Starting a garden plan can be daunting but
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it. “
so, lets do it!
In this post I will attempt to calm nerves and empower you to start your own garden by explaining how I like to plan mine. This will be the first in a mini series of posts I would like to call “Come Plan-t With Me”…. get it?
Well with such a funny name this series is bound to be amazing hahaha. In this garden plan post I will dive into the first topics one needs to address when beginning a garden whether it be in a bullet journal or not. Goals, Land and Location .
How To Make a Garden Plan – Goals, Land & Location
Why do you want to start a garden? Do you want a serene space to sit and drink tea in the morning? Would you want to lower your living costs by growing your own food? Do you want to do experiments like a mad scientist? Or do you want to save the planet by lowering your carbon footprint and living the most sustainable life you can? Personally I started a garden for all of these reasons, but whatever your reason may be, keep it in mind while you plan your garden so that you sign up for more than you can handle. You can only achieve your goals by knowing what they are!
No to places are the same, so when it comes to gardening you need to know the parameters that your location puts upon you.
1) Hardiness Zone
http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/ This is the website I use to find my hardiness zone. I am in zone 6a which means that the most harsh temps in the winter are generally between -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. However this year we experiences temps of -12 so your hardiness zone is really a generality.
Having this knowledge will help you to know what types of perennial or year round plants you can have in your garden. Some perennials cannot handle it where we are located. If you wonder what plants are suitable for your hardiness zone you can always check the Burpee website to see if a given perennial will overwinter in your area. However I would always suggest you go to your local nursery to see what they suggest for your area.
2) Season Length
Season length is a really important parameter to consider when planning your garden. This is what will determine not only what plants you can grow, but how many succession plantings (or successive plantings every 2 weeks) of each of those crops you can plant in your season. It also helps you to know when you need to start seeds if you want to start them on your windowsill.
Every piece of land is different and when thinking about your land the first thing you want to think about is soil.
3) Soil Map
This Natural Resource Conservation Service website is great for analyzing the soil profile on your property. All you need to do is put your address in and then select an area and it will spell out almost all the information you would like to know about your area of interest.
This is just the first step in your soil analysis. If you want to know more about your soil such as the pH and fertility you will need to do a soil test. That is something I would definitely suggest. Prices start at about $30 but for that you would learn about the NPK aka Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium in your soil as well as your pH. You can get additional qualities and compounds tested however that will cost more.
4) Making a Map
Making a map of my garden space started with taking a screen shot of my property on Google maps. Then I used photo editing software called Gimp to move the scaling ruler the the bottom of my garden image. After I crafted this image, I printed it out and drew it out onto my bullet journal pages.
Now with a map under our belts that is where we leave it for this week!
Next week in Come Plant With Me we will dive into Seeds and planting systems! I hope to see you there!
P.S. Next week I will be referencing this book a lot! It is my favorite Organic Farming book in my library! A truly great resource for any gardener or small farmer.
The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-scale Organic Farming