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									                        PLANNING TO PLANT
1. PLANT SEASONS, part 1
Different plants grow in different climates all around the world. For example, some
plants, like mango; avocado; and orange are plants that only grow in very warm climates
closer to the equator. In Vancouver, we can eat these fruits all year round because they
are shipped to us from countries around the world by land, sea or air (truck/train, ship,
plane). We usually cannot grow them, however, because they require a longer growing
season than we have in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and cannot survive our
cold season.

THINK: What other plants (fruits) that we eat grow in tropical climates?

Plants which grow further from the equator or at higher elevations generally don’t grow
well in very hot climates. Blueberries, radishes, and spinach, for example, like cooler
weather. Even in mild or temperate climates, if the summer gets too hot, these plants do
not grow well. It is important to find out what weather is best for a plant and to provide
the conditions to help it grow well.

The ecosystem where British Columbia´s Lower Mainland is located is called a
temperate rainforest. This means that the weather is moderate or “tempered”, with
summers not getting too hot and the winters not getting too cold because we are close to
the ocean. Also, this region receives 1-5 meters of rainfall each year. To put this in
perspective, imagine taking the roof off of a classroom and letting the rain fill it up.
Depending on the exact location along coastal BC, the water in the classroom would be
over the average student’s head and could even be overflowing the tops of the walls!
Because of these factors, Vancouver rarely freezes hard or has prolonged droughts, so
many plants can grow here all year round. Native plants, like salmonberry; fiddlehead
fern; salal; and thimbleberry each have a season in which they can be eaten during the
spring and summer.

THINK: What other native plants grow in the Lower Mainland?

Because there are fewer edible plants available in the wintertime, we dry (like dried
beans and fruits), can (like jams, pickles, and canned fish and meat), freeze, or store
hardy crops in cool storage (like apples and potatoes) so that our food lasts through the
winter. Before airplanes, ships, and trucks brought food from all over the world to our
supermarkets, nearly everyone had to preserve their summer foods to last them through
the winter.

On farms and in gardens in the Lower Mainland, we grow many plants that are not native
to our region, but grow well in our climate if we plant them in the right season and
provide the right conditions of water, light, and soil nutrients.

THINK: Look at the front of the seed catalog to find the planting season chart.
   o What are the first seeds we can plant? List them here.
   o What are the first plants we can harvest?
   o Where should we start them (outside or in the greenhouse)?
   o Explain how you found this information.
  The goal of this next section is to guide you through designing and planting your
                                       garden bed.

1. PLANT SEASONS, part 2
THINK: As you read the following passage, underline the crops you can PLANT (or
transplant) and circle the crops you can HARVEST in each season.

Fall (late September-mid November): We harvest the ripe fruits/vegetables that have
been maturing all summer. Some of these include onions, carrots, beets, potatoes,
pumpkins, and other squash. Before the first frost we can also plant root crops, like
beets; carrots; and turnips that we may keep in the ground and harvest throughout the
cooler months to have fresh vegetables. In the fall we also plant garlic cloves that will
grow into whole heads of garlic for the following year.

Late fall and winter (late November-mid February): We let the soil rest by planting
cover crop, adding mulch, and harvesting the cold hardy crops such as sunchokes, other
root vegetables and members of the Brassica family (kale, chard, broccoli, cauliflower,
and cabbage) that are continuing to produce leaves and stems, and even some buds.

Late winter and early spring (late February-March): We can plant cold-hardy
vegetables that take more than one season to grow. Radishes, spinach, and arugula are
tolerant of the cooler weather and can be transplanted into the garden at this time. Some
peas and beans can also be planted. They will continue to grow into the spring and early
summer. Potted seedlings and cuttings (sections of plant stem that will grow into new
plants) can be transplanted into the ground at this time of year because they do not have
as many leaves and can build more roots before the spring when they will need water
from the roots to maintain their new leaves.

Spring (late March-mid June): We can plant the majority of our garden in the spring.
Seedlings started in the spring will grow and mature over the warmer summer months to
be harvested as they mature. Since our climate is moderate, we can grow plants from
both cool and warm climates by starting seedlings in the right conditions at the right time.

Many of the seeds can be sown (planted) directly in the garden beds following the
planting chart in the front of the seed catalogue. These seeds will germinate (sprout) at
lower soil temperatures and mature quickly enough over the summer to produce food for
us to eat.

THINK—Look in the front of the seed catalogue to find plants that can be started outside
in the springtime. Which ones can be harvested in the spring?

Plants from warmer climates need a bit of help in order to successfully germinate and
produce fruit. If we wait until the weather warms up to plant these “warm weather”
seeds, they will not have time to grow and produce fruit before the weather becomes cold
again. For this reason, some of our plants, such as squash and herbs, should be sown in
pots inside the greenhouse where it is warmer. Once these seedlings (young plants) have
their first leaves and are healthy, we can transplant them into the soil in our garden beds.
Summer (late June-mid September): Over the summer Hannah and others care for and
harvest from all the seedlings we planted in the spring. This includes watering as well as
weeding, thinning, and pruning. Many of the more delicate fruits/vegetables such as
strawberries, raspberries, lettuce, beans, and peas are harvested almost daily. Mid
summer (July in Vancouver) is also the time to start planting some of the cooler season
crops for a fall/winter garden. Planting in the warmer summer months means that the
plants will grow large enough before the weather cools off that they can produce food
into the fall and winter when their growth slows down. Peas planted at this time can be
harvested in September or October. Brassica species (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, chard,
and, cabbage) planted now, can be harvested next spring (March or April).

**CREATE: In your Farm Friend groups, put your names on a sheet of
paper and make 3 columns. Label them ¨A¨, ¨B¨, and ¨C¨. Create the
following three lists:
    o A list: Select (list) at least 6 vegetables varieties you can plant and
      harvest between February and June.
    o B list: Select 6 vegetable varieties you can plant in spring (March-
      June) that will be ready to harvest after June.
    o C list: Select 6 vegetable varieties that you can plant in the summer
      (June and August) for a fall/winter (September-November) harvest.
TO PLAN AHEAD), part 1
The plants that we identify as fruits and vegetables have their own unique roots,
stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds, which means that each plant grows to a different
size and shape.
In our gardens we will grow root, shoot, and fruit crops.
Small root crops, such as beets and radishes can be planted relatively close together,
approximately a hand-width apart. The leaves that you see above the ground are
approximately the same size as the root crop underground (not very big!).

Shoot crops are crops where we eat the stems and/or leaves. They include everything
from baby lettuce leaves to (much larger) broccoli florets. For this reason, some can be
planted closely, and others need much more space. When planted close together (2 finger
widths), baby lettuce greens will form small, tender leaves. The same variety spaced
farther apart (2 hand widths) will develop into large heads like we see in the store.

Most fruit crops can produce many fruits and may grow to be quite large. Some grow tall
and narrow while others may spread out and take up much of your garden space. Pole
beans for example, require a trellis (or network of sticks and/or strings to climb on),
while bush beans are support their own weight but may spread out. Squash plants like
zucchini and pumpkins may also grow to be quite large (1 or more meters in diameter)!

Once we know what plants we would like to grow in our garden, it is important to know
how big they will grow to be when they are mature to allow sufficient space for them. If
we plant too many seeds in our gardens or plant our seeds too close together, the plants
will not have room to grow. As a plant grows it needs to absorb
     sunlight through its leaves
     water through its roots
     nutrients through its roots
If plants are too close together, they will compete for the things they need to grow and
not be as healthy as they should be.

**DO—For each person in your group: Choose a crop (root, shoot, fruit, or
seed) that you from your ¨A¨ list. Look it up (in the West Coast Seed
Catalogue, the internet {try,},
a seed package, or a book/encyclopedia) to find a picture of the mature plant.
About how big will the plant be when fully grown? How far apart do you
think the seeds will have to be planted?

**CREATE— Title the back side of your group´s paper, ¨Seeds¨. Now
write down all of the crops you would like to have in your garden so far.
Skip a line after each crop.
Often plant size/seed spacing information can be found on seed packets. Generally,
seed packet labels include:

      Common plant name and the botanical name name (in parentheses).
      Spacing and depth: how deep to place the seeds in the soil, how much space between
       plants (from one row to the other one and from one plant to the other one in the same
       row). **NOTE: Some seeds (like carrots) can be planted very close together (sprinkled
       lightly) and then thinned by removing smaller plants once they have reached a healthy
       size. The spacing that is most important would be the spacing of thinned plants (for
       example, ¨Thin to 2 inches¨).
      Height: approximate height the plant will reach when mature.
      Soil: type of soil the plant prefers.
      Water: how much water the plant needs to thrive and how to water.
      Sun: full direct sunlight, partial sun, diffused sunlight, or grows well in the shade.
      Door and temperature: if the plant is best suited for growing Indoor, Outdoor or Both.
      Live: Perrenial (living for 2 or more years) or annual (living and dying in one year).
      Planting, germination and harvest period: The date(s) or season to plant and harvest.

**DO—If you can, find the seed package for the plant you have chosen.
This information can often be found in seed catalog and gardening websites,
as well. You might try or
How far apart do the seeds or seedlings need to be planted? Were you

**CREATE—Next to each crop on your ¨Seeds¨ list, write down the seed

**CREATE—One row in your bed is approximately 30 inches long. How
many seeds can you plant in one row? Divide 30 by the number of inches
between plants. (For example, if the spacing is 1 inch apart, you can plant
30 seeds in each row. If the spacing is 2 inches apart, you can plant 15 seeds
in each row. If the spacing is 3 inches apart, you can plant 10 seeds in each
row.) Write the number of seeds you will need for one row on your ¨Seeds¨
page next to the crop you chose. Each person in your group will need to do

All plants need sunlight to make energy and grow. It is important to design our
garden beds so that all plants have access the sunlight they need. Some plants are very
tall, like corn; some are bushy, like squash. We do not want these big plants to block out
the sunlight for the smaller plants. For this reason, we plant our gardens so that big and
tall plants are farthest away from the sun’s rays. Since the sun appears to us in the
southern part of the sky, we usually plant big tall plants on the north side of the bed.

**DO—Look at your group´s list of plants and put an ¨N¨ next to any really
large ones that should go on the north side of your bed.
Plants, like animals, can either help or hinder each other as they grow. Each type of
plant needs specific amounts of nutrients and conditions to grow and produce fruit.
Small animals may prefer to eat one type of plant, sometimes becoming a pest to that
plant so that it does not grow well. Some plants produce odours that might attract helpful
animals (such as bees, worms, or spiders) or repel harmful insects (such as wireworms
and cut worms). When we plant two or more plants near each other so that they help one
another grow or produce fruit, this is called companion planting. Companion is another
word for friend, or someone who helps you out.

The Three Sisters Garden is an example of traditional companion planting or plant
pairing that we will try this year in the Landed Learning Garden. The Three Sisters
Garden consists of corn, beans, and squash. Many First Nations people throughout
North America have traditionally planted these three plants together because they grow
so well together and provide many nutrients that keep people healthy. Corn grows on
strong, tall stalks that provide a pole for the bean plants to climb. The beans have special
bacteria on their roots that help ¨fix¨ nitrogen in the soil that other plants use. The squash
have large leaves that cover the ground, blocking out sunlight which help keep weeds
from growing and keep moisture from escaping the soil.

If you have time you can try the Three Sisters Web Quest
Diversity, or planting a wide variety of plants, is important for the health of gardens
because it helps to ensure that even if a garden pest attacks one crop, the garden will still
be productive in others. Different plants draw different amounts of nutrients from the
soil. If the same crop is grown in the soil year after year, the soil will be drained of
nutrients, creating imbalance in soil nutrients. Crop rotation, or growing crops in
different parts of the garden each year, keeps the soil nutrients from being depleted, or
drained. It also prevents pests from attacking the same crop every year.

**THINK and DO—Look at the ¨Vegetable Companion Chart¨. Find 3 or
more plants that grow well together. Add these plants to your ¨Seeds¨ list.
Now look through your list and see if any of them are ¨Bad Companions¨.
Put an ¨X¨ by any plants that you should be careful about putting next to
each other or make a note of this at the bottom of your page.
                       Vegetable Companion Chart

    Plant                  Good Companions
Basil        Pepper, Tomato, Marigold
             Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn,
Bush Beans   Cucumbers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pea, Radish,              Onion
             Strawberry, Savory, Tansy, Marigold
             Carrots, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce, Pea,
Pole Beans                                                           Beets, Onion
             Radish, Savory, Tansy
Beets        Bush Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Sage
Cabbage      Bush Beans, Beets, Celery, Onions, Tomato, All
Family       Strong Herbs, Marigold, Nasturtium
             Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Peas,
Carrots                                                              Dill
             Radish, Tomato, Sage
Celery       Bush Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Spinach, Tomato
             Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Cucumber, Melons,
Corn                                                                 Tomato
             Peas, Squash
             Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Corn, Lettuce, Onions,
Cucumbers                                                            No Strong Herbs
             Peas, Radish, Marigold, Nasturtium, Savory
Eggplant     Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Spinach
             Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumbers,
             Onion, Radish, Strawberries
Melons       Corn, Nasturtium, Radish
             Beets, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber,
                                                                     Bush Beans, Pole
Onion        Lettuce, Pepper, Squash, Strawberries, Tomato,
                                                                     Beans, Peas
Parsley      Tomato
             Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Corn
Peas                                                                 Onion
             Cucumber, Radish, Turnips
Pepper       Onion
             Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber,
Radish                                                               Hyssop
             Lettuce, Melons, Peas, Squash
Spinach      Celery, Eggplant, Cauliflower
Squash       Corn, Onion, Radish
Strawberry   Bush Beans, Lettuce, Onion, Spinach                     Cabbage
Tomato       Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Onion, Mint                   Corn, Fennel
Gardens can be designed to be beautiful as well as productive. When you plan your
garden, you may want plants with a variety of growth forms, colours, and textures. A
mixture of different plants and colors provides a balance of different types of food and
nutrients to keep us healthy. It also helps keep the plants health by ensuring that they are
genetically diverse and not all susceptible to the same disease (for an example, look up
¨Potato Famine¨).

As you choose and place plants within your garden visualize contrasting varieties (such
as a red leaf lettuce highlighted against a green leaf lettuce background) next to each
other. The colors and growth forms can be arranged in the rows to create shapes or
patterns in your garden beds. For an example, find the lettuce checkerboard in the
greenhouse! Diversity makes our gardens and dinner plates attractive and healthy.

As you read through the West Coast Seed catalogue descriptions and look at the pictures,
think about how each plant will look with respect to the following plant characteristics:

Growth form: small, large, head (lettuce), upright, trailing, climbing
Leaf Shape: smooth, ruffled, feathery, divided, basil rosette
Leaf surface: shiny, dull,
Color: greens, reds, yellow, purples, whites, shading, variegation,

**THINK—Choose 4 of the above plant characteristics that you would like
to have in your bed. Look through a West Coast Seed Catalogue to find
plants with these different plant characteristics. Add these 4 plants to your
¨Seeds¨ list. Remember to skip a line after each.

**THINK—Look at the document Planting Selections for Landed Learning
Garden Beds. For each person in your group, choose one of the crops on
your list (ex. Carrots) and search for it in this document. Find the names of
the different varieties of these plants that you can grow (ex. Carrot varieties:
Campestra, Dragon Carrot, Healthmaster, Nelson) and look them up in the
West Coast Seeds Catalogue. How are they different? Which two would
you most like to have in your garden? Why? Write these names on your
¨Seeds¨ list on the line below the name of the crop.

REDS—nasturtiums, sunflowers, chard, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage
ORANGES—nasturtiums, sunflowers, chard
YELLOWS—nasturtiums, sunflowers, chard, squash, corn
GREENS—lettuces, spinach, kale, sunflowers, fennel, basil, carrots, beets, squash,
potatoes, broccoli
BLUE—kale, bachelor buttons, broccoli
PURPLE—kale, bachelor buttons, cabbage
WHITE—cauliflower, bachelor buttons, chard
Planting in raised beds
         We like to plant our beds more densely than a traditional farm might because we
work in raised beds we do not need to walk between the rows to weed so this is extra
space we can use for planting. The best way to do this is to bring the rows closer together
than the seed packet recommends while maintaining the spacing between the plants
called for in the catalogue. Just be sure to keep in mind the mature plant size if you
decide to be space efficient (spacing around all plants should be at least what is called for
in the within row spacing guide). Another way to save space is to grow fast and slow
maturing plants together such that the one that matures fastest is harvested leaving room
for the slower growing ones to “fill in” the gap. Lettuce and Brassica species work well
for this type of companion planting.

 Other information to make harvesting and caring for your bed after you are done
    o Plant in rows even if you mix varieties within the rows to make designs (easier to
    o Avoid mixing pea varieties in the same garden bed (they grow together and it is
        difficult to distinguish between shelling and snap peas later in the season)
    o Plant trailing plants (like pumpkins) on the edge of your bed (they help keep
        weeds out of the isles later)
    o Try not to planting tall, bushy plants in front of sprinkler heads (prevents the rest
        of the bed from getting water)

                             Designing your garden bed
   1. Choose the fruits and vegetables you would like to grow this year using the list of
      available seeds and the seed catalogue.
          a. Using your ¨A¨ list and your ¨Seeds¨ list, select at least 10 fruit/vegetable
              varieties you can plant in the early spring and harvest in the early summer
              (February through June). The vegetables may be varieties of the same
              basic vegetable. Using lettuce as an example, you could plant Green
              Simpson, Romaine, and Red Oak Leaf. You may use the seed catalog to
              add to your list if you would like. Circle or highlight these 10 varieties in
          b. Select 5 fruit/vegetable varieties you can plant in spring that will be ready
              to harvest in the summer and/or autumn. Circle or highlight these 5
              varieties in yellow.
   2. Place an ¨N¨ by all of the large ones that will need to be placed on the north side
      of the bed so as not to shade the other plants.
   3. Select at least 3 companion plants that you will plant together.
   4. Review your list making sure you have at least 2 varieties of one of the vegetables
      you have chosen.
   5. Turn to the bed diagram page and begin placing plants from your list onto the
      scale diagram of your bed.
   6. Once you and your farm friend are satisfied with the rough draft garden design,
      make a good copy of the scale diagram.
                            Your planting plan
1. Working from your list of plants and the planting chart in the beginning of the
   seed catalogue, determine when you will need to plant each of the seeds you want
   to grow.
2. List up to ten different types of seeds on the Seed Request form for each visit.
3. Record how many rows or partial rows (30 inch equivalents) you want to plant
   each visit

             **Turn in your garden bed design and your seed request.
Garden Bed Plan for                                                   .

1 Square = 6 inches (approx 1 row width for most spring vegetables)
Seed Requests for ___________________________________

Visit 4                   #    Visit 5                    #   Visit 6                  #

Visit 7                   #    Visit 8                    #   Visit 9                  #

Visit 10                  #    Visit 11                   #   Visit 12                 #

# = the number of rows you are planning to plant for the type of seed on that visit.

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