Creating a vegetable garden plan doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, taking the time to draw out a plan will make your life much easier, trust me. Planting the vegetable garden used to be super stressful for me. I would go out to the garden each spring and just start planting stuff with no plan.
Soon I would run out of room in the garden, but I’d still have tons of seedlings left over. It was always very frustrating.
Of course I didn’t want all those seedlings (that I babied for months) to go to waste, so I ended up cramming them into the garden. As a result, my vegetable garden was always overcrowded, which made weeding and harvesting difficult. Plus, my claustrophobic plants produced less vegetables because they didn’t have enough room to grow.
Ugh, I used to make it so difficult for myself.
Drawing a vegetable garden plan sounded like a lot of work, and I figured I would need some fancy computer program or something. Well, as it turns out, it isn’t that hard… and ends up making life much, much easier in the long run.
Without planning ahead, it’s difficult to figure out how many seeds you’ll need to start for your garden, and it also makes crop rotation pretty much impossible (unless you have a photographic memory, I do not!). My garden planning has become a bit more sophisticated over the years as I’ve gained experience, but I started out very simple.
If you have a technical mind, you could pull out the graph paper and get to work measuring and calculating, and drawing everything to scale. I never used to do this, but I finally gave it a try after we added fixed raised beds in our garden. That made using the graph paper super easy, since most of the beds are rectangular, and the same size.
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But before I got brave enough to attempt using graph paper (and before we added the raised beds), I just drew out my plans freehand. How’s this for artistic ability?
Heck, it doesn’t even need to be THAT fancy. Check out this vegetable garden plan my husband and I drew up the other day while waiting for our food at a restaurant. Yep, those are cocktail napkins.
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How to create a super simple vegetable garden plan:
- Make a list of everything you want to grow in your vegetable garden.
- Draw a rough outline of your vegetable garden on a piece of paper (or a cocktail napkin if you prefer).
- Now add in any hardscapes or raised beds that are in your garden.
- Next, draw out a rough sketch of where you’ll plant stuff, and where the walking paths through your garden will be.
- Think about where you want to plant each crop, and how to group them to make rotation easier.
- Visualize what your vegetable garden will look like when it’s full grown. Are you allowing enough space for you to reach all of your beds, and easily move around in the garden?
Taking the time to draw out your vegetable garden plan (even if it’s a crude sketch on cocktail napkins) will make your life much easier come spring. Plus it’s fun to go back and look at the plans of your gardens from the past and remember what you planted each year, and what your gardens looked like. Oh, and keeping all those old garden plans makes it much easier to rotate your crops too!
How about you, do you take the time to plan out your vegetable garden ahead of time, or do you wing it every spring? Tell us about it in the comments below.