Backwards isn't exactly a gardening word, but planting backwards can make you look like an amazing gardener!
How many times have you been preparing a special meal and thought to yourself, "I wish those carrots/beets/whatever were ripe!" Or, when searching for that just right gift for a friend or co-worker, when a miniature herb garden or window box would have been perfect, but there isn't enough time? This is what planting backwards is all about.
We gardeners are an idealistic group. We look to the future each time we plant a seed. You can do the same thing by looking ahead for when you will want or need certain plants and sow accordingly.
To be ready for upcoming holiday meals, make a list of all the garden edibles and ornamentals you will want to have at hand. Beets, carrots, sage, cilantro, onions, parsley, sweet potatoes, green beans, potatoes, garlic, chives, radishes, and pumpkins are just a few holiday dinner staples that you can grow for yourself with just a little pre-planning. Simply count backwards, using the days to maturity for each plant species, from the date you will want to harvest, and plant accordingly. This information is found on seed packets, and you can always look it up online. Of course, we all know that natural processes can be fickle. You may want to give your seeds an extra few days, or even a week or two, and you may want to add a few latecomers, just in case.
Remember that determinant species are more likely to produce a useful harvest within a specific number of days, while indeterminate species will spread out their harvest over a wider period. And you can trick those bulbs into flowering at odds times of the year by chilling them in the refrigerator for a spell. Each species has its out chilling requirements, so be sure to do your homework. And put all those extra seeds to good use!
Don't run out of fresh produce or flowers when you know ahead of time that you are going to need them. Instead, plan ahead by counting backwards!
I hope this information inspires you to grow more of your own food. You can ask your garden questions on my Home page.