Planning the Garden for 2015

by Jason on January 1, 2015

Air-MagsHappy New Year! Hard to believe that 2015 is already upon us. It feels like just yesterday that I was watching “Back to the Future 2” in movie theatres, looking forward to this day of flying cars, auto-lacing shoes, hover crafts and self-drying jackets.

Guess, I still have some waiting to do – but who knows what technology will bring in the next 25 years (fingers crossed).

Today’s post is somewhat technology themed because I’ll be revealing my latest venture in application development as it relates to gardening.

As you probably know by now, I live in New York state. My particular location in New York falls into a zone 6 for gardens.

Your garden zone is an indication of your lowest temperatures in terms of frost and also allows you to determining an approximation as to when your last chances of frost occur in the spring. This directly relates to when your planting should begin.

Being that it’s January 1st today, I’ve got about 3 months before my seeds can go in the ground. Seems like an eternity right now, but I know that Spring always creeps up before you know it.

IMG_0620So, standing in my kitchen this morning and overlooking my frosted over garden led to some inspiration for planning next year’s crops.

The garden has come a long way this year as I’ve finally put in my long aspired perimeter fence.

This year, I can plan my sowing more freely without worrying about the deer and not needing to enclose each garden box in the confining PVC fences I had constructed earlier.

Here’s a breakdown below of how and what I will be planting in the Spring of 2015. I haven’t been documenting my crop rotation over the years, so you’ll have to just take my word for it that none of the crops planned below have been sowed in their designated boxes for at least two years. Remember, crop rotation is an important factor to abide by if you want to have greater harvest yields and the least possible amount of pest or disease interference.


You may notice immediately that I’ve only specified 6 boxes in the diagram above, whereas the actual picture of my garden shows 8 boxes. That’s because this Spring, I’ll be ripping out that front row and replacing the two boxes with cedar to match the other ones.

This diagram was initially sketched on a napkin while drinking my morning cup of coffee. As I began to think through the process of what to plan where (following the rules of crop rotation) and when I need to plan each seed (based on my current location’s zone), it occurred to me that I could save a lot of other people the trouble of figuring all these things out by just creating a relatively simple app to do all the calculation for you.

This app will be a garden planning app and I will spend 2015 putting it together.

The basic idea is that you simply choose the crops you want to grow and by simply entering in your location (or using the auto locator on a phone app), you are told when to plant. The app can also keep a record of the locations you’re planting in so it can automatically monitor your crop rotation for you.

Initially, the layouts of the app will by relatively simple (either rows or boxes). You will only have two choices for your garden layout to begin with. However, I can eventually program the concept of succession planting into the app so the app can make suggestions based on your zone to give you the greatest harvesting reward for your current planting space.

This app, although simple from the end user interface, will have significant calculation on the backend if I start incorporating things like planting distance recommendations per crop. So, initially I will build this out to simply suggest planting times based on your zone. This will be the first iteration of the app.

I’ll be sure to update this site as the application comes along.

Until then, happy garden planning and I hope the New Year fills your life with newfound health, wealth and love.

Warm Regards,

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Ah, the end of Summer! I know some people get bummed out about the last days of August but I, myself, am a BIG fan of the Fall. There are still plenty of garden crops to be harvested and nighttime campfires become more and more cozy with every passing dusk.

In this video, I feature our Landmann Moon & Stars fire pit. We’ve had it about a year now and I couldn’t be happier with the added campfire fun it’s added to our family life.

My kids adore roasting marshmallows and my wife and I find it so relaxing to sip a glass of wine under the night sky and get away from all the distractions of life.

Seriously, if your family needs a break from the smart phones, tv, computer or just the endless noise of daily stress, I highly recommend you pick up this fire pit.


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