I spent a week in January 2023 holed up in a cabin deep in the snow near the St Lawrence Seaway, going through all the monthly planting information Caren had given us when we took over, as well as a milkcrate full of gardening books, and compiling it all into a massive spreadsheet. I love a research project, so I had a lot of fun with it, and took the opportunity to expand both the monthly gardening activities and the monthly planting lists.

Caren is an experienced long season grower and based the original calendar on that, but I’ve done most of my farming places where the growing season was short to medium-short to medium-long (upstate New York, western PA, northern NM, and western NC) so I was excited to fine-tune her existing activity lists for the Short and Medium Season calendars to work better for northern and mountain growers, and to add those tasks (like getting ready for sugaring season!) that you only get to do where it gets good n cold.

On the other side of things, I noticed that many of our customers are growing where there’s no frost at all—Bermuda, the Gulf Coast, even as far south as Costa Rica—so I updated the Long Season recommendations to include all of you growing where it’s frost free all year round.

For the planting lists, we’ve added new crops (including amaranth/callaloo, saffron, and peanuts, among others) and have reorganized the planting lists. Instead of Vegetables and Flowers, with the Flowers further divided into Annuals and Perennials, we now have Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers.

Because our customers span the entire continent, and because we know that different plants may be annuals one place and perennials somewhere else—and indeed, that different varieties of the same plant can have different growth habits—we’re no longer categorizing them as annuals/perennials/biennials. Some of the flower species, like calendula, have been pulled from the Flower list and moved over to Herbs, and we fixed some doubles (where both the common and Latin names were listed) but nothing has been removed from the planting lists.

Some of our customers are helpful enough to write in to tell us how planting at different times has worked for them, and I incorporated their feedback along with the information in my books and recommended planting times from regional seed companies to make the spreadsheets which became our new and improved monthly planting lists. My thanks goes out to every customer who takes the time to write in with your feedback—no matter how you get in touch, whether it’s good feedback or bad, we read everything. I was Caren’s customer for years before I ever dreamed of publishing anything myself, so providing a good experience to the community of gardeners & farmers who buy and use the calendar is really important to me personally.

Happy Gardening~