Hi, my name is Susan and I am a compulsive organizer. Please note: this does not equate with being consistently organized. Usually a burst of organizational frenzy comes over me and I begin to relegate clutter to its proper place which later leads to a frantic search trying to remember where I stuck the darn thing. Be that as it may, let’s step out back with some sweet tea and talk organizing our garden.
My gardening experience began at the urging of the Lord as a time of preparation and since He was in it, I knew I would have miraculous harvests akin to the loaves and fishes! Ha! Instead it awakened a latent gardening monster within.
As things grew it was apparent: organizational skills were needed. It wasn’t just a matter of sowing seeds in the ground but rather compatibility factors, seasonal, size and geographic conditions needed to be considered. In addition, since my garden consists of multiple small plots scattered around a pool I needed something to plan and evaluate progress. You know, as in trying to figure out what the heck I am doing. A gardening log on the computer, a spiral notebook and sticky notes were all no bueno.
Finally, a solution: a squirreled away pad of donated graph paper (like this one) and all those tiny, little squares began to sing a melody to my gardener’s heart! Such potential in all those boxes and another victory for my pack rat tendencies.
Here is what I drew out about 2 years ago. I know you’re impressed.
Please read the disclaimer: I am not an artist nor a draftsman and I firmly believe scales are irrelevant (in more ways than one).
This may, ahem, bother some of you because I don’t stay in the lines but you’ll just have to bear with me and grasp the concept – function over form, you know…
I made a nice, pretty one in color for y’all so you could get an idea of what I am dealing with.
You can see I now have a total of 9 plots, 2 little squares and some random pots.
Each season I consult my go-to resources: Houston Garden Book (information specific to my area), seed catalogs, my county extension (like the great TAMU here) and previous diagrams. I pencil in plant assignments and locations. Dill seed gets thrown in with blackberries, cucumber sprouts near a trellis and since tomatoes and onions are friends they hang out together, too. At random times I update results and changes (see below).
Each season, we have two, I start with a fresh diagram. I rotate my crops, use mostly heirloom seed like these Contender green beans and grow organically without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This spring I had success with heirloom tomato starts from seed but for fall put in 6 plants from a local gardening center. I tend to do my planting in bits & pieces so this method works great for me. Here’s a real life shot.
My crazy grape vine actually produced fruit, the corn’s about to get pulled up to make room for the pumpkins underneath and those Contenders are sprouting in the background. We multiplied! I am blessed!
I can’t wait to see what this next season brings!
And sow fields and plant vineyards, that they may yield a fruitful harvest. He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly . . Psalm 107:37-38a