We've got ice today and blistery 26 degree weather, but it is a great day to plan out the garden--on paper at least!
I'm going to try a new layout this year using the "Martha Method" of row spacing that was highlighted in my all time favorite issue of MSL from March 2008, I call this issue my garden porn and when I refer to it, my hubby knows exactly what I am talking about. It is really that good.
So the rows will be 30 inches wide with 12 inch paths. For my 25 foot garden that makes for 7 planting sections. I plan to do a path along the middle of the bed, so I'll have two sets of ~10foot x 30 inch beds for a total of 14 planting areas.
I'll have the same basic garden foot print, but I'll have more clearly defined areas and hopefully not have to wade through planted areas to harvest. Perhaps this will also keep me from overcrowding things... yeah right.
I'm excited about getting out there and planting, but definitely not this week.
Some interesting finds from the web:
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/continuousharvest.html Has a great chart for planting by temperature. Looks like I've been really jumping the gun with my squash plants.
Soil Temperature Germination Ranges for Select Vegetables
TEMP (° F) PLANT
45–85 cabbage, kale, broccoli, collards (germinate well at 85, seedlings prefer 45–65)
35–80 lettuce and most salad greens (at more than 80, germination rate drops 50%)
35–75 spinach (optimum 68)
50–85 onions (optimum 75)
45–95 radishes (optimum 85)
50–85 beets, Swiss chard (optimum 85)
60–85 beans, snap and dry (optimum 80)
70–85 beans, lima (optimum 85)
40–75 peas (optimum 75)
60–95 corn (optimum 95)
65–82 tomatoes (optimum 80)
60–95 peppers (optimum 85)
65–100 cucumbers, melons, squash (optimum 80–95)
From: Market News, March 1995.
Row Trellis: Here is a row trellis design that I saw online. Not sure if it would work for us, but it sure looks like it woudl be those flimsy wire tomato cages I have been useing for everything.