Planning and Design

  Garden Diary—Photo credit: MG Sharon O'Grady   Raised bed——Photo credit: MG Sharon O'Grady

Photos by MG Sharon O’Grady

Jan. 9, 2019 — Planning and Garden Design

As the days begin to lengthen in the new year, seed companies send out enticing catalogs to seduce us with images of beautiful vegetables. But before succumbing to plant lust, it’s best to know: What do you want to plant? When can you plant it? How much space will each veggie take? Do you have access to enough sun and water? Do you want to plant seeds or starts? How can you get the most from your garden for the time and money you invest?

Whether you have a large or small garden space to devote to growing food, you’ll be more successful and satisfied if you do a bit of planning. In this class, you’ll learn about frost and planting dates, varieties to select, where to plant what, how to avoid pests, succession planting, crop rotation for fertility and plant health, how to extend the growing season, and the value of a garden notebook. You will have the opportunity to start a garden plan during class time.

Below are resources to enhance your learning.

  • Home Vegetable Gardening in WashingtonWSU Extension Publication EM057E, a free 27-page download PDF, describes site-specific growing conditions, tools and equipment, vegetable planting, irrigation, soil management, integrated pest management, harvesting, vegetable storage and preservation.
  • Where and When to Plant — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #1, about choosing a garden site with adequate sunlight, soil, and access to water, as well as guidelines on when to plant.
  • Deciding What to Plant — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #2, a free online publication about what crops to grow in the maritime northwest based on vegetable value and nutrition.
  • Garden Records — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #4, a free online publication about keeping good garden records and using them in planning for the next season.
  • Raised Beds: Will They Benefit Your Vegetable Garden? — WSU Extension
    Publication FS075E, a free 7-page download PDF, explains the benefits and drawbacks to raised beds, deciding whether you need them, choosing soil for them, and how to build them.
  • Growing Food on Parking Strips and in Front Yard Gardens — WSU Extension Publication FS115E, a free 6-page download PDF, discusses how to assess your site, evaluate your soil, protect water quality, and ensure food safety in parking strips and front yard gardens.
  • Container Gardening — WSU Extension Puget Sound Gardening Tip Sheet #6 discusses container selection, soil and fertilizers, crops, and watering.
  • Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardens for Western Washington — WSU Snohomish County Extension publication about vegetables that can be planted here in summer or early fall for winter and early spring harvest.
  • Plastic Culture To Extend Growing Season — WSU Snohomish County Extension’s free online publication is about structures that help provide more heat and extend the growing season for plants that are native to warmer climates.
  • Intensive Vegetable Gardening — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #47, a free online publication about making your garden as efficient and productive as possible by intercropping and successive planting.
  • Evaluation and Looking Ahead/Rotations — WSU Snohomish County Extension, Community Horticulture Fact Sheet #47, a free online publication about crop rotation and keeping a useful garden “log” to help in planning for the next season.
  • Using Crop Rotation in Home Vegetable Gardens — WSU Snohomish County Extension’s free online publication that lists vegetable plant family classifications, explains crop rotation and why it is important, and shows a crop rotation plan for home gardens.
  • Seed varieties for our region are available through Territorial Seed Company,  West Coast Seeds, Uprising Seeds, and Osborne Quality Seeds.

 


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