Planning a spring garden can an overwhelming task. Where do you put your garden? How much space do you need? What do you plant? These are all questions we had when we began our garden four years ago. We learn as we go, but if y’all can learn from our mistakes you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Whether you have a spring garden or are starting from scratch planning begins now!
Every January we get out our notebooks, seed catalogs and look at our plot. It’s the perfect time to plan. There’s not much you can do outside in the winter, so snuggle under that blanket next to the fire with a hot cup of tea and start planning your spring garden.
First, you need to decide where to place your spring garden.
In order to determine where to place your garden, you need to look at the lay of your land. Does is slope or is it flat? Do you have good drainage? Where is your water source located? These are all questions to ask. Think about whether your garden would have ample sunshine and shade. Your garden will only be as successful as your plan. If you don’t place it in an area where it gets great sunshine and water, it will not flourish.
Second, you need to decide what size your garden needs to be.
Whether you are digging into the ground or considering raised beds our advice is to start small. Our first plot was about 10 x 10. The reason to start small is because until you realize how much time and effort you have to put into it, you won’t know how much space you can handle. The larger the plot the more time and energy it takes to maintain it. The flip side is that the smaller the garden the less you can plant. So steps two and three go hand in hand. Determining what you want to plant and how much you plant is a key element in knowing what size of a garden you’ll need.
Third, you need to decide what food you want planted.
It’s wise to only plant food your family eats. If you love tomatoes, that’s a great place to start. If you don’t, you shouldn’t plant them. As you peruse your seed catalogs, you’ll find there are a ton of options out there. Don’t get overwhelmed. Go back to the basics and pick three plants you’d like to grow. Only look at those varieties in your catalogs. We chose corn, tomatoes and green beans to start. The more you plant and the more variety you have, the more overwhelmed you’ll be. So keep it simple.
Lastly, draw out the plan for your spring garden.
The last step is to draw out your plan. It doesn’t have to be pretty. I draw stick people. Just draw a box on some grid paper or printer paper and divide that box into three sections. These sections will be your beds. In one bed you’ll plant one type of plant, in the second bed you’ll plant your next plant variety and you’ll label your third section for your last plant. Out to the side of your sections, label your beds 1, 2 & 3. That will help you visualize what your garden will look like and where your plants will go!
Next time, we will talk about how to choose the right variety for your family’s needs, but until then think on these things. Starting a garden doesn’t have to be hard. Find a great space, decide whether you will plant directly into the soil or if raised beds are for you, determine your plants and draw it out.
~Until Next Time,
Question: What size will your spring garden be?