Crop planning is one of my favorite seasonal preparations. It is part day-dreaming about the new and exciting things that will be tried during a season and another part problem-solving.
Things to consider – what to plant, crop rotations, soil needs, and overall spacing (will what I WANT to grow even fit in the garden plan?).
Deciding what to plant is always the super fun part. All those STUNNING seed catalogs that stuff the mailbox in January…glossy, perfect pictures of beautiful produce. Love it. But…it is easy to look at all those gorgeous photos and get carried away. I’m a biologist at heart and am driven to experiment, but I also have to remember to go with what I know people enjoy and with what has proven to work in our setting.
With our raised planting beds, we are able to practice bio-intensive plantings. That basically means we try to utilize all the space offered in the planting bed to maximize production.
Want a good and informative read?
Check out Jean-Martin Fortier’s Book “The Market Gardener.”
We also concentrate our soil amendments to the planting area. No more compost lost to the pathways or beyond the raised bed. Focusing the application is more efficient and cost effective!
Crop rotations become easier with each season when you start with a master plan. Flexibility in farming is a must, but having a basic idea from the get-go is needed to guide decisions throughout the seasons.
There is a lot of information out there about crop rotations and strategies. The bottom line is to not plant the same crop or crop family in the same spot year after year. Crop rotations give the soil a “break” and interrupts some pest cycles. The crop rotation plan we try to mirror is Eliot Coleman‘s eight year plan:
So…with Spring around the corner, we are ready.
- We have our seeds ordered and seed starting is underway!
2. Our crop rotation is set letting us finalize our crop plan.
3. The garden is mapped for 2017!
And so begins our 2017 market season. We hope you join us for this year’s market journey!