Making Garden Plans: Reading Homegrown Harvest


I’ve been reading a new book! This gardening book, as opposed to a lot of others I’ve looked at, seems geared to be a reference guide for a home gardener, not something to be read cover-to-cover. Using the seasonal sections and the guidelines for each kind of plant, kind of gardening space, and kind of climate, you can isolate small pockets of advice on your particular goals and start planning!

For instance, my area of the country is right at the edge of USDA Hardiness Zones 5 and 6, so I look for the advice that the book offers to mid-temperate and cold-winter areas, often splitting the difference since I’m so close to being in cold-winter but not quite. I know I want tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, strawberries, squash, basil, cilantro, and a mess of other things in my garden, so I look for those foods or the families in which they are grown (herbs, rather than basil and cilantro specifically) and get advice on when to plant, how to plant, how hardily they will grow, cautions about thinning them out or hardening them off in the new warm days of May and June, etc. It’s making planning much easier, because when I tried to “plan” last year, I just got overwhelmed by the individual needs of each kind of plant.

This way, I’m creating some week-by-week checklists, which will make my time commitment to gardening much less haphazard but also will hopefully yield better crops! Reading about them now, I am lucky that as many of my plants survived last year as they did; I didn’t follow almost any of the guidelines! What’s nice is that I can take what I learned from experience and the advice given here to make less work for myself but hopefully yield better results, with more delicious fruits and veggies for the rest of the year. I recommend this book!


12 comments on “Making Garden Plans: Reading Homegrown Harvest

  1. shiftinbeauty says:

    Gardening is therapeutic for the mind and yields great nourishment for the body. A win win!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. carolee says:

    Just a hint for when you sow that cilantro…roll it lightly with a tin can (soup, etc….any with a slight edge at both ends) so that the seeds break into halves. Each cilantro (coriander) seed is a little ball containing many seeds. Breaking it in half or quarters makes it easier to spread them out, and therefore fewer to thin later. You’ll have much happier seedlings. And remember, they hate to be transplanted. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll have to check out this book. Thanks so much for sharing your review!


  4. I started s garden last spring reading by with mixed results. I’ll have to check out this book to maximize my yield this spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have a garden, but would love to try some day. I commend you for growing and having the “green thumb.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elizabeth says:

    There are also very localized “mini-climates” that you only learn about living in them. For example, in Oregon we had a sheltered south facing wall that allowed a small rosemary plant to grow into a thriving bush, which wouldn’t have been expected. But in Connecticut, our yard is colder than zone 6, and I had to look for a more hardy lavender plant than was suggested for our zone. You can use what you learned last year to help you know what to plant.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tammy says:

    When I lived in Southern California, I had a kitchen herb garden in my yard. Although I was never very successful with vegetables, I had wonderful lemon tree and a less-than-wonderful orange tree. Now here in Massachusetts, I live in an apartment with no outside access. The best I can do is put a pot in a south-facing window for herbs. I had gotten one made up at the local farmer’s market with parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme (whoa…that’s a song!), and it also had a small bit of lavender. I even added some basil from Trader Joes. Interestingly enough, only the parsley survived the summer, and even now it still grows. I miss having an herb garden and fresh lemons. I’d appreciate any advice on how to keep an herb garden growing on a windowsill alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A tip from someone raised on the farm, in a field most my life and has a garden, plant rood plants(underground like potatoes, onion, carrots, etc) during the dark side of the moon. Above ground stuff on the light side of the moon. A farmers almanac is a great help for planting, moon cycles and such. This next tip might sound stupid, but be as happy as you can when planting. My grandfather, who was a gruff fellow would sing hymns when he planted. I just thought he was happy to plant. He later said, if you are angry the crop will bitter, happy it will be sweet and yield. A few years back I was planting corn, and I was ill as a snake. That was the worst tasting corn, ever! lol God Bless 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the tip. I’m starting a garden this year and want to be sure I’m planting the right things at the right times.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I started observing when things did what last year, and based on those observations, my area is about 2 1/2 weeks earlier than last year. Time for my daily and weekly checklists, because I’m already behind with the early spring planting!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the inspiring review. Im also setting out my garden plans with the help of ‘Crops in Pots’ – as I have a terrace, not a garden.

    When the book talks of kinds of climate, is this US specific? If not, I’ll pick up a second-hand copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. agshap says:

    Cant wait for the warmer weather and to start my gardening. I have grown tomatoes, peppers and strawberries… that I am retiring I can give much more time to them and branch out….and maybe blog about them too.

    Liked by 1 person

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