I have a 30 foot wide garden in the back of my yard and another behind my studio. When it’s time to think about planting, I have to consider lots of details:

Where were the squash, tomatoes & other nightshades, cole crops last year? Rotating crops keeps pests under control, and finds plants soil that isn’t depleted of the stuff they need.

What quickie crops will come and go by the time the weather is hot, and what do I plant there for a second crop? And a third?

What’s already established (like my grape vine) and won’t be moved ever?

What’s tall and likely to shade the thing behind it?

Where are the sandy patches in my soil and the loamy ones? (I once found a program — Google earth? Areis? Zillow? — that gave me not only the aerial view of my property but the soil type boundaries! There are two types on my one little back yard.)

So I made a graph paper garden, one square per foot — hoop house in the back corner, gate in the front. I made copies. One has last year’s plant positions, lest I forget. One will be a spring plan, another hot weather, a third for fall. I am using sticky notes to try out plans (less erasing.)

And now, I’m getting off the computer.  The boys are at scout camp, Molly’s at a sleepover, and Jeff and I have a nice fire and a house all to ourselves.

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