My Fall garden planting is getting ready to be in full swing. I like to plant my tomatoes first because they are the most sensitive to the cold, so I want to get them started as early as possible. Last year in North Central Florida we had temps close to freezing around October 27th (it's a global warming problem)! So I started about 15 varieties of tomatoes inside around July 28th, and they're now ready to be planted outside. I've since started some eggplant & peppers, as they're also warm weather veggies. Here's a map of my garden and where I plan to plant with a picture from the roof to compare:
I number each raised bed so I can keep track of where I plant each season. Here's my notes from this past summer season:
As you can see, the page that's above left I have box #5 where I planted 4 varieties of beans on April 2, 2009. On the above right page I've listed 2 raised beds, #8 & #4, which I used to plant tomatoes on 3/27/09 and 4/1/09. I use abbreviations as a shortcut but I usually list all names with abbreviations on another page so I can check their names in case I forget. A few on this page: BSM= Black Sea Man , BK= Black Krim, Isis= Isis Candy (cherry tomato), EG= Early Girl, etc. My wife calls this Man Organizing. Simple and to the point. I know what, where, when and which direction (the word house tells me which way the box faces) as well as a documented history to help me plant the next season.
So now I'm on the doorstep of the 2009 Fall garden. My tomatoes are going in the ground while it's still warm and my cold veggies will be coming soon. The above map shows my ideas on what and where I'm going to plant with considerations to a few things. One is rotation. I always rotate, but it can be a challenge because I plant so many Nightshade veggies. The other issue is shade. Looking at the map, box #11 is north, #13 is west, #3 east and #8 south. During the summer the north end gets shady as the season nears mid-June. During the fall the south end gets shady as we near mid-December. If you look at the overhead picture above, which was taken mid-winter, you'll notice the south-east corner has no plants, but the north side has a bunch. So I try to plan accordingly.