If you haven't read Part One, start here.
While our seedlings were growing in the sunroom, we worked to prepare the vegetable garden beds. An organic farmer friend told us about double digging which is a lot of work initially, but really makes the soil rich and ready for planting. This essentially means that The Chef turned all the soil over, added bags of organic top soil and organic compost to the mix, and worked it all into the existing soil while I stood around and drank a mojito. For detailed instructions on how to double dig a garden, click here.
Now, back to the seedlings. The seedlings won't take kindly to the shock of being coddled in an indoor environment with the fluorescent lamp glow bathing them daily, to being planted in soil with the sun/rain/wind beating down on them. They must be eased into this which is a process referred to as "hardening off". A week or two before planting the seedlings, bring them outside for an hour or so daily, adding more time each day so they can acclimate and strengthen.
In terms of plotting the garden, we make sure that we don't replant things in the same location every year, especially tomatoes, and situate the long season vegetables next to early crops like radishes.
This year, we have a lot going on in the garden including: 4 kinds of tomatoes, tomatillos, radishes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, 4 kinds of peppers, peas, leeks, 2 kinds of onions, brussels sprouts, broccoli (pictured above), squash, 3 kinds of beans, kale, cabbage, spinach, arugula and an array of lettuces and herbs. I also planted a separate fruit garden that contains two heirloom fruits - sunberries and ground cherries. Wish us luck!