red graph for each of the two other beds on the immediate following pages.
Here's the plan for the spring side yard. This is my section with the most sun and you can SERIOUSLY tell in the difference in production. The onions are already in place and I'm thinking of leaving the far right box empty and doing half of the left box with turnips and leaving the other half blank for early summer planting. I wrote several notes and questions to myself around the graph. I obviously got caught in the rain with this page opened.
Last, this is the tentative summer plan for the other corner yard, again with the questions and comments. The main corner yard's summer plan is going to be under serious review in April when I find out if I've gained any more sun with the removal of the overhanging tree. You can also see my notes in the first graph that acorns were a problem, but they should be greatly minimized this next year.
Looking at the graphs I realize that I need to change my color coordination. The blue should be fall, green spring like it is, and the red summer. I might do that for next year. The good thing about having it all in this notebook is that I can go back year after year and see what I planted where and try to rotate things as much as sun exposure/shade factor will allow.
How's your planting grids coming?
The morning comes early. Especially when you have a boy who doesn't understand it's against the law to wake up at 5:30 on the weekends.
Sweet gardening dreams.