Planning Your Garden in the New Year | Clay County Master Gardners

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By: Karen Yesnosky
Yes, it’s cold. Much less happening in the garden. But it’s also a reflective time of year, and this is the best time of year to evaluate and plan. Think about what went well in 2022, and what you want to work on or change. What piques your palate, and how can you help those plants to thrive? The NC Extension website has lots of videos about common vegetables grown in North Carolina with tips for success. Alternatively, was there anything you grew that seemed like too much work, or that you want to take a break from this year?
Try planning this year for a continuous harvest of fresh, tasty, homegrown produce rather than have all of your tomatoes or cucumbers or squash or whatever ripen at the same time. Draw out your garden with measurements for how much room you have in each planting area. You may want to rotate where you plant crops in 2023, in different spots in your garden. Based on sun and shade, plant height, and how much you want of each plant, you can draw out a chart of what you want to plant in spring, summer and fall. Determine which vegetables you want to succession plan—stagger when you plant seeds or transplants outside by a few weeks each cycle, for continuous availability during the grow time for that plant. Remember to plan for times when you might be away on vacation.
A diagram of a garden, where specific plants are separated into rows.
Did you know you there are plants you can actively grow now in our zone 6B? With the help of row covers and cold frames, here are some things that you can eat from the North Carolina garden:
  • arugula
  • Asian greens
  • carrots
  • collards
  • Egyptian onions
  • kale
  • leeks
  • lettuce
  • mustards
  • spinach
  • turnips
This content is derived from the book “Grow Great Vegetables – North Carolina” by Ira Wallace.