Once you have a plan, if you want to keep things simple, you need a schedule to inform you when to plant your various crops. Once you have your garden plan all written out, the schedule will seem easy in comparison.
You need two tools for this step: a calendar of some sort, as well as a book or website that lists common backyard crops and the range of dates you have to plant each one. Do an online search for “when to plant vegetables in [your state, province, region or country].” When you do, you may have to determine as well which growing zone you are in, as some areas are large enough to have two or more zones. For example, in Texas you could be in either zone 8, 9 or 10, and each zone has its own planting date guidelines.
Jot down a list of the crops you plan to plant, and next to them, the planting dates. I spread mine out so that I do a little planting several days a week, instead of trying to do it all in one day. For instance, if the spring planting dates for both broccoli and cabbage are February 7 through March 14, I might schedule four different broccoli plantings on February 7, 11, 16 and 20; then schedule the cabbage plantings in between those days.
Part of writing out a schedule is planning succession plantings, which I recommend. Succession planting is when you plant a particular crop a little bit at a time over a period of several weeks, instead of planting it all at once and having to harvest it all at once.
Green beans are notorious for causing tons of back-breaking harvest work, because one plant can be very prolific and if you have twenty bursting with maturing beans all at once, you are in for a lot of work – and canning or freezing, because you won’t possibly be able to eat them all at once.
So you could plant five bean plants every Friday, four Fridays in a row, and thus be able to spread out your harvest some. Peas, lettuce, and other greens also lend themselves easily to a succession planting schedule.
Keep your vegetable garden plan and your planting schedule together – if they are in the same form (digital or paper) – and get in the habit of checking the schedule every day a couple of weeks before you actually start planting, so you will be less likely to forget when planting time comes around.
P.S. – If you liked this article, please share it using the share bar above. And if you need a roadmap to get a successful garden going, be sure not to miss my e-book, How To Grow Vegetables Without Losing Your Mind.