Whether you are a seasoned gardener or this is your first year to plant a garden, planning is probably one of the most important things you can do before you start ordering seeds and planting. After many years of gardening, I still find that if I skip the planning stage, my garden doesn’t end up as successful as I would have liked.
The following are some questions you need to ask yourself while planning your garden.
1.What is my goal for my garden? Do I just want to raise enough for the table while my garden is in season? Do I want to grow enough to be able to can or freeze produce?
2.How big of an area of ground do I reasonably have for a garden?
3.How big of a garden are you planning? Can you take care of that garden when the weather gets hot and humid and the produce starts maturing?
4.Look into TYPES of gardens. Do you want a standard garden, a garden in pots, a raised bed garden?
5.Seeds are expensive. Planning your seed order is important. What will you and your family eat? Do not order seeds that you “think” you might like if money plays a part in your planning. Go with what your family loves. Hey, if they do not like tomatoes, it doesn’t make sense to grow them unless you have an outlet for them.
6.Weeds. Are you going to use newspapers for weed control? Are you going to use pesticides and herbicides? If you are going to try and raise a garden naturally, planning on alternative ways to keep it weed and pest free need to be considered while in the planning stage.
7.Pets and livestock should enter into the planning stages of your garden too! Do you have a fenced off area for your garden? If not, are you planning on fencing it off to keep pets and livestock out of it?
8.Are there poisonous/toxic to animals plants that will be in your garden? While planning your garden, you might want to look up the plants that you are planting to see if they are toxic to pets/livestock.
9.Water is crucial to your garden. Are you planning to water it with hoses or buckets? Is your garden close to a water source?
10.TIME. Do you have the time it requires to handle the size garden you are planning? It requires a lot of time to keep your garden weed free and watered.
These planning tips that I use for my garden. Out of all of them, I would say that time and heat/humidity alter my garden planning more than anything else.
I have learned to plant only what I know we will eat. My garden gets weedy and I can keep up with it until the heat/humidity set in. So, I have been using the newspaper method of keeping weeds down.
I actually enjoy the planning process of my garden. It doesn’t take long, but it saves me aggravation later. Get out those seed catalogs. Get paper and pencil. And ask yourself the planning questions. Your ready to plant your garden!