Planning a Garden

The work for the gardeners starts early in the season, even if it's still winter and the ground is covered in snow. First of all, detailed planning is an absolute "must to have" for a productive garden. As a gardener, we always want to plant more and harvest more, but if you don't plan carefully you might not get anything. Because if you plant sensitive plants too early in  a season, you're likely to lose crops to hard frost. Plant too late, and long-term vegetables like melons, winter squash, tomatoes and peppers will not have enough time to ripen in time. That's where the gardener's calendar comes in handy.  There are many resources available for the gardeners, from the Almanac to the web-based applications and simple spreadsheets. It's all about what works for you to organize it.  Some applications allow you to create a layout to see it visually what you can plant in the amount of space available in your garden, and also will show how many specific types of vegetables can fit into that space. It calculates based on the typical description of the selected vegetable - something that comes indicated on any seed packet you buy in store. Here is an example of my plan from last year, that shows the layout, what is being planted and provides information on when to plant each variety.

Plant List & Planting Times

Plant List key

PlantJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Arugula
Asparagus
Basil
Beans (Bush Snap)
Beans (Pole)
Blackberry
Blueberry
Cabbage (Spring)
Cabbage (Summer)
Carrot
 Laguna (F1) (OG)
Carrot
 Mokum
Carrot
 Cosmic Purple
PlantNumberSpacingSpacing in RowsNotes
Arugula315"3" x 7"
Asparagus191' 5"1' 5" x 1' 5"
Basil397"5" x 9"
Beans (Bush Snap)39"5" x 1' 1"
Beans (Pole)729"5" x 1' 1"
Blackberry22' 11"2' 11" x 2' 11"
Blueberry52' 11"2' 11" x 2' 11"
Cabbage (Spring)61' 11"1' 11" x 1' 11"
Cabbage (Summer)81' 7"1' 5" x 1' 9"
Carrot
 Laguna (F1) (OG)
173"3" x 5"
Carrot
 Mokum
173"3" x 5"
Carrot
 Cosmic Purple
513"3" x 5"


So as you can see, from the gardening perspective once it's all set in place and laid out, it's very easy to follow and keep it on schedule. It shows that should be planted inside, and what can wait to be sown directly outside. This way you won't miss planting time and minimize any risks in your gardens. But then of course, Mother Nature has plans of her own and we all must bow to her whimsy - like having 2 feet of snow on the ground in March :)