I've just worked out my entire garden calender for the upcoming year. By following this calender, I should have vegies ready to eat every single month of the year (except when naughty critters get my seedlings). I'm sharing it here for those of you in Melbourne who would like to make use of the dates and details. If you live somewhere else, you can still use this as a base to create your own planting guide.
To use the planting and harvest chart, click on the image below, print it out, and then in the top row of the table, write down which garden bed you will use for each crop. Some of my beds are 1 square metre, others are two - in general I try to plant out one spare metre per month, for my family of three. I'd like more but that's all the space I have.
I sow all my seedlings during the winter / early spring months in a little plastic covered green house. They are cheap to buy/make, and essential, otherwise you won't be able to start your tomatoes in winter. Alternatively you could plant them inside, if you have a sunny North facing window.
I have also made some plastic row covers which I use on my garden beds. I plant out my tomatoes in August, surrounded by spinach, lettuce and baby carrot which will all be finished before the tomatoes take over, and cover the whole bed with a plastic tunnel. If you don't have a tunnel, leave a space for the tomatoes, and plant them in September instead of August. If you don't have tunnels for the summer veg bed and summer vines bed, plant them out in October instead of September.
One more tip: once you've planted your seedlings into the garden, PROTECT THEM! Nets help to ward off birds, chooks, rabbits, possums, rats and other small creatures, and so do plastic greenhouse tunnels. Snails can be a big problem late winter and in Spring. Go out on rainy nights and pick them off. If you can't manage that, use a bait. In autumn, the cabbage moth is my biggest enemy - mosquito netting over the beds will protect from them. Or go out every few days and squish the baby caterpillars and wipe eggs from the back of the brassica leaves.
Once you've worked out where you'll plant everything, the next step is to translate that into individual tasks which you'll put in your diary. The list below shows moon planting dates for the coming year. Click on the image below, print it out, and then transfer the tasks into your diary on the day you plan to do them, so that you will remember to leave time for them - don't book in other appointments for those days if possible. The specified dates are the ideal dates, according to the moon, but if you can't plant on the ideal date, just reschedule for a suitable day around that time.