Plot Early: Make a Garden Plan
With winter dragging on, and the days slipping by quickly, being prepared may just give you the biggest yield of your garden. If you are a first time gardener, or your past few years have been difficult, you will need to make a garden plan. You do not need to have a complex garden plan, just a simple outline of what is being planted, where at in the garden, and around what time.
A good garden plan should consist of a rough map of the garden with the vegetables that you plant to grow outlined on the map, a planner, and a list of cool season vegetables, and warm season vegetables that you and you family would like to eat.
With your garden map if you try to go too complex, you will make things a little confusing for yourself. Start simple. On a piece of paper make a scale model of your garden. If this is your first year gardening your land then you can skip the next step. If this is your second year or more, write down what you planted, and around where in your garden on a different piece of paper then your garden map. You will need to know this so you can do research to find out what plants should follow last years crops. Now that you have this information you can begin your layout.
The easiest way to do your layout is to place your crops on the map. Make this simple. You can divide the garden up by rows, or even squares. I prefer doing squares over rows. As you can see on the right. This is my garden layout. I feel it gives me more control without getting too complex. If you only have a small amount of land, you will be planting one garden, at different times. This plot on the right is 20′ X 20′, but only has cool season vegetables on it.
You will start with your cool season vegetables, and replace with warm season veggies as the summer comes into play. With only one garden, I would suggest make another map for your warm season veggies. On the cool season map, write your crops down. Once you have the crops written down, do a little bit of research to find out how much space each crop needs and if it is okay with planting next to the neighbor you have for it. Do the same for the warm season veggies.
The next step is using your planner. Check in your area for when your last frost will come. Remember, most of the last frost dates are estimation. Write this in your planner. When you start getting warm dry days, write in you planner a good day for you to work your garden. This means tilling, and setting your rows up, not planting, just prepping. From your last frost date you can start planing when you can put your seeds in the ground (if you are not starting them indoors first). The next plan is to decide when to plant your warm season veggies. Making simple guides such as this will help a lot.
And there you have it. A little garden plan. A little bit of work is needed this is true. An effective plan will take you very far. As long as you do your research, you should have a successful garden with mounds of fresh fruits and veggies. Make sure to add to your plan, to get your soil tested. This is one thing that many gardeners over look. With a soil testing you can see what nutrients that you need to add, or how much you need to adjust the PH of your soil. I know so many things.
Thanks for reading.
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