As stated in the introduction, the Home Vegetable Garden blog started as a MeWe.com Group in late April of 2021. This article covers most of the planning tools I used before and while posting on the Mewe.com Group – Home Vegetable Garden. Planning, research, and documentation for the Home Vegetable Garden group happens mostly on my laptop. I use the plain text editor Notepad, the image creator/editor Microsoft Paint, the My Calendar app, and the internet. I also create PDFs using Open Office, take photos with an iPhone, and create special designs using canva.com. I’m as much a techie as I am a gardener. lol
Second Year of this Home Garden
This was my second year in a row to have a vegetable garden. I had a garden over ten years ago. And in the early ’80s I did some gardening.
Native Americans created three sisters gardens. But the three sisters didn’t work out very well for me last year. So this year, I used the gardening/farming techniques that I learned from my family.
I learned a lot about gardening and farming while I was growing up. You might even say that it’s part of who I am:
Anyway, this was my second year in a row to have a vegetable garden.
Planting Calendar – The Plan
The Old Farmers Almanac Planting Calendar was a big help getting me started this year. I entered my zip code and the website gave me a comprehensive list of planting dates.
I ended up buying plants that my husband or I could find close to home. But these charts were very helpful.
Home Vegetable Garden Notes – The Plan
Before March 2021, I started taking notes. Previous experience prodded me to try to keep up with what I was doing. I didn’t always follow through with what I had originally planned, but just getting started was a big deal for me. Using a “Notepad” document on my laptop and started typing:
Notes on What to Plant & Where to Plant
(Don’t plant peppers close by brassica)Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
(Do plant with onions, carrots, beets, lettuce, tomatoes)
broccoli (Plant near green beans)
onions (Don’t plant beans close to onions. Ok to put close to peppers)
lettuce (plant with mint, chives, garlic, beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, peas, radishes)
kale (plant with radishes)
More “What to Plant” and When to Plant
I started setting up pots so I could plant seedlings, but never did plant anything in them. I didn’t have the location and light I needed, at the time, to get started.
carrots (Needed to start these earlier)
“Start sowing tomatoes, cauliflowers, and lettuce indoors. For outdoors, you can start planting carrots, beetroot, peas, summer and autumn cabbages, leeks, spinach, herbs, broad beans, spring onions, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts.” https://www.gardeningstuffs.com/what-to-plant-now/Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
Home Vegetable Garden Notes – Work & Planning – March
Prepared the Ground and Started Planting Seedlings
(My husband — this was always a 2-person project) Tilled & raked 2nd time
Planted first row Brussel sprouts, 2 cabbage, 1 cauliflower
Secret weapon – black pepper to keep critters out.
BRUSSEL SPROUTS harvest
Brussel Sprouts – best if harvested after frost (they taste better if harvested after frost) 85-90 days till harvest. So, they will probably be ready before frost. June 21-26 to harvest
75 days – about June 10
Date ??Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
Planted the second row when the ground was dry enough
Home Vegetable Garden Notes – 1st Half of April
Spring is a Busy Time in the Garden for Planting
My husband tilled some more land just west of 2 rows already planted
He also tilled some more land, east of the 1st row, for flowers.
55-75 days to harvest Kale from sowing.
Harvest ready by about May 22…? (30 to 40 days if planted from seedling)
Cauliflower – 75 to 85 days to maturity
When heads are 2-3 inches in diameter, blanche the cauliflower by tying leaves around the head. Usually ready in 7 to 12 days.
Planted broccoli – maturity- 60 to 250 days depending on variety.Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
Start checking at 60 days (look for marker)
Not Sure How to Keep Up – Just Do It!
My husband bought tomatoes (early girl, Arkansas Traveler Heirloom, Beefsteak red Heirloom, Cherokee Purple Heirloom), onion chives, Texas sweet onion, 12 marigolds, Jalapeño hot pepper, Anaheim chili? pepper, red bell pepper, green bell …also Southern wildflower mix & Miracle
Gro (about $12). ($75 after 5% off – total)
Planted 12 marigolds in newly tilled area.
Fertilized all the plants (marigolds in bottom of plant area, brassica on each side of plant) with miracle gro.
Planted petunias that my husband got for my birthday.
Planted 4 Celery (I think it was this day)
Harvest for celery is 85 to 120 days after transplant – July 12.
Tie celery stalks together
Needs lots of water
Harvest as needed to keep them producing.
Start harvesting when stalks are 8″ tall.
Freeze – Cut the stalks into half-inch pieces and store in freezer-grade bags.
Bought stakes for 4 tomato plants that my husband bought earlier.Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
Home Vegetable Garden Notes – 2nd Half of April
Date?? —- April 21
Planted Onions, Onion chives.
Planted tomatoes —
1. Early Girl Hybrid
ready in 50 days – about June 9
2. Arkansas Treveler Heirloom
ready in 75 days – about July 4
3. Red Beefsteak Heirloom
ready in 90 days – about July 19
4. Cherokee Purple Heirloom
ready in 80-90 days – about July 9-19
Dug up sunflowers? that had come up voluntarily. Planted some around tomatoes.
Texas Sweet Onions
Harvest in 100 days about July 30
Onion Chives – start trimming about 1 inch from ground after 30 days – about May 20 – continue to trim – Divide every 3-4 years. Best if used fresh, but can be dried or frozen.
Planted peppers. That’s the last of the plants that my husband recently bought.
Check length of time to mature…
Chili peppers – dried & ground make paprika.Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
Reprieve & Sweet Compliment
My husband sent garden report via message –Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
“Saturday’s garden report.
Saturday’s rain brought perkiness to those plants looking rather droopy. The tomato plants and the
sunflowers showed remarked improvement
You are on the right track.
This reporter feels we will have a bumper crop. Great job!!”
More Planting, Reprieve, Weeding, Documenting
Radishes (Early Scarlet Globe) between Kale. – should be ready to harvest around May 24
Italian Dark Green Parlsey between peppers (1/2 way between each one) then at end of pepper row.
Extra-curly Parsley in next row after peppers.
Did not pre-soak any of parsley. (21-28 days to germinate – by May 28. 75 days to harvest – July 11.)
Hipped up row for Okra (Clemson Spineless) Planted okra (saved seeds).
Planted marigold seeds from saved seeds north of tomato plants. Should take 5-10 days to germinate
(don’t over water) – May 2, and 45-50 days to flower.
Rained…stormed early morning.Notes Stephanie Bohrman kept on her Notepad program on her laptop.
Rain gage at 2 1/2 inches around 2:3-pm
Pulled some nutgrass.
Worked on MeWe “Tool List” pdf
The Visual Plan
An image of what was going on in the vegetable garden was created using Microsoft Paint. I updated it as I added plants. This is what the image looked like on June 18, 2021:
Using a Garden Calendar
A monthly calendar on my laptop helped me keep up with gardening dates. The first calendar was a disappointment. After I had entered a lot of information, it shut down and asked me to pay for the app so I could continue using it.
This My Calendar app was in the Microsoft App Store on my laptop.
Then There Was a MeWe Group
So a lot went into this Home Vegetable Garden, before the MeWe Group even started. But one day at a time, step by step, we continue to see what happens.