Plan Your Garden {How To}

I know that it is February and it’s so cold out, but now it’s time to plan your garden for spring and summer!  Who doesn’t want to dream of warmer weather, am I right?

To plan your garden, first start thinking about which vegetables and fruits your family actually eats.  Do they eat tomatoes and strawberries?  Plan to grow these.  Do they hate radishes?  Don’t plant these, though they are easy to grow.  Perhaps ask your family what they would want to see in the garden.  Write a list of these fruits and vegetables.

Second, get some books that will help you learn as much as you can about the plants you want to plan in your garden.  Learn about when the right time to plant your plants, whether you should start with seeds or seedlings, how often they need to be watered, what to feed them, and so on.  Learn all that you can so you feel like an expert once spring comes around!  I spent a long time researching the vegetables I planned on planting last year. Pinterest is a great place to research, but whatever you read, take with a grain of salt because anyone can have a blog (like me—ha!  I don’t claim to be an expert, but I am sharing my experiences with you, good or bad).  These are two books I read through and were good references to me.

After you read about all the plants you want to plant, it’s helpful to make a spreadsheet with when to plant, whether to use seeds or seedlings, how to plant, and so on.  If this method seems like more work for you than necessary, do whichever method you want.

Third, it helps to draw out your garden layout.  It helps to make sure that those plants that should not be near each other aren’t and spreading plants aren’t near plants that will suffocate from those pants.  Also, so you can accommodate for things you can’t control.  For instance, my garden is near my house, so, in the winter and early spring, most of the garden is in shadows.  Once spring comes and it starts to get warmer, the shadows moves back, but half the garden is still in shadow from the house.  So, I plant my early plants on the far side of the garden, like the kale and the strawberries.  Here is my layout of my garden from last year.

Keeping record will help you not plant the same plants in the same spot the next year.  It’s always good to rotate your garden to ensure certain plants don’t deplete the garden.

Finally, you should think of the condition of your soil.  Our garden used regular soil from the ground for years.  But, last year, I noticed that our raised beds were only filled half way as the soil had settled.  We decided to get a truck full of compost dirt.  The garden grew like wildfire!  Our tomato plants were 6 feet high in July!  The right soil does amazing things to your garden!

We may still be in the depths of winter, but it isn’t too early to plan your garden.  Spring will be here before we know it!

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