Planning a Vegetable Garden is the best part of the winter months. Rather than sulking indoors during the winter months, start imaging and planning your spring and summer garden. In January, the seed catalogs start arriving, and by February you should have picked out what you want to grow. Creating a plan for your vegetable garden will make sure that everything you want to grow, you will have the available space and time. For a successful vegetable garden, you need a Garden Journal, Gardening Calendar, and finally a Visual Graph or Layout of your Gardening area.
PLANNING A VEGETABLE GARDEN
Once you have chosen your seeds, use your garden journal (you can print your own copy at the bottom of the blog) to track each vegetable/berry/fruit tree, etc. on their own page. Fill in all the information for the particular seed, how to sow it, care for it, etc.. There is a section for companions/enemies which is very helpful when drawing a garden layout, areas to record pests, harvest info. for tacking if if was successful, and when the seeds were planted indoors or outdoors.
Next step in planning a vegetable garden is to create a calendar. First determine you average last frost of the Spring and average first frost of the Fall and input them into the calendar. Next, write down when everything will be planted and/or transplanted based on your average last frost date (i.e. Tomatoes will be started indoors 8 weeks prior to the last frost of Spring).
- You may notice from the pictures, that I will notate what to plant and then mark it as an I for indoor planing, T for when to transplant, or an O for planing directly outdoors.
Planning a vegetable garden can be very visual and so creating a garden layout or visual graph is important. “Old School’ people can use graph paper to plan, while ‘New School’ people can use one of the many online garden planners such as, GrowVeg or Smart Gardener. You may need to make two copies of your plan, one for the cool weather crops and one for the warm weather crops, if you want to maximize the yield of your gardening space.
- I am ‘old school’ when it comes to my visual garden planning. All of my garden beds were measured and transferred to graph paper, where every square is equal to 4″. The two pentagon planters will be used for cool season vegetables and then gradually switched over to the summer vegetables and then back to cool season again So I have created a copy of those planters, one set will be for the cool season and one set will be fore the summer vegetables. On the graph paper, I have also marked which dates I expect the vegetables to be occupying the space in the garden beds, so it is easier to see if I am double-booking that area.
Why Should you Plan A Vegetable Garden?
Consequently, planning a vegetable garden will take time, but in the end, it is well worth it. You will have a clear idea of what you will be planing, when you will be planting, and where you will be planting your vegetables. The garden journal will be handy the following years if you need to refer back to which varietals were producing or not, the calendar is a perfect visual to see if you need to plant a vegetable earlier or later the following year, and the visual graph/layout will help in vegetable rotation in the years to come. Planning a Vegetable Garden is an exciting task that all gardeners need to complete.
My Current Garden:
I have chosen to purchase my seeds from Botanical Interests this year. Last year I picked up a few seed packets from local stores and they produced very well. Since I live in Colorado and they are a Colorado company, I figured I would purchase 90% of my gardening seeds from them this year and see how it goes. Plus I just love the old-fashioned feel of their seed packets because of the drawings on them!!!
What I Am Growing This Year
- Arugula #3041- Rocket Salad
- Beets #0243- Detroit Dark Red
- Broccoli #3056- De Cicco
- Carrots #0277- Red Cored Chantenay
- Celery #3146 – Utah
- Lettuce #3023 – Leaf Salad Bowl Blend
- Peas #0037 – Green Arrow
- Radish #0042 – Cherry Belle
- Sweet Pea #1096 – Perfume Delight
- Basil #6027 – Italian Genovese
- Bell Pepper #0057 – Yolo Wonder
- Cabbage #0009 – Copenhagen Market
- Cantaloupe #3012 – Hearts of Gold
- Corn #7318 – Honey & Cream
- Cucumber #0020 – Spacemaster
- Green Beans #3034 – Contender
- Jalapeno #0269 – Jalafuego
- Parsnip #3147 – Turga
- Pie Pumpkin #0040 – Sugar Pie
- Roma Tomato #0294 – Bush Supremo
- Summer Squash #3006 – Early Prolific Straight Neck
- Watermelon #3131 – Sugar Baby
- Zucchini #0048 – Black Beauty
DOWNLOAD THE GARDEN JOURNAL