Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring: Plan Your Garden!





If you remember, Little Guy and I went and dug around in the dirt last week, preparing for this year's garden. Now, I'm in no way a green thumb. I love growing things and reaping the rewards of my labor, but my experience is nil. Last year, I had a real garden for the first time in my life. Until then, I had always grown one or two tomato plants in pots on the patio. I live in an apartment, so having a place to garden really wasn't an option. That is, until my sweet husband talked the landlord into letting us till up a section of his yard last year!

I was so excited that I bought a bunch of seeds and just started planting them like crazy. A month later, I learned the value of actually planning a garden. I had Sunflowers blocking sun and rain from tomatoes, Morning Glories had climbed my bean poles and choked the poor little bean plants out. I threw herbs here and there, not even considering how much light they needed, how tall or wide they were going to grow, or whether they would make good companion plants for the vegetables I had sown right next to them. My marigolds choked out my marjoram, basil, and oregano... It was a mess! I think I ended up with a few tomatoes, radishes, and a million sunflower seeds for all of my work!
This was just the very corner of my garden. It was pretty to look at, but ineffective for growing food!

 This year, it's going to be different. First of all, I will be gardening with my little guy. I want to grow things that will be easy so he can see things grow. I want to plant things that he likes to eat and that he can pick right off of the plant and munch on whenever we go out to pull weeds and water. I need a plan!

I am so happy that groOrganic offered to let me try out their Garden Planner! It's this great online program that allows you to drag and drop a ton of different vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs into your garden before you even break ground. I love how you just click on the name of a plant and you get all the details you could ever need - where to plant, how much sun, how big they get, if they need a lot of water... The planner also is set to limit the number of plants you drop into your garden based on how much room they need, so no more overcrowding for me!


 The very first thing they do when you sign up is figure out where you live. You put in your address and they pin-point you on a map to figure out your exact climate. This is really important for me. I live very near Lake Erie and my weather is always different from areas just five miles away. After setting your dates for planting (they tell you when to start seeds indoors and when it's safe to start them outside), the site will email you with reminders of when to plant and what to plant. Thank goodness! I was so screwed up last year that I has stuff struggling to grow. I put my cucumbers in in June - NOT something you're supposed to do! Ever hear the saying, "Cool as a cucumber?" It's not because you keep them in the fridge, it's because they HATE hot weather! (And mine hated me, too!)

groOrganic really wants to help you succeed - they have video tutorials that describe how to use the garden planner, help you plan next year's garden so you can rotate your crops, and help you with succession planting. You can even print out your plans, notes, etc. so you don't have to work from memory. And if you get mud smeared on your plan, just throw it into the compost bin and print out another!
They also sell organic gardening, landscaping, beekeeping, and poultry-raising products!

The company offers two levels of membership which offer unlimited access to the Garden Planner for a year:

(From the groOrganic Site)
The Premium Harvest Membership ($99/yr.) includes:
1. Access to our groOrganic Garden Planner while an Association Member. This online Garden Planner helps you grow fruit and vegetables to the best of their ability, whatever the size or shape of your garden or plot. With the groOrganic Garden Planner it is easy to draw out your garden plan and decide how best to plant it. The groOrganic Garden Planner software shows how much space plants require and how to group them for maximum success, removing the need to look up planting distances and crop families. Growing advice is just one click away as you select the plants that you wish to include, enabling you to solve problems and maximize your harvest from the space you have.
2. New and renewing Members receive 12 packets of groOrganic's Non-GMO Seeds with their annual membership card.
3. A groOrganic Gardening Instruction Manual full of useful information about growing your garden will be mailed to you as well!
4. You will receive Members Only online discounts and gifts.
5. AND you will benefit from Online Consulting and FREE online review of your Garden Plan by a Certified groOrganic Gardener!
GREAT FOR SCHOOLS DEDICATED TO THE ONGOING EDUCATION OF THEIR STUDENTS BY WAY OF A groORGANIC GARDEN.

The Seedling Membership ($39/yr.) includes :

groOrganic Garden Planner
You will receive access to our  groOrganic Garden Planner while a Seedling Association Member. This online Garden Planner helps you grow fruit and vegetables to the best of their ability, whatever the size or shape of your garden or plot. With the groOrganic Garden Planner it is easy to draw out your garden plan and decide how best to plant it. The groOrganic Garden Planner software shows how much space plants require and how to group them for maximum success, removing the need to look up planting distances and crop families. Growing advice is just one click away as you select the plants that you wish to include, enabling you to solve problems and maximize your harvest from the space you have.

If you're planning a garden this year, I strongly urge you to go check out groOrganic's Garden Planner. Whether you're an old hand at gardening or a newbie, this planner will simplify your life. No more drawing out plans, trying to figure out when to plant each thing, how much sun it all needs, and whether you can harvest ans plant something new before autumn. 

For more information email info@groOrganic.com or call 888-9-groOrganic (888-947-6674) or visit their site at groOrganic.com

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1 comments:

princecharmingmyarse said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow! Sounds like a great service! Look forward to seeing how your garden develops!