MOTHER Knows (Garden Planning) Best

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Photo By judywhite/

Are you excited to start planning your vegetable garden for next year? If you’ve been reading Mother Earth News for a while, you know that we’ve developed some exceptional resources to help you grow more of your own food. Here’s a roundup of our key gardening content and digital tools to help you brush up on the basics and discover new ideas.

Crop at a Glance series. Get clear, concise advice on how to grow 51 crops, from classics such as tomatoes to staples such as grains. These guides include cooking suggestions, harvesting tips and organic pest-control advice, in addition to planting and growing basics. We’ve featured a different crop in almost every issue for the past six years, and now you can find all of these growing guides online in A Crop-by-Crop Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables: Our Complete Crops at a Glance Guide.

Garden Know-How series. Learn food-growing essentials from award-winning garden writer Barbara Pleasant. The 27 articles in this series cover everything from weeding, watering and season extension to soil fertility and composting. Find it all online in Organic Gardening Advice: Our Complete Garden Know-How Series.

Garden Insects Guide. Browse Keith Ward’s beautiful illustrations of 29 common garden bugs, together with suggestions on how to cope with the pests and entice the beneficials. (Available online in our Organic Pest Control Series.)

Vegetable Garden Planner. Subscriptions to this highly acclaimed garden-planning software are available for Mac or PC (See The Vegetable Garden Planner). The Planner makes it simple to sketch out your growing areas, add plants and rearrange them to get the perfect layout. After you select the crops you want to grow, the Planner software uses an extensive database of more than 140 crops and nearly 5,000 weather stations to recommend planting times based on average frost dates for your ZIP code.

Seed and Plant Finder. This custom online tool lets you search more than 500 mail-order seed companies and nurseries. If you’re looking online for a specific plant variety or species, find the information you need efficiently with The Seed and Plant Finder.

Seed Company Directory. Great new seed companies are popping up all over these days, and our directory profiles each company and helps you find the ones located near you. New this year: a Google map showing the seed companies’ locations, which is available online in Directory of Companies Offering Mail-Order Seeds and Plants.

With all of these wonderful garden-planning tools, you can turn your dreams into reality in 2014. Here’s to better, easier winter planning, lots of fun with spring planting, and plentiful harvests for all.

P.S. If you don’t have a computer, your local library can help you access our online resources.