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The Ultimate Guide to Flower and Vegetable Garden Layout: Planning, Design and Maintenance Tips

Gardening Tips
2022-08-08

Learn how to plan, design and maintain your flower and vegetable garden for a thriving and beautiful outdoor space. Get tips on choosing the right site, designing your layout, planting your garden and maintaining it for optimal growth.

The Ultimate Guide to Flower and Vegetable Garden Layout: Planning, Design and Maintenance Tips


Content Outline

  1. Introduction
    • A. Definition of Flower and Vegetable Garden Layout
    • B. Importance of Planning Your Garden Space
  2. Choosing Your Garden Site
    • A. Sun Exposure
    • B. Soil Quality
    • C. Drainage
  3. Garden Layout Design
    • A. Companion Planting
    • B. Plant Spacing
    • C. Crop Rotation
  4. Planting Your Garden
    • A. Plant Selection
    • B. Transplanting vs Direct Seeding
    • C. Watering and Fertilizing
  5. Maintenance Tips
    • A. Pest Control
    • B. Weed Management
    • C. Harvesting and Storage
  6. Conclusion

Introduction

Welcome to our guide on flower and vegetable garden layout! Planning your garden layout is an essential step in creating a thriving and beautiful garden. A well-planned garden layout can ensure that your plants grow healthy and strong, while also maximizing the available space. In this guide, we will provide you with the key factors to consider when planning your flower and vegetable garden layout.

Factors to consider

  • Climate: The climate of your region is a crucial factor to consider when planning your garden layout. Some plants thrive in warmer climates, while others prefer cooler temperatures. Make sure to research which plants grow best in your area.
  • Soil: The type and quality of soil in your garden can impact the growth and health of your plants. Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient content of your soil. Based on the results, you may need to add compost or other soil amendments to improve the soil quality.
  • Plant compatibility: Certain plants grow well together, while others can inhibit each other's growth. Research which plants are compatible with each other and plan your layout accordingly.
  • Sun exposure: The amount of sunlight your garden receives can impact the growth and health of your plants. Make sure to plant sun-loving plants in areas that receive full sunlight, while shade-loving plants should be planted in areas with partial shade.
  • Watering and irrigation: Adequate watering and irrigation are essential for the health of your plants. Consider installing a drip irrigation system to ensure that your plants receive consistent and efficient watering.

By considering these key factors, you can create a garden layout that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Stay tuned for our next section on selecting the right plants for your garden layout!

Sources: The Old Farmer's Almanac, University of Minnesota Extension

Introduction - A. Definition of Flower and Vegetable Garden Layout

A flower and vegetable garden layout is the planning and arrangement of plants in a garden to achieve optimal growth and aesthetic appeal. The ideal garden layout should take into consideration the types of plants being grown, the amount of sunlight and water they require, and the available space.

Garden layouts can be designed to suit different purposes, such as providing fresh produce, creating a relaxing outdoor space, or attracting pollinators. A well-planned garden can also improve the value of a property and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

The Importance of a Well-Planned Garden Layout

A well-planned garden layout can have numerous benefits, including:

  • Optimal use of available space
  • Improved plant growth and yield
  • Increased biodiversity and pollination
  • Reduced maintenance and water usage
  • Improved aesthetic appeal and property value

However, planning a garden layout can be challenging, especially for beginners. It requires knowledge of plant requirements, soil types, and climate conditions. Fortunately, there are many resources available online and in print to help gardeners design their ideal layout.

Conclusion

A well-planned flower and vegetable garden layout can provide numerous benefits to gardeners, including optimal plant growth and aesthetic appeal. With careful consideration of plant requirements and available space, gardeners can design a layout that suits their needs and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.

For more information on flower and vegetable garden layouts, check out Garden Design.

Introduction - B. Importance of Planning Your Garden Space

Planning your garden space is an essential step to creating a beautiful and functional flower and vegetable garden layout. A well-planned garden not only looks great, but it can also save you time and money in the long run.

Benefits of Planning Your Garden Space

  • Maximizes Space: When you plan your garden space, you can make the most of the area you have available. This means you can grow more plants and produce, which can save you money on groceries.
  • Improves Plant Health: Proper spacing and placement of your plants can improve air circulation and sunlight exposure, resulting in healthier plants and a higher yield.
  • Reduces Maintenance: With a well-planned garden, you can reduce the amount of time and effort needed to maintain it. This can include using companion planting to deter pests and reduce the need for pesticides, as well as grouping plants with similar watering needs to make watering more efficient.

Factors to Consider When Planning Your Garden Space

When planning your garden space, there are several factors to consider:

  • Location: Choose an area that receives adequate sunlight and has good soil drainage.
  • Size: Consider the size of your garden space and how much you want to grow.
  • Layout: Create a layout that allows for easy access and maximizes space.
  • Companion Planting: Consider using companion planting to deter pests and improve plant health.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can create a beautiful and functional flower and vegetable garden layout that will provide you with fresh produce and a relaxing outdoor space.

For more information on planning your garden space, check out The Old Farmer's Almanac and Better Homes and Gardens.

Choosing Your Garden Site

When it comes to creating a flower and vegetable garden layout, choosing the right site is crucial. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Sunlight: Most vegetables and flowers require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Choose a site with maximum exposure to sunlight.
  • Soil Quality: Good soil is essential for a successful garden. Test the soil in your chosen site for pH levels and nutrient content. If the soil is poor, consider adding compost or other organic matter to improve its quality.
  • Drainage: Ensure that your garden site has good drainage to prevent waterlogging. Avoid areas that are prone to flooding.
  • Proximity to Water: While you don't want your garden to be waterlogged, it's also important to have a water source nearby. Consider the convenience of watering your garden when choosing your site.
  • Accessibility: Make sure your garden site is easily accessible for maintenance and harvesting. Consider factors such as distance from your home, path width, and any obstacles that may impede movement.

Remember, there are tradeoffs involved in choosing your garden site. For example, a site with maximum sunlight exposure may not have the best soil quality. Consider your priorities and choose the site that best fits your needs.

Sources:

  • The Old Farmer's Almanac: Frost Dates Calculator
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Soil Preparation and Fertilization for Vegetable Gardens
  • Better Homes and Gardens: Garden Design Ideas for the North Central US

Choosing Your Garden Site - A. Sun Exposure

When it comes to planning your flower and vegetable garden layout, one of the most important factors to consider is sun exposure. The amount of sunlight your plants receive can greatly impact their growth and overall health. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Most vegetables and flowers require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive.
  • Some plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, require even more sunlight - up to 8 hours per day.
  • Be aware of any trees, buildings, or other structures that may cast shade on your garden site. This can affect the amount of sunlight your plants receive, so plan accordingly.
  • Consider the orientation of your garden site. South-facing locations will receive the most sunlight throughout the day, while north-facing locations will receive less.

When choosing your garden site, it's important to strike a balance between sun exposure and other factors, such as soil quality and drainage. Keep in mind that some plants, such as leafy greens and certain herbs, can tolerate partial shade.

For more information on planning your flower and vegetable garden layout, check out The Old Farmer's Almanac and University of Minnesota Extension.

Choosing Your Garden Site - B. Soil Quality

When it comes to planning your flower and vegetable garden layout, one of the most important factors to consider is the quality of your soil. Soil quality is critical for the success of your garden, as it directly affects the growth and health of your plants. Here are some key points to keep in mind when assessing the soil quality of your potential garden site:

  • Type of Soil: The type of soil in your garden site can have a big impact on your plants. Clay soils hold more water, while sandy soils drain faster. Loam soils are a balance between the two and are generally considered the best for gardening. Consider doing a soil test to determine the type of soil you have and its nutrient content.
  • The pH level of your soil can also affect plant growth. Most plants prefer a slightly acidic soil, with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Consider using lime to raise the pH level, or sulfur to lower it, if necessary.
  • Drainage: Good drainage is important for healthy plants. If your soil is too compacted, it can lead to poor drainage and root rot. Adding organic matter such as compost or aged manure can help improve drainage.
  • Nutrient Content: Plants need a variety of nutrients to grow, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Consider adding fertilizer or other soil amendments to improve nutrient content.

Keep in mind that there may be tradeoffs involved when choosing a garden site based on soil quality. For example, a site with rich, fertile soil may be prone to flooding, while a site with well-draining soil may require more frequent watering. Consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing your garden site.

For more information on soil quality and gardening, check out these helpful resources:

Choosing Your Garden Site - C. Drainage

When it comes to choosing the perfect site for your flower and vegetable garden layout, one of the most important factors to consider is drainage. Poor drainage can lead to a variety of problems, including root rot, soil erosion, and nutrient loss. To ensure that your garden is healthy and productive, it is essential to choose a site with good drainage. Here are some tips to help you choose the right garden site:

  • Observe the site after a rainfall to see how quickly the water drains away. If the soil remains soggy for more than a day or two after a heavy rain, the site may not have good drainage.
  • Avoid planting in low-lying areas where water tends to collect.
  • Consider the slope of the site. If the site is on a slope, make sure to choose a location that is not at the bottom of the slope, where water may collect.
  • Test the soil to determine its drainage capacity. Sandy soils tend to drain quickly, while clay soils drain more slowly. Adding organic matter, such as compost or peat moss, can improve soil drainage.

By taking the time to choose a site with good drainage, you can help ensure that your flower and vegetable garden layout thrives. For more information on garden site selection, check out this guide from the University of Minnesota Extension.

Garden Layout Design

A well-designed garden layout can make all the difference in the success of your flower and vegetable garden. When planning your layout, there are several key factors to consider:

  • Size and Space: Consider the size and shape of your garden space. Will you be planting in raised beds or directly in the ground? Make sure to measure and plan accordingly.
  • Sunlight: Most plants require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Take note of the areas in your garden that receive the most sunlight and plan to plant sun-loving crops in those areas.
  • Soil Quality: Soil quality is crucial for a successful garden. Test the soil in your garden and amend it with organic matter as needed.
  • Companion Planting: Companion planting is the practice of planting certain crops together to enhance growth and ward off pests. Consider incorporating companion planting into your garden layout design.
  • Seasonal Variations: Consider the seasonal variations in your area. Plan to plant crops that thrive in your local climate and adjust your garden layout accordingly.

By taking these key factors into consideration, you can create a garden layout design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For more information on flower and vegetable garden layouts, check out Garden Design.

Garden Layout Design - A. Companion Planting

Companion planting is a gardening technique where different plants are planted together to complement each other's growth and to repel pests. This technique is a crucial aspect of flower and vegetable garden layout design. When done correctly, companion planting can help to improve soil health, increase crop yield, and reduce the need for harmful pesticides.

The Benefits of Companion Planting

  • Improves soil health: Some plants have deep roots that can help to break up the soil and bring nutrients to the surface, while others can add nitrogen to the soil, which is essential for plant growth.
  • Increases crop yield: Certain plants can improve the growth of others by providing shade, support, or attracting pollinators. For example, planting marigolds alongside vegetables can help to repel pests and attract bees, which can increase crop yield.
  • Reduces the need for pesticides: Companion planting can help to deter pests naturally, reducing the need for harmful pesticides that can damage the environment and harm beneficial insects.

Examples of Companion Planting

Here are some examples of companion planting for a flower and vegetable garden layout:

  • Planting basil with tomatoes can improve the flavor and growth of the tomatoes while deterring pests like flies and mosquitoes.
  • Planting marigolds with vegetables like beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes can repel pests like nematodes and whiteflies while attracting beneficial insects like bees.
  • Planting carrots and onions together can help to improve the flavor and growth of both plants while deterring pests like carrot flies and onion maggots.

Companion planting is just one aspect of flower and vegetable garden layout design. By incorporating this technique into your garden plan, you can improve soil health, increase crop yield, and reduce the need for harmful pesticides.

Garden Layout Design - B. Plant Spacing

Plant spacing is a crucial factor to consider when designing your flower and vegetable garden layout. Proper plant spacing not only ensures that your plants have enough room to grow, but it also helps to maximize your garden's productivity and reduce the risk of diseases and pests. Here are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to plant spacing:

  • For vegetables, spacing is determined by the mature size of the plant and the recommended spacing provided on the seed packet or plant label. Overcrowding can result in smaller yields and increases the risk of disease and pest problems.
  • For flowers, spacing is determined by the mature size of the plant and the effect you want to achieve. For example, if you want a more natural look, space plants further apart, while closer spacing can create a more formal and structured appearance.
  • When planning your garden layout, consider companion planting, which can help to improve soil health, deter pests, and increase yields. For example, planting marigolds alongside tomatoes can help to repel nematodes and other harmful insects.
  • In addition to proper spacing, it's important to ensure that your plants have access to adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients. Consider the specific needs of each plant when designing your garden layout.

By taking the time to plan your garden layout and properly space your plants, you can create a beautiful and productive garden that will provide you with fresh produce and vibrant blooms throughout the growing season.

Garden Layout Design - C. Crop Rotation

When planning your flower and vegetable garden layout, it's important to consider crop rotation. Crop rotation is the practice of changing the location of where specific crops are grown from season to season. This helps to maintain soil health, prevent disease, and improve yields.

One of the main benefits of crop rotation is that it helps to prevent soil-borne diseases from building up in the soil. By moving crops around, you can avoid planting the same crop in the same location year after year, which can lead to a buildup of diseases and pests. For example, if you plant tomatoes in the same spot every year, the soil can become infected with tomato blight, which can greatly reduce your yield.

Crop rotation can also help to maintain soil health by improving soil structure and increasing nutrient availability. Different plants have different nutrient requirements, and by rotating crops, you can help to ensure that the soil stays balanced and healthy. For example, legumes like beans and peas can help to fix nitrogen in the soil, which can benefit other plants that need nitrogen to grow.

When planning your garden layout, it's important to consider which crops are compatible with each other. Some plants, like tomatoes and peppers, are in the same family and should not be planted in the same location year after year. Other plants, like beans and corn, are complimentary and can be planted together to improve soil health and yield.

To get the most out of your garden, it's important to plan ahead and rotate your crops each year. By doing so, you can maintain soil health, prevent disease, and improve yields.

Sources:

  • The Old Farmer's Almanac: Crop Rotation in Vegetable Gardening
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Vegetables in Home Gardens

Planting Your Garden

Planting a garden can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Whether you're planting a flower garden or a vegetable garden, the key to success is proper planning and preparation. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Choose the Right Location

  • Make sure your garden gets plenty of sunlight. Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Choose a location that is well-drained. Standing water can cause root rot and other problems.
  • Consider the proximity to a water source. It's important to have easy access to water for your plants.

Prepare the Soil

  • Test your soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content. Most vegetables prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Add compost, manure, or other organic matter to improve soil structure and fertility.
  • Remove any rocks, roots, or other debris from the soil.

Choose Your Plants

  • Choose plants that are well-suited to your climate and soil type.
  • Consider the size and spacing requirements of each plant. Some plants, like tomatoes, need plenty of space to grow.
  • Plan your garden layout carefully, taking into account the needs of each plant. Consider using companion planting to maximize space and resources.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a beautiful and productive flower or vegetable garden. Remember, the key to success is careful planning and preparation. Happy planting!

Sources: University of Minnesota Extension, Better Homes & Gardens

Planting Your Garden - A. Plant Selection

When it comes to creating a successful flower and vegetable garden layout, plant selection is a crucial factor to consider. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose plants that are suitable for your region and climate. This will ensure that they thrive in your garden and require minimal maintenance.
  2. Consider the amount of sunlight your garden receives and choose plants accordingly. Some plants require full sun, while others prefer shade.
  3. Think about the size of your garden and choose plants that will fit comfortably without overcrowding. Overcrowding can lead to stunted growth and poor plant health.
  4. Consider the purpose of your garden. Are you planting primarily for aesthetics or for food production? This will help you determine which plants to prioritize.

It's also important to note that different plants have different growing requirements. Some may need more water or fertilizer than others. Do your research and make sure you're providing your plants with the care they need to thrive.

For more information on flower and vegetable garden layout, check out The Old Farmer's Almanac or Better Homes & Gardens.

Planting Your Garden - B. Transplanting vs Direct Seeding

One of the key decisions you'll need to make when planning your flower and vegetable garden layout is whether to transplant or directly seed your plants. Both methods have their benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to consider a few key factors before making a decision.

Transplanting

Transplanting involves starting your plants indoors, either from seeds or seedlings, and then moving them outside once they've grown strong enough to survive on their own. This method has a few key benefits:

  • Transplanted plants tend to have a head start on direct-seeded plants, and can often produce fruit or flowers earlier in the season.
  • Since you're starting your plants indoors, you have more control over their environment, which can be particularly helpful if you live in an area with a short growing season or challenging weather conditions.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Transplanting can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive than direct seeding.
  • There's always a risk that your plants won't survive the transplanting process, particularly if you're moving them outside too early or exposing them to harsh conditions.
  • Starting plants indoors requires more equipment, such as grow lights and seed trays, which can be expensive.

Direct Seeding

Direct seeding involves planting your seeds directly in the soil outside, rather than starting them indoors. This method has a few advantages:

  • Direct seeding is generally faster and easier than transplanting, since you're not moving plants around.
  • It's also often less expensive, since you don't need to invest in as much equipment.
  • Some plants, such as root vegetables, don't transplant well, so direct seeding is often the best option for these crops.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Direct-seeded plants may take longer to produce fruit or flowers, since they don't have the head start that transplanted plants do.
  • Since you're not starting your plants indoors, you have less control over their environment, which can be challenging in certain conditions.
  • Direct seeding can be more difficult if you're planting in an area with a lot of weeds or other obstacles.

Ultimately, the decision to transplant or direct seed your plants will depend on a variety of factors, including your personal preferences, the specific plants you're growing, and the conditions in your area. By considering the tradeoffs involved and doing some research on the best practices for your chosen plants, you can make an informed decision that will help you create a beautiful and bountiful garden.

Planting Your Garden - C. Watering and Fertilizing

Watering and fertilizing are two crucial aspects of maintaining a healthy flower and vegetable garden layout. Here are some tips to ensure your garden thrives:

Watering:

  • Water your garden in the early morning or late afternoon to reduce water loss through evaporation.
  • Aim to give your garden 1-2 inches of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation.
  • Consider using a drip irrigation system, which can save up to 50% more water compared to traditional sprinklers.
  • Be mindful not to overwater your plants, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.

Fertilizing:

  • Test your soil to determine its nutrient levels and pH balance. This will help you choose the right type of fertilizer for your garden.
  • Consider using organic fertilizers, which release nutrients slowly and can improve soil health over time.
  • Apply fertilizer at the right time, typically in the early spring and mid-summer.
  • Be careful not to over-fertilize, which can damage your plants and harm the environment.

By following these tips, you can ensure your flower and vegetable garden layout is healthy and thriving.

For more information on gardening, check out Better Homes & Gardens.

Maintenance Tips for Optimal Flower and Vegetable Garden Layout

Designing a flower and vegetable garden layout is just the first step to a beautiful and bountiful garden. To ensure that your garden thrives, it is essential to perform regular maintenance. Here are some tips to keep your garden in its best condition:

  • Watering: Water your plants regularly, making sure to water deeply and at the base of the plant. The frequency of watering will depend on the plant type and weather conditions. As a general rule, most plants need about an inch of water per week.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilize your plants regularly to promote healthy growth. Use organic fertilizers for a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly option.
  • Weeding: Remove weeds regularly to prevent them from competing with your plants for nutrients and water. A mulch layer can help suppress weed growth.
  • Pruning: Prune your plants regularly to promote growth and remove dead or diseased branches. This will also help maintain the shape and structure of your garden.
  • Pest Control: Keep an eye out for pests and take action as soon as you notice them. Use natural pest control methods whenever possible to avoid harmful chemicals.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure a healthy and thriving flower and vegetable garden layout. Remember to also consider the specific needs of each plant and adjust your maintenance routine accordingly.

Sources: The Old Farmer's Almanac, Better Homes & Gardens

Maintenance Tips - A. Pest Control

Keeping your flower and vegetable garden free from pests is an essential part of ensuring a successful harvest. Here are some pest control tips:

  • Use companion planting to deter pests naturally. For example, planting marigolds alongside your vegetables can repel harmful insects.
  • Regularly inspect your plants for signs of damage or infestation. Early detection can prevent the spread of pests.
  • Handpick larger pests, such as caterpillars or beetles, and drop them into a bucket of soapy water to drown them.
  • Apply organic pesticides sparingly and only when necessary. Natural options include neem oil, garlic spray, and diatomaceous earth.
  • Encourage beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and praying mantises, to take up residence in your garden. These insects prey on harmful pests and help maintain a healthy ecosystem.

By implementing these pest control tips, you can help maintain a healthy garden and avoid the use of harmful chemicals. For more information on flower and vegetable garden layout, check out Better Homes and Gardens.

Maintenance Tips - B. Weed Management

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a flourishing flower and vegetable garden layout is weed management. Weeds are notorious for stealing nutrients and water from your plants, inhibiting their growth and ultimately reducing yield. Here are some tips to help you manage weeds:

  • Start early: Begin managing weeds before they become a problem. As soon as you see weeds sprouting up, pull them out by hand or use a hoe to remove them.
  • Mulch: Covering the soil with a layer of organic mulch can help suppress weed growth by blocking out sunlight and preventing weed seeds from germinating.
  • Use weed barriers: Landscape fabric, plastic sheeting, or cardboard can be used as barriers to prevent weeds from growing in certain areas of your garden.
  • Consider companion planting: Certain plants can be grown together in a way that naturally deters weed growth. For example, planting marigolds with your vegetables can help keep weeds at bay.

Remember, it is important to keep up with weed management throughout the growing season to ensure the health of your plants and maximize yield. For more tips on flower and vegetable garden layout, check out this companion planting chart or this guide to planning your first vegetable garden.

Maintenance Tips - C. Harvesting and Storage

When it comes to maintaining a successful flower and vegetable garden layout, harvesting and storage are critical factors. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your garden:

  • Harvest at the Right Time: Each plant has its own optimal time for harvesting. Harvesting at the right time will ensure maximum flavor and nutritional value. For example, tomatoes should be harvested when they are fully ripe and have a deep color.
  • Handle with Care: When harvesting your plants, it is important to handle them with care. Rough handling can damage the plants and reduce their quality.
  • Store Properly: Proper storage is key to keeping your harvested plants fresh. Vegetables, for example, should be stored in a cool, dry place for optimal freshness. Flowers should be kept in water to maintain their appearance.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your garden produces high-quality plants that are flavorful, nutritious, and visually appealing. For more information on flower and vegetable garden layouts, be sure to check out The Old Farmer's Almanac.

Conclusion

Designing your flower and vegetable garden layout is an exciting and rewarding task that takes careful planning and consideration. Throughout this article, we have discussed the key factors to keep in mind when creating your garden layout.

  • Start by assessing your space and selecting the right location for your garden.
  • Consider the type of soil you have and whether you will need to amend it.
  • Choose the right plants for your garden based on your climate and the amount of sunlight your garden receives.
  • Think about companion planting to maximize the health and productivity of your garden.
  • Remember to consider the aesthetic appeal of your garden and the balance between form and function.

By taking these factors into account, you can create a beautiful and productive garden that will provide you with fresh flowers and vegetables throughout the growing season.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to garden design, and there are always tradeoffs to consider. However, by doing your research and thinking through your options, you can create a garden that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

For more information on flower and vegetable garden layout, check out Better Homes & Gardens and The Old Farmer's Almanac.