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  1. #1
    Emma Ward's Avatar
    Emma Ward is offline Seedling
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Grow Your Own Needs Your Help!

    This is month where the weather should () begin to warm up, so planting outdoors can really begin in earnest. There are so many sources telling us what to grow when; my list of jobs I need to tackle now seems neverending! We want to know how you stay on top of it all.

    Do you make lists, use books, follow wall charts, keep a diary? Do these things keep your plot organised? What low maintenance growing tips could you share? Or, do you follow no set plan and simply let the seeds fall where they may?

    Whatever your organisational experiences, we would love to hear from you! A selection of responses will be edited to appear in the May issue of Grow Your Own.

    Last edited by Emma Ward; 30-03-2010 at 07:56 AM.

  2. #2
    pdblake is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Beverley, E.Yorks


    I've written my own software that tells me what to sow/plant/harvest on a weekly basis. I suppose that is essentially making a list

  3. #3
    Flummery's Avatar
    Flummery is offline Gardening Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    East Yorkshire


    I'm afraid I'm fairly random! I use my blog to check what I did last year at this time (and how successfully!) and I also use the "What I did Today" thread on here. If I get too bogged down in plans I can easily miss a spur of the moment planting. That's my excuse anyway!
    Whoever plants a garden believes in the future. Updated March 9th - Spring

  4. #4
    Paulottie is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Petworth. West Sussex


    My secret to most veg sowing is 'little and often.' That way you spread your harvests. I tend to raise a lot of things in modules to give them a head start on the weeds and pests, Although this can be a bit of a watering headache in spring; I do find it cheaper on seed, I don't get gappy rows and I spend a lot less time on my knees thinning and weeding.

  5. #5
    jackyspratty's Avatar
    jackyspratty is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    May 2009


    I have an A4 binder, with an A4 plastic document wallet with a stud fastening (to stop seeds falling out) in for each month. These are transparant and in each one I put the seeds to be sown that month and a sheet of paper with all the seeds on, dates sown and other jobs to be done. I then move the seeds along each section for successional sowing. The A4 sheet of paper can act as a two weekly divider for each month.

    Thats the plan anyway!
    Last edited by jackyspratty; 01-03-2010 at 05:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Emma Ward's Avatar
    Emma Ward is offline Seedling
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    This all sounds brilliant - thanks so much for your responses. pdblake, you've written software for this purpose...that's fantastic. How exactly does it work? Do you have to enter the information in advance or is it automatically generated?

    Flummery, I really like the idea of using last year's blog as a guide. It's good to know that The Grapevine is useful too!

    Paulottie - I like the sound of doing things little and often. Do you think your watering headache is worth it in the end? I bet you have a lovely long harvest period with all your successional sowing.

    Jackyspratty - Your A4 binder sounds very organised indeed! Do you add to it often, or is it quite a static plan? Also, do you jot down your ideas here too? It sounds like a lovely gardening journal!

    So, we've already had some really varied options here. It's amazing to think that although two grapes could be sowing the same crops - they organise things in a completely different way. What about the rest of you, how do you keep things organised? Have you tried a new method that really worked for you? Has a lack of forward-planning ever resulted in a veg-related disaster?

    Can't wait to hear from you all!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Worcester Park Surrey


    My plan is not that organised but has evolved through making silly mistakes over the past few years:

    1. ALWAYS sort out the tender stuff to be grown in the green house first, such as toms & peppers - then consign them to the windowcill and do nothing else until this is sorted out [or they can get forgotten until too late in the rush].

    2. I have a rough map of the area from last year [and earlier] and so make decisions on where things should be grown this year before I sow anything else.

    3. Then I go and sit on my hands [or feed my fruit tress/bushes and generally tidy up] so I don't plant too early [I always do, but I do try not to]. This is the time to empty the compost bins and feed the soil as well.

    4. I have a seed box divided into months, with the seeds in their ideal month section. Each veg types [say 4 packs of different carrot seeds] is then bulldog clipped together in its month and I will sow a variety then put it back for next year or some on for next month [to try to sow successionally]. This really works for lettuce types - they are my current obsession, all need slightly differing circumstances and I want lettuces 12 months of the year. I keep a list in the box of what I have used up so it is quick to replace them in the winter or when a seed sale looms in the autumn. If a recommendation pops up from a plot holder I write it here to investigate.

    5. I now aim hard when planting to have something to harvest in every month from November to March. The pleasure of that harvest is double that of the glut months of the summer harvest.

    6. I always want to try something different each year - this year it is salsify - and bin something less than worthwhile [this year that was chervil]. This way my knowledge grows and the diversity of our larder forever surprises me.

  8. #8
    Ja9 is offline Rooter
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    It is only the second year I have grown veg and the first from seed, as I now have a greenhouse.
    In the depth of winter I sat down with a my books and a "grow your own diary" and with a photocopied plan of my raised beds, planned exactly when and where crops need to go,for each month, including sowing times for my greenhouse and propagator.
    This is proving invaluable already and hopefully will ensure a succession of crops this year...and there is nothing like ticking jobs off as their done!
    Last edited by Ja9; 17-03-2010 at 08:56 PM. Reason: spelling

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