Homesteading In The Pacific Northwest

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Five Season Planting Guide...and a Pea Patch Report

I've spent the last few days studying two of Eliot Coleman's books, The Winter Harvest Handbook and Four Season Harvest, and using the information to create a spreadsheet for extended season gardening.  I designed the spreadsheet so that it adjusts for both hours of daylight and temperature and used the season ordinals (Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox) as well as the cross-quarter Celtic Festivals of  Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain as the guides for my planting "seasons". What I ended up with is a "Five Season" Garden; Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter....

Click the spreadsheet photo to go to the real thing in Google docs.

There are two pages; one in order of seed starting date and one in order of planting date. I'm hoping to get some feedback.... Any suggestions for other cold tolerant vegetables that I can add to my list?

And a big thank you to Annie's Granny!  I didn't know I could upload my spreadsheets to Google and share them until I saw it on her blog!

It's been sunny (but cold) here today, so I took the covers off of the pea patch to let the seedlings breathe a bit.

The peas are coming along nicely; the first ones I planted are almost six inches tall!  It's been getting quite cold at night so I added another layer of insulation to the bed...

 I'm not using hoops to hold the row cover material up...just a few sticks, so it's more like a tent, but it's working fine; the peas seem quite happy.  It's going to get cold again tonight so I closed up the covers early to let the sun warm it up again before sunset....

I'm still keeping a 40 watt light going under the hoops to warm things up a bit more at night...


Deb Fitz


  1. Pak Choi & Collards are great. I don't remember if you had any Kale on your list.

    Boy, your peas are looking good. What zone are you in??

  2. I'm in zone 8b. We never get much below 20 degrees, so I can keep things warm enough with hoops and row covers. I grow several different pac chois...I lump them all together as Asian greens.

  3. Just wanted to say that i like your planting spreadsheet very much.

    I'm secretly hoping you'll decide you need a harvest spreadsheet next ; )