Planning for Next Years Vegetable Garden

I will confess that I am not the worlds’ greatest garden planner.  I am more of the “oh hey this looks cool, I think I will give it a try” kind of gardener.  That kind of thinking does not always work out well.  But, seriously, when it comes to growing an attractive, productive garden, planning really is a must.

Creating a plan helps you with everything from deciding which seeds to order to trying to figure out if you have enough space to grow everything you want to grow.  Having a plan will help you save money and time and probably quite a few headaches during the gardening season.

First, draw your garden area, to scale, on graph paper.   This will help you see how much space you really have more clearly.  Next, write down everything you would like to grow.  Once you have made your wish list of vegetables and you know how much space you have  to grow them in, it’s time to make some choices and maybe some cuts.  What do you really want to grow?  What will you and your family really eat?  Which cold crops to plant and what to replace them with when the weather turns hot?  This requires some strategic planning which can help you keep your shopping list to a minimum.   Gardeners Supply has a free online garden planning tool that you can use to turn your planting list into an actual garden plan.  A planner can help you figure out how much of each plant you can grow and it can also help you figure out succession planting.  Remember to rotate your crops.

The next step is to decide if you are going to start your plants from seed or are you going to buy transplants.  Either way, you will need to come up with a schedule, based on your plan, of when to plant everything.  Johnny’s Selected Seed website has a seed starting interactive calendar and succession planting calendar on their site.  Give it a try!

A good garden plan can help you have a more productive garden next year without a lot of headaches!

As always, Happy Gardening!

More information about gardening and related subjects is available online. The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service can be reached at 499-6334 in LaGrange Co., 636-2111 in Noble Co., 925-2562 in De Kalb Co. and 668-1000 in Steuben Co.

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