Spring Garden Planning

As the freezing rain pelts against my window and the world is covered in snow, I’m starting to plan my spring planting in the garden.

I know the basics of crop rotation, ie. don’t plant the same thing in the same spot year after year, but I needed to look into it in a more practical way. I found this awesome post about the different types of crops and where to plant each year, so I thought I’d share the knowledge with you.

Vegetable Plant Families:

I found this picture online. It’s not mine (clearly), but I love that the internet can give you anything you want- even “vegetable stick figure family” results!

Tomato Family: Tomato, Eggplant, Peppers, Potatoes

The Tomato Family are heavy feeders. Plant after Grass Family, follow with Bean Family.

Bean Family: Beans, Peas, Southern Peas, Jicama, Peanuts

The Bean Family enrich the soil and add nitrogen. Plant before or after any crop.

Squash Family: Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Pumpkins, Gourds, Cucumbers, Melons

The Squash Family are heavy feeders. Plant after Grass Family, follow with Bean Family.

Cabbage Family: Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Collards, Turnips, Radishes

The Cabbage Family like nitrogen rich soils. Plant after the Bean Family, follow with a cover crop like clover, or allow to go fallow for a season.

Onion Family: Garlic, Onion, Leeks, Shallots, Rhubarb, Jerusalem Artichokes

The Onion Family are light feeders. You can plant them after heavy feeders, but follow the next season with the Bean Family.

Lettuce Family: Lettuce, Chicory, Artichokes

The Lettuce Family are heavy feeders. Plant after the Grass Family, follow with Bean Family.

Grass Family: Corn, Oats, Rye, Wheat

The Grass Family are light feeders and are good t plant after any crop, follow with Tomato Family or Squash Family.

Carrot Family: Carrot, Celery, Anise, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Parsley

The Carrot Family are light to medium feeders. Can be planted after any crop., follow with Bean or Onion Family.

Beet Family: Beets, Spinach, Swiss Chard

The Beet Family are heavy feeders. Plant after Grass Family and follow with Bean Family.


So, to start off I went through my Garden Map from last season, and I figured out which Family was in each box. Then I figures out which Family should go into each box this season. Then I made a list of everything I wanted to plant this year, and what Family each was in. Then I was able to map out what to plant in each garden bed for this season.

Homestead (1)
This is what our garden beds look like.

box gardens

Last year we tried a little of EVERYTHING and it was awesome but also not great. I learned that it’s hard to be an expert in so many single types of vegetables, and that you don’t get the best yield of any of it that way. We also ran out of the vegetables we like the best (some didn’t even make it in the house, but were totally consumed right off the plant) and we had nothing to do with the things we didn’t like. This season I’m focusing on planting less variety and more of the things we like. Hopefully I’ll have a LOT more to blanch and freeze this year for the winter!

I hope this list of “families” helps you plan for your summer garden as much as it helped me! Below is a link to my Garden Map, if you’re interested, lol.

Garden Map- 2016


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