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3 Steps For Planning A Successful Garden

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When spring fever hits and you can’t wait to get outside into the garden, it can be hard to rein in your enthusiasm long enough to design a successful garden plan. Before spring arrives, take some time to sit down and make a detailed garden plan – you’ll be glad you did!

This time of year, as I drool over the gorgeous glossy photos of beautiful fruits and vegetables filling the pages of my favorite seed catalogs, my mind is already feasting on the glorious possibilities of the garden to come. But one thing I have learned over my years of gardening is that a garden plan is essential!

It is virtually impossible for me to remember all of the details of each garden from the previous year. When did I plant what, and what worked, and what didn’t? What problems did each crop have, and how could I do it better this year? And of course, where did I plant everything, so that I can make sure to practice proper crop rotation?

I simply use a good old-fashioned notebook for most of this (though I do use it in combination with online garden planners as well, which can be helpful for easily moving things around and planning how many plants to plant per bed).

Every winter or early spring, I sketch out each garden bed and then refer to previous year’s plans to determine crop placement, being careful to rotate as much as possible. I then keep notes throughout the season – especially at the beginning and the end, to remind me when I planted everything, and of any problems or issues I need to remember so that I can try to prevent them next season.

Whether you are a “newbie” or an experienced gardener, having a proper plan can help you grow a successful garden. Here are 3 steps from Modern Farmer for designing a good garden plan:

Step One: Make a Map

A successful garden starts with the right placement. You’ll need a tape measure, ruler, pencil, paper and a rough idea of which way south is… Plan your garden for a flat or gently sloping part of the yard that receives a minimum of 6 hours of sun each day, but preferably 8 to 10 hours. A south-facing area of the yard is ideal. If possible, plan the garden within eyeshot of the front or back door—gardens closest to the house tend to be the most productive and well-maintained.

Here’s How:

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Step Two: Make Lists

Besides a plan for the physical garden layout, you need a plan for how you’re going to use it. Here is a list of useful garden lists and why they are important.

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Step Three: Lay it Out

Hopefully, planning and designing your garden is a fun, creative process, not a bore. It’s surely not as fun as actually putting it in the ground, though. This is where you have to make sure the plan translates to reality.

Here’s How:

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Rotating different crops through the beds in each season and from year to year is helpful not only for spreading out the harvest, it also ensures that diseases related to specific crops don’t have a chance to build up in the soil.

And one final tip: mulching. Wait until your seedlings are at least 6 inches tall and then spread a layer of fresh, golden straw over the beds. A thick layer of mulch keeps the weeds down and conserves soil moisture, so you can spend less time fretting over the garden and more time enjoying it.

Read the full article at ModernFarmer.com

 

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