Last year's blueprint was studied, to remind myself what I planted and where it was planted.
I decided what I did NOT want to plant this year: broccoli (takes up to much room for what it produces, pest-ridden), tomatillos (huge plants, lots of fruit, but nothing ever came to maturity), potatoes (fun to grow, but had brown spots inside; sitting this year out for potatoes), less basil, no radishes (kids aren't wild about them), fewer jalapenos and bell peppers, and fewer varieties of tomatoes.
I also worked out the plan for crop rotation for soil health and pest control.
Then I sat down with my gardening journal (to see the notes I made about last year's garden), and with this year's Seed Saver's Exchange catalog, and began to comprise the list of crops we will plant this year.
This is what we're planting, with a few notes made for interesting seeds:
green beans (Kentucky Wonder)
carrots (Scarlet Nantes - long story why we didn't get a better crop of these last year, but the ones we got were the best carrots I've ever eaten!) - planting LOTS of them this year! - are said to freeze well.
cucumbers - (Bushy for pickling, and Parade for eating -- both Russian varieties, because I've discovered that if it grows well in Russia, it will grow well in New England...haha!)
garlic - already planted and currently hibernating
pumpkins - (Jack-be-Littles for decorating; Boston Marrow for pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread; Cornfield Pumpkin for carving)
lettuces - (three varieties)
onions (red and yellow...lots and lots and lots!)
jalapeno peppers - (Traveler Strain - a new variety for Seed Savers)
bell peppers - (King of the North - "The best bell pepper...for northern gardeners...")
zucchini - only ONE PLANT this year!
tomatoes - (Brandywine for eating; Siberian for canning and for making salsa for freezing)
herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme
sunflowers - (Just planting them for pretty's sake! Orange Sun variety - "Bright orange flowers explord with a flash of color. Almost entirely double flowers have a unique outer row of single petals surrounding large 6" heads, reminiscent of large chrysanthemums.")
So, that's the plan! It's starting to come together!