Gardening – Planning for 2023: Clyde’s Garden Planner

Clyde’s Garden Planner. Spring planting guide. Hardly and all inclusive list of crops, but it covers all of the crops we wanted to plant except Sunflower.
…and on the flip side, Fall harvest planting guides.
Last and first frost dates for many locations in the USA and Canada. Our last frost is listed between April 30 and May 2nd, but all the “old Timers’ in the area say not until Memorial Day to be safe.

There are several keys or critical tips to growing a good garden. The key for beginning gardeners is to find the critical tips from ‘master’ gardeners. We’ve think we’ve graduated from novice and are now moderately capable gardeners.

We watch many of the successful YouTube gardeners, take notes and attempt to implement as much as possible. A few of these tips are; Planning, Timing, Logging Progress (and failure), Soil Maintenance, Spacing, Vertical Gardening, Succession Planting, and Compatibility Planting.

One garden planning addition we made in 2022 was a physical planning notebook. We documented when seeds were started indoors and outdoors, when they germinated, when we harvested and what soil mix and/or amendments were made in the garden beds.

In addition to traditional garden notes, we kept track of micro green gardening in the grow room. We started by planting in seed starting soil, then evolved to hydro methods of growing micro greens. Our biggest success and favorite micro greens were mung beans and pea shoots. In 2023, we’ve added cabbage greens and alfalfa sprouts. All documented in our planner from soaking to harvest.

Soil amendment was a large part of 2022 gardening. We couldn’t find an optimal spot to start a compost pile, but we did find a space saving alternative. Vermiculture.

I’m sorry…what?! Vermiculture…a worm farm. Worm castings (worm poop) is a much more concentrated in nitrogen than compost. The time invested is similar and the materials needed to feed them is less than a compost pile.

The source of some great worm casting are produced in this continuous flow worm bag. The top 2″ is food scraps, shredded paper and hundreds of red wiggler worms eating decomposed food scraps and pooping nitrogen rich compost.

Vermiculture entries in the 2022 Planner: In April of 2022 we invested in a continuous flow worm bin. R Dub discovered it while watching an Epic Gardening YouTube video. Initial bedding and food was prepared prior to buying red wiggler worms. Food was added roughly every other weekend. Six months later, we got our first harvest. Three months after the first harvest a second harvest was collected and documented in the 2023 planner.

Beth found this planner at Aldi, it was a great tool for 2022. They stocked the 2023 planners in December 2022, we didn’t think of it soon enough to get a 2023 before they sold out. However, we did find a nice one online for 2023.
The Aldi planner featured a month at a time calendar and a week at a time calendar. That was handy, but took duplicate work.
We documented more than just planting and harvesting info. These pages show when we added soil to the potato mounds, when we fed the worms, soil amendments, micro green action and much more. We even documented that Sunday activity was recorded on Saturday and Sunday because we took the Amtrak Hiawatha Friday night to Chicago to see Richard Thomas play Atticus Finch in “To Kill A Mockingbird”!
Mid January saw the beginning of seeds for transplanting in April 2023. Onion. Note that we began fermenting sauerkraut that week, trimmed our rosemary plant, started mint tincture, received some fire wood, sorted our seed packets, started 2 trays of pea shoot micro greens and started basil from seed. That was a busy week for January.

One garden planning change that we’ve made from year one is who we take advice from for different aspects of the garden. Such as timing and crop selection. We pay close attention to successful gardeners in our growing zone for when to plant, when succession planting take place and which crops to plant at those times and plants that are more successful in our growing zone.

While watching a popular Homestead channel we discovered a gardening tool to help plan the timing of our next garden. It’s called “Clyde’s Garden Planner” which is pictured above. We were able to order the planner for $7 online (up $1 from 2022) and it was delivered within a few days of placing the order.

2022 saw an improvement over 2021 harvest results in quality and quantity. In 2021 we fell victim to the most common new gardener fail: planting too soon…and too late… We put out our tomato plants before the last frost of the season. We followed the average last frost in the chart above plus chose plants and planting times of other 5A zone gardeners on YouTube.

Some plants like onion, leafy greens, carrot and radish can be planted prior to last frost, that made a huge difference. The same plants do great after first frost, our 2022 fall harvest of lettuce, spinach, carrots and bunching onion was very rewarding.

The Spring chart illustrated in our third photo of this post in Clyde’s planner shows an average for several cities in the USA and Canada. Averages are nice, but all of the seasoned gardeners we’ve talked to in Wisconsin tells us not to choose Memorial Day as the definitive last frost date of the year..

So…Memorial Day is the day I set as the last frost for this season and let Clyde help us plan accordingly.

The first photo of this posts is set for a final frost date of May 31. Note that there is a relatively small variety of plants on the planner. However, it covers all of the crops we plan to plant except Pole Beans and Sunflower.

Note too that there are abbreviations. Here’s how to read the planner:

si – Indoor Seeding Dates

LP – last outdoor planting dates

Red Line – Last Spring frost date, First Fall frost date

green check mark – harvest dates

In addition to these planning tools; there are companion plants for each crop listed in blue, spacing recommendation, and sun light needs for each crop.

Clyde’s Garden Planner takes care of timing, succession planting, sunlight needs, spacing and compatible plants. Soil maintenance and vertical gardening will need to be found from other sources.

We think this a great tool to put in our mental gardening tool box!


Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: