Spring is here, and you know what that means—time to start planning your garden! Garden planning can be a daunting task, but with a little organization, it can be relatively easy and fun. The biggest question when planning a garden is:
What should I grow, and how much?
The answer to this question is actually pretty simple: you can grow whatever you like (and however much you like), as long as it will grow in your climate. The first step to planning your garden is to make a list of what vegetables you want to grow, listing the most important ones first.
Once you decide what you want to grow, you can then decide how much. Here are a few basic vegetables that will grow easily in any American garden, along with how much you should plant to feed a family of 4:
- Greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, and the like)- a 20-30 foot row, with each plant about 12 inches apart.
- Carrots- a 40 foot row, with seedlings spaced about 2-4 inches apart.
- Tomatoes- 10-15 plants planted about 18-24 inches apart (allow up to 36 inches for unstaked plants).
- Peppers- 6-10 plants planted about 18-24 inches apart.
- Onions- a 10 foot row, with each seed planted about 1-2 inches apart.
- Sweet Corn- a 140 foot row, with seeds planted about 8-10 inches apart.
Check out this chart to see how much to grow for a family of four for several different vegetables.
You can find seeds for all of these veggies and more at your local garden supply store or online at garden supply sites like Johnny’s Seeds. Remember to check the seed packet for planting and growing instructions.
Once you decide which vegetables you want to grow, and how much you’re going to grow, draw up an outline of what your garden is going to look like. GrowVeg.com is a great online software that can help you plan your garden; however, it does cost $25/year. I recommend using it for the 30-day free trial, printing out your final plan, and then saving the plan to use year after year, adjusting as necessary.
What challenges are you facing while planning your garden? What are you planning on growing in your garden this year? Please let me know!
Next week, I’ll be talking about starting plants from seed in flats.