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Keeping My Garden Organized with a Portable Garden Chart

Charting out my garden plan is not one of my favorite garden activities.  Since I DO gravitate toward lists and charts, I’m not sure why this is.  Maybe it is the puzzle qualities of the endeavor.  I HAVE to make everything fit, and there is never enough room.  It is unsolvable.  Getting myself a cup of hot tea and a chocolate chip cookie made me feel more ready for the task.

ready to fill in my garden charts

ready to fill in my garden charts

I like my charts.  They give me a good sense of the spacing as it will be in the garden, because they are to scale.  I toyed with trying to do the planning on a smaller piece of paper, that I could carry with me to the garden.  However, it was just going to be too much work to make my acre fit on 8.5 x 11 inches of wood pulp.  So, I went through the first part of the process the same as I have for several years, except that I now have them on a bulletin board, on top of the dog kennel in the greenhouse.  It is more convenient that having it taped to the doors.

The main garden charts are filled out

The main garden charts are filled out

A little brainstorming later, I decided I could use part of a piece of poster board for my portable, abbreviated version of the garden charting.  By the time I got to drawing it, I was quite impatient.  I shudder to think what my graphic arts major daughter will do when she sees it…  Maybe she will take pity on me and make a nicer version.

my ugly portable garden plans, the curvy and pointed lines connecting beds are marking trellises

my ugly portable garden plans, the curvy and pointed lines connecting beds are marking trellises

For now, though, I am going to cover this ugly drawing with adhesive clear shelf paper, like I mentioned for my calendar system.  This should render it moderately moisture resistant.  Then, I will hole punch it in a couple of positions, such that I can attach it to my belt or loops if I want to free my hands.  OR I may figure out how to nail it to a small stake that I can post wherever I am working.  I may color code it first.

using whatever highlighters I had on hand

using whatever highlighters I had on hand, the blue squares are straw bale gardens and junk-yard-find raised beds

 

I was trying very hard to leave enough space for all the plants this year.  My interplanting evaluation in the fall made it clear this would be better.  But, I think I was able to use enough successive planting to fit in some things that would have been left out.

Although I paid attention to some rotation of crops, to thwart bugs and disease, I didn’t strain about it too much.  Even on an acre, most of the plants will be fairly close to where they were last year.

And now, it is actually time to think about planting some seeds.  Being able to refer to the garden charts will make it easier to decide how many pots of various vegetables to plant in the greenhouse.  The portable chart should save me some walking back to the greenhouse so much.  On an acre, that can be a lot of walking.  It’s not that I mind walking, I just don’t like to keep doing it because I’m forgetting what I looked at two minutes ago!  That should mean better use of my time.  Theoretically, anyway.  Planting seeds is SOOO much fun!

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