Planning my CSA Garden with “Mother Earth News”

I’m working on planning my CSA garden. It’s enormous at 160 feet by 30 feet (49.77 m by 9.15 m).  So I didn’t want to plan it all on graph paper. I did that for my Florida garden, and it worked well, but my space was much smaller. Even so, it took two columns on graph paper to fill it in. I went looking for a new solution, and I found “Mother Earth News” Vegetable Garden Planner.

I subscribe to the “Mother Earth News” free email newsletter, and a few weeks ago there was an ad for an app for Apple I Pad garden planner. Last week when I decided to see if they had a version for my Android phone. What I found instead was a full-on garden planner. Since, they’re running a 30-day free trial right now, I decided to give it a shot and convince my husband later that it’s worth the $25/year subscription fee.

Slushy snow falling and gray skies make a good day for INSIDE garden planning

Slushy snow falling and gray skies make a good day for INSIDE garden planning

As it turned out, he wasn’t hard to convince (I haven’t bought it yet though, no sense in letting a free month go to waste).  A few of my favorite features of the program include the number of varieties (around 100 kinds of plants). Even though I buy many of my seeds from Seed Saver’s Exchange and many varieties are considered “rare,” I have been able to find all or nearly all of the exact varieties I’m planting. So the plot doesn’t just say, “tomato,” it says, “Dester Tomato,” or “Moonglow Tomato.” Here’s a screenshot of mine so far:

Garden Plan Screenshot

Mother Earth News Garden Plan Screenshot

One of my other favorite features is the SFG (Square-Foot-Gardening) mode. Now, Mel Bartholomew says that if you’re not using the whole system, it’s not square-foot-gardening,  but we incorporate some of his principles in our gardening (we aren’t big fans of the grow everything together in big rows method). So I split my huge space into three foot wide “rows” and am using square-foot method to fill them in.

My last favorite thing (that I’ll share now), about the program, is the “Plant List.” After you’ve put all the plant pictures, in place. You click the “plant list” button, and it creates a list of your plants by type and variety and will show you how many seeds you need. If they have the information for your variety, it also shows sowing and harvest dates for your hardiness zone. You can click a link to buy seeds from this page also, and if you think you’ll forget to sow them, you can set it up to send you an email reminder to plant.

Plant List screenshot

Plant List screenshot

Here’s a video from their website that showcases what the program does:

In case you wondered this is not an affiliate post.


About Laura Day

I want to be a farmer or a homesteader. Use the word you like... It's an Odyssey trying to get there!
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3 Responses to Planning my CSA Garden with “Mother Earth News”

  1. Carl says:

    As I recall, dear, our graph-paper garden plan filled FOUR columns.
    Great post! How ’bout some screenshots?

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