Planning a garden can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start! There are several steps you need to take, and a few things you should consider before starting your garden plan. Use this information to make the most of your space and have success this growing season!
Having a garden is a lot of work, and planning a garden is a crucial step to ensuring success for this growing season, and for years to come. Using the following tips and information, you can take the stress out of garden planning, and enjoy the process with confidence!
How to Plan a Garden
There are a few basic steps you need to take in order to plan your garden.
- Choose a garden type.
- Choose a growing method.
- Measure the space you have available.
- Determine the level of sunlight your garden receives.
- Determine what grows best in your region and when.
Planning a Garden Type
There are several different types of gardens. Not only are there different types of gardens based on what you want to grow like herb gardens and vegetable gardens, but there are also different types of growing methods.
Once you choose what type of things you’d like to grow in your garden, you can choose what growing method will work best for you.
Planning a Traditional In-Ground Garden
Planning a traditional garden will start with measuring the ground space you have available to transform into a garden. This method works best for people who own their own land and have a yard with enough space to dedicate just to growing.
When choosing the area of land you want to use, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Level. Make sure the ground is level so as not to cause water pooling or runoff.
- Sunlight. The land should also have an ample amount of sunshine.
- Fencing. The area will likely need to be fenced to keep rodents and other animals out.
- Flooding. The plot of land shouldn’t be too close to a body of water to keep flooding at bay.
Traditional gardens will also require a fair amount of upkeep with weeding and protection from rodents. You will need to be sure you can dedicate time to these needs on a regular basis for the entire length of the growing season.
Planning a Raised Bed Garden
Planning a raised bed garden will be different than planning a traditional garden. Unlike in-ground gardening, you will need to plan your raised bed garden based on the amount of space you have within your raised beds.
You can choose from raised bed gardens with legs that elevate them for ease of care, or you can choose raised bed gardens that are installed directly on the ground.
The benefits of planning a raised bed garden are:
- Controlled soil environment.
- Less weed growth.
- Can easily be disassembled.
Unlike traditional in-ground gardens, you will have a much larger cost to start-up a raised bed garden. You will need to either purchase raised bed gardens, or purchase the supplies to build them yourself. In addition, you will also need to purchase bed lining to keep out weeds, and soil to fill each bin.
Planning a Container Garden
Planning a container garden is similar to planning a raised bed garden, but you will use various pots and containers instead of raised bed gardens. This method is best for people who don’t have a lot of yard space, or who may not own their own land.
The best containers to grow plants in will:
- Have proper drainage holes for water.
- Be roomy enough for plants to mature.
- Be lightweight when empty for ease of moving.
The perks of container gardening are similar to raised bed gardening, with the addition of portability. When plants are in smaller containers that can be moved, it makes navigating frosts and storms much more easily managed.
However, containers also limit the growth of your plant’s root systems. Additionally, you will also have the cost of the containers, the soil, and will need the room for the containers themselves in an area that gets enough sunshine for proper growth.
Planning Your Plants
Once you’ve chosen your garden type, and which growing method, you will need to decide how many of each plant you’re going to grow. Each seed packet will give you the amount of space you need to leave between plants to maintain proper spacing for healthy growth.
If you’re not using seeds, but are instead using seedlings, this guide is a great resource for planning a garden with seedlings.
In addition to space, each plant will have a different time it needs to be planted based on the region you’re located in. If you’re starting seeds, you will need to start earlier than planting seedlings in the ground.
Make a Garden Calendar
Once you have your garden type chosen, your planting method decided, and your plants planned, it’s time to make a calendar.
Whether you use a digital calendar, or a paper one, writing down the dates each seed needs to be planted by, and when seedlings go in the ground will make sure you don’t miss valuable dates.
You can also make reminders to weed, fertilize, de-bug, and treat your plants for pests on your calendar too. Keeping a calendar for your garden will take much of the stress off remembering dates and times and will make garden care much easier.
Expert Tips on Planning a Garden
- Don’t overdo it. Especially if you’re new to gardening, don’t plan a garden that’s too large. Aim small and have success, as opposed to over-planning and failing when you can’t keep up with the work.
- Know what you’re getting into. Gardening is a lot of work, no matter which garden type you choose. Make sure you can commit to several months of care and upkeep for your garden.
- Plan for YOUR garden. Don’t plan your garden based on what others around you are doing. Do what works for you and what will bring you a healthy growing season based on your space, land, and region.
Garden Planning FAQs
When should I start planning my garden?
You should start planning your garden today! Don’t put it off until last minute so you can be prepared for growing season when it gets here.
What month should you start a garden?
The month you start a garden will vary depending on your region, and whether or not you’re starting your garden from seed, or from plants.
How do you create a garden plan?
Create a garden plan by choosing your garden type, your planting method, and then by planning your plants and making a garden calendar! Start small for big success and watch your garden grow!
Planning a garden can be confusing, but with the right tools and information you will be growing your own garden in no time!