When I work in my garden, fond memories of working with my father when I was a child always come back to me. I was in awe of his gardening knowledge and would often wonder how he knew so much about the plants he put in the soil. One distinct memory is of him planting garden seeds without a guide. My father would buy seeds in bulk at the nearest “Feed n Seed” or farm store, which after being weighed, were placed in labeled paper bags. These bags had no planting instructions printed on them, but my father always knew the correct depth placement for the variety of seed, plus how far apart each row should be. I had not realized it at the time, buy my father was a seasoned gardener; he knew from gardening experience how to plant garden seeds and plants. If he were trying a new vegetable that he had not planted before, he would look through one of his gardening books (no Internet back then), and look up the planting and care instructions for it.
Today, if seed packets do not have printed instructions on them, they are accompanied by a printed planting guide. I have used these on plants I was not familiar with, but they are often hard to read, will blow away when using them in the garden, and become dirty and sometimes wet.
A small, printed planting guide, which has been laminated or put in a sheet protector, can help a gardener get their seeds or seedlings accurately planted in order to produce high yields. These can be easily made and easily carried. If they become wet or dirty, they can be wiped clean, in addition you can make one that you can read (large font). It also helps to have your seed and plant list alphabetized.
Some standard vegetables you might want to include on your laminated planting guide are:
- Beans (snap or bush), six seeds sown per foot, in rows one and one-half to two feet apart.
- Carrots, 15 to 20 seeds sown per foot, thinned to one or two inches apart, in rows one to one and one-half feet apart.
- Cucumber, three to four seeds sown per hill, hills three to four feet apart.
- Onions, 10 to 15 seeds sown per foot, thinned to two or three inches apart, in rows one to one and one-half feet apart.
- Onions(sets), two to five inches between sets, in rows one to one and one-half feet apart.
- Peas, 10 to 12 seeds sown per foot, in rows one and one-half to two feet apart.
- Radish, 10 to 15 seeds sown per foot, thinned to one-half or one inch apart, in rows one to one and one-half feet apart.
- Tomato, six to eight seeds sown per foot, seedlings spaced one and one-half to three feet apart, in rows three to four feet apart.