How do you plan your garden?

DIY Raised Bed

Today is the last day to enter the Heritage Seed Potato Giveaway, but where to plant all those potatoes? Not to mention everything else?

This whole “garden planning” thing is very new to me. In fact, it hadn’t occurred to me until buying a bunch of seeds and some dirt that I should probably have a plan if I expect anything to ever get done.

My planning is somewhat chaotic. I started with a list of things I wanted to grow and what I planned to grow them in. This all went into a very fancy spreadsheet…

Gardening 2011

(Garden planning spreadsheet)

The spreadsheet helped me get started, and behold! Some seeds are already sprouted!

And they're off

But soon afterwards I was getting a little antsy. Although I had written down WHERE I’d grow everything (pots vs. veg bed), I didn’t really plan how much space would be needed. So yesterday I looked at all my seed packets, wrote down how much space everything needed, then measured out my garden and apportioned the space appropriately:

Garden Planning

A place for everything and everything in its place?

We’ll see if I end up with an overgrown weed pile at the end of the year.

How do you guys tackle this problem? Do you just dive in and plant willy nilly? Or do you go crazy with the graph paper and calculator?

Leave a comment, or go enter to win some potato seeds. The only question then is: roasted, boiled, chipped or mashed?

5 thoughts on “How do you plan your garden?

  1. Laura

    I'm all about the spreadsheets and graph paper when planning my garden–I have very limited space, so the hardest part is whittling my list down so I have enough room for everything.

    Reply
  2. Heidi

    I'm kind of in between both. I plot out areas where I want plants to go but I'm not too strict about it. And I've found that the distance apart from plants is exaggerated on the packaging and you can usually fit a lot more in or plant two different kinds of plants together. I don't plan for each individual plant but I fit as much I can in and if I have more room somewhere else I'll put more there.

    Love mashed potatoes :D

    Reply
  3. Nome

    Hehe looks like you've got everything under control! I used to plan everything meticulously on squared paper and spreadsheets, but after a couple of years I learned two things:
    1) It makes me cram too much in.
    2) It never works out the way I planned it anyway! The actual logistics of digging and preparing each area and getting the seedlings the right size at the right time is apparently too much for me.
    These days I try to take a more relaxed approach (though I still do tend to cram too much in!). As long as I'm not growing the same crop in the same area as last year that's good enough for me, LOL!
    Hope everything goes to plan for you!

    Reply
  4. Monica

    So it sounds like I'm not the only one who tends to bite off more than she has room for in the garden – it's encouraging to know that most of you just go for it anyway. I think that's going to be my approach. And any surplus can fill in the space of the plants that don't quite make it (right now I'm stumped by some tomato and pepper seeds that don't want to sprout).

    Reply
  5. Vicki

    This year I have no garden. So I hope to follow your progress and live vicariously through you! Would love to get my hands in some of that nice dirt!

    Reply

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