As I’ve probably mentioned before, I spent my winter months pouring over seed catalogs and various books on growing veggies in the NW. I wanted to maximize our space and grow as much as possible. Two resources were especially helpful in my planning: Portland Nursery’s Planting Calendar and Maritime Northwest Garden Guide which is produced by the Seattle Tilth.

At work I use Excel a lot, which I know makes me pretty much the coolest person ever… ahem. Well, I took the information I gathered and put together a master calendar of sorts. When people at work found out their first reaction was to laugh – hysterically. Then they all asked me to send them a copy.

You can find this picture on my Flickr page and can print it off in various sizes here.

I would just like to put a disclaimer here that this is year one of using this handy little chart, so I won’t be held responsible for killing your plants – just my own. Plus, I got a little gardening fever and pretty much shoved all my seeds in the ground last week anyways, so we’ll see what happens.

The number in parentheses is how many days it takes the plant to produce, typically. The structure of the chart was so I could try out some succession planting, so it shows which months I can keep putting seeds in the ground. The “C” stands for cloche and “T” for having to use transplants. You can start a lot of these indoors earlier, but I am a direct-sow kinda girl.

I created a “rustic” cold-frame in the place of the cloche. That is basically a wooden box with no bottom (so you sow into the dirt directly) and it is slated towards the sun. Put an old window on top and there you go. It acts as a little green house of sorts.

Another trick I recently discovered is to turn an old vase upside down on a seed or small start. I planted a healthy little catnip plant that my cat Lionel devoured in about an hour. So I put the vase over it and it’s really come back to life! This time I will try putting an old strawberry crate over it so the cats can’t chew close to the root.

Okay, I’m done exposing my nerdiness for now…

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