You might be amazed at how a little wintertime vegetable garden planning now can help to create and grow your best garden ever this coming garden season.
A productive garden all starts with a great garden plan. And wintertime is the perfect time for vegetable garden planning.
Not only is the garden at rest, but so is the gardener! And without all of those planting, weeding and harvesting chores, there is plenty of time to figure out exactly what you want to grow, and when and where to plant it.
Here is a look at 3 simple steps to help create a great plan, and be ready to take on the growing season next spring!
3 Simple Steps To Create A Great Vegetable Garden Plan
#1 Get A Plan Down On Paper
One of the biggest keys to success to having a productive garden season is committing a plan to paper. Without a plan in place, it’s easy to get off track. And yes, of course putting your plan on your iPad, computer or phone is fine too, the important thing is to have written out.
Whether it be forgetting when to start seeds, when and where to plant, or even planting too much or too little of a certain vegetable – having a plan in writing can guide you from start to finish.
Every good plan should start with a list of what you want to grow. Focus the list on vegetables you and your family love to eat most. That way, planting spaces are geared towards what you will use the most.
It is amazing that without a plan, how easy it is as gardening season arrives to start planting all kinds of impulse plants you happen to see at the nursery or garden center. And before you know it, you end up with a garden full of produce you might not even like!
Create A Planting Plan In Writing
Once you make a list of the plants you love and want to grow, take a few minutes to sketch out where they will go in the garden. Be sure to select new locations for plants from last year’s garden space.
This practice of rotating vegetables into a new growing space each year in the garden has several benefits. For one, it helps keep disease at bay. Plants that grow in the same location year after year make it easier for pests and disease to attack them.
Rotating crops also allows vegetable plants to find the nutrients they need to grow strong. Vegetables grown in the same space can use up the minerals they need most, but moving them from year to year allows the soil to replenish, and the plants to have new areas to flourish.
And while planning, make sure to help your garden out naturally with a little companion planting.
Companion planting uses the principles of planting vegetable plants near other vegetable species that benefit their growth, and away from plants that might be detrimental.
A great example of this is planting basil near or with your tomatoes. Basil is a natural deterrent against tomato hornworms, aphids, and beetles. So growing it nearby can really help benefit the tomato plants! See: How To Use Companion Planting In The Garden
#2 Create A Timeline Calendar
Now that the plan is committed to paper, it is time to create a timeline for garden action. Having a timeline in place helps keep everything in the garden on schedule. The last thing you want is to start your plants too late, or not at all.
If starting your plants from seed, jot down the dates that they need to be planted. Some vegetables like peppers require a bit more time to get to maturity.
From there, put down planting dates so that you can prepare in advance. If an early crop of peas or lettuce is in your plan, put down a date or a date range they need to go in the ground.
Be sure to do this for you entire garden year, including second planting dates in mid-summer. And last – put that execution list somewhere where you will see it every day!
It is amazing how a simple calendar can keep you and your garden on track!
#3 Order Seeds And Supplies Now
Finally, don’t wait until it’s too late to get have your supplies on hand!
Whether it is seed starting soil, seedling trays, or the seeds themselves, having what you need, when you need it is crucial in keeping a good garden plan on track!
Many gardeners have the best of intentions of growing plants from seed. Or maybe ordering a new special variety an heirloom tomato or pepper. But unfortunately, they wait until it’s too late to order.
Before they know it, the seed companies are out of stock, or it is too late to start the plants from seed. Once you have your plan and plant list in place, order the seeds needed to have them hear in plenty of time.
Make sure to have seed starting soil mix, seed trays and lights ready to go too. That way your seedlings will get off to the best start possible. Here is to creating your vegetable garden plan now – and being ready for your best gardening season ever!
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