Yes, it may be frigid, raining and cold or even snowing outside, but now is the time to begin working on your vegetable garden planting calendar. Even though you may not be able to plant outside yet, all the preparation that you do now will ensure that you have a delicious selection of vegetables for the spring and summer. Many organizations, websites and apps provide tools for free that will ensure that you are successful whether you are interested in a moon or lunar gardening calendar, an organic gardening calendar, an astrological gardening calendar, a bio dynamic gardening calendar or even the tried and true Farmers Almanac gardening calendar. Let’s take a look at some tools that are available to you.
Lunar and Astrological Gardening Calendars
At Rhythm of Nature, you can find both a bio dynamic calendar and a gardening calendar to help you decide when to germinate, propagate, transplant, fertilize, etc. Why would you be interested in gardening by the moon? When you use the correct lunar phase for planting and fertilizing, plants will have increased strength because they are growing optimally. These plants are not prone to set backs that can affect less healthy plants. In addition, you can often harvest earlier with larger more abundant crops that will not go to seed as quickly.
Rhythm of Nature provides an easy to understand, icon-based bio-dynamic calendar and gardener calendar that will guide you through moon gardening. If you would prefer to do your own calculations on when to plant, try Gardening by the Moon for a detailed description of how to determine moon gardening dates for your area. In addition, they have an abundance of research and information on moon or lunar gardening.
Organic Gardening Calendars
It is helpful to know generally what to do each season for gardening so that you can pre-plan ahead for each season. Dummies offers a simple and generic seasonal calendar to get you up to speed on what to do year-round. As they recommend, their organic gardening calendar will help you to work with nature as you grow, rather than against it.
Urban Farmers offers planting schedules for each state in an easy to use map that includes states and zones for planting. They provide a wealth of information on all aspects of growing as well a non-GMO seeds and other gardening products.
The National Gardening Association offers calendar information about garden planning with details for your specific area. This organization began in 1971 with a mission to teach people how to garden and to improve their skills. Their organization has the largest social media website dedicated exclusively to gardening. The site contains online tools for gardeners to teach, share and even trade with each other. In addition, the site contains a multitude of research and information for the gardener.
Other Gardening Calendars
Burpee also offers a gardening calendar by zip code that can be printed for your individual use. In addition, they provide first and last frost dates for your area. The calendars are based on location and growing zones and allows you to select calendars for vegetables, herbs, fruits, perennials and flowers. The site contains an enormous amount of other information for the home gardener.
Each extension office provides information and growing calendars for your area. The extension offices have a non-formal educational program provided by each state’s designated land-grant universities. Extension services are implemented in the United States to assist individuals in using research-based knowledge to improve their lives. You can either visit extension offices online or you can visit them in person for details on when to plant what in your location and zone. It is easy to find your local extension agent here by entering your zip code. If you have never taken advantage of the resources available at your local extension office, you are missing an invaluable resource.
There is no doubt that vegetables from the garden taste better than produce you buy in the stores. I cannot imagine anyone who has ever tasted something just picked off the plant disagreeing with this. While it can be more time-consuming to grow your own vegetables, the positive outcome can be well worth it. All the tools mentioned above will help you as you move forward on your gardening journey.