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Tag Archives: Organizing the Garden

Thrifty-tip Thursday

In keeping with the garden theme this week, here’s a thrifty tip I picked up from my parent’s home gardening techniques. I’m starting some of my seedlings this week. You can go to your local home and garden store and pick up one of these . . .

They aren’t terribly expensive. They run around $4 – $7. However, you can also use something most people have on hand – egg cartons.

I cut the lids off, then save them to place underneath for support. The biodegradable kind (left in picture) tend to get soggy and weak as watered so you can place a layer of plastic wrap between cells and lid.


For the styrofoam type, I use a toothpick to poke holes in the bottom for drainage.

The biodegradable egg cartons can be planted directly into the soil along with the plants. The styrofoam, of course, cannot be planted. I have my seeds, I have my egg cartons, and I have a tray I’m re-using from last year . . . I’m ready to plant.

Organizing My Garden Plans

Each year when I “plan” my garden, I follow the same process. First I select my seed packets using my “Oooo, that looks good!” or “Oh, that would be fun!” method. Then I pull out the seedling planters and start popping in seeds. When it comes planting time, I lay it all out in the garden, trying to keep in mind size when full grown so large plant won’t shade or over-grow small ones; then I start digging holes. I’m not sure it qualifies as a “plan”. It has worked reasonably well, but this year I want to do it right. This year, I truly want to plan. So, this week, as I start planting my seedlings (thanks for the reminder that it’s time, Kate’s Kitchen Garden), I also will be planning my garden layout so when planting time comes I know what and how much I will plant where.

Currently I have a traditional backyard garden measuring 18 1/2′ X 11′. I also have plans to add a couple raised beds this year. I’m working on finding the best ways to fill those spaces with what we will eat and preserve this summer. While working on my plans I found some great online planning resources.

The above, from Vegetable Gardening Online is an example of one of several free pre-made vegetable garden plans. The site is full of detailed instructions for when and how to plant just about anything, in any zone. There is even a “free garden planner” link that allows you to customize your garden size, then drag and drop vegetables onto the planner.

I am using a similar customizable garden plan from the Gardener’s Supply Company site because it allows for a larger garden layout. Check it out here.

I’ve been wandering around cyberspace today drooling over all the fabulous garden layouts. Here a few I especially loved.

This is a potager style layout is from a Squidoo page with several other ideas. Wouldn’t you love to have a space like this? I think I’d have to make my whole back yard my garden in order to do this, which would be fun but probably wouldn’t survive my kids.

Pizza anyone? This, found on the same site,  would be a lot of fun for kids.

This layout from Better Homes and Gardens is just my style. Very traditional, but a lot more organized than mine typically is . . . maybe this year!

Also from Better Homes and Gardens is this “Children’s Vegetable Garden” with detailed plans. I’d like to use one of my raised beds to do something similar. Happy planning!

My Chore Chart and Next Challenge

Just a quick post tonight. Here is the chore chart I came up with for my oldest son. The other’s are similar, but scaled down about according to each child’s age capabilities.

There are a lot of cute templates out there (see Friday’s post for links), but none of them quite fit exactly what I needed.  It’s simple, but to the point.

This week I am going to be organizing my garden plan. It’s not quite planting time yet, but my good friend and fellow blogger from Kate’s Kitchen Garden reminded me that it’s time to plant seedlings in my area. This week I will be planting my seeds so that I can nurse them inside until planting time. I will be working out exactly what I need to plant and getting my garden plan ready. To find out planting time in your area, click here. Just enter your zip code and find out when to plant at what time. Pretty handy!