We are going to share our step-by-step garden plan with you again this year as we know many of you loved to see what we were up to with our gardens last year, pictures from our garden growing indoors and out! It helps to see other’s gardens and plans to help you plan your own.
But this year, it is even better! Alex – the awesome other half of The Thrifty Couple, created downloads for me to use to help me have an even more efficient and effective garden plan.
So….. I am sharing these downloads he created for me with you too as you prepare and plant gardens this year! Isn’t that awesome?
So I am going to show you my garden plan this year, and share the downloads below in case you would like to use any of them!
Well, let me start off by saying that last year we switched to square foot gardening after a few years of rough gardening and rough results from “row” gardens. We struggled with using the actual ground as our soil. In our area, the soil is terrible, filled with clay and very high maintenance. Weeds, tough ground, terrible soil, etc. So we finally made that switch and last year was finally awesome!
We followed Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening Book. This is the EXACT one that we use!
You can see the details and information on this book on Amazon HERE.
So of course we are doing square foot gardening again. Not only is it low maintenance, but has very little weeds and nutrient rich soil for our food!
We also use Heirloom Seeds – I hope to harvest my own seeds to use again from these same plants!
The boxes were very easy to build and we will share very soon how to build your own boxes.
Here’s the steps I follow to plan and plant a produce garden!
Step#1 – Figure out what varieties I want to plant!
- I use the Planting Schedule download and fill in the first line with the plant.
- Then using planting guides or on the seed packs themselves, decide which ones need to be started indoors and which ones are planted directly in the ground.
- I wait on the number of plants until another step. So I skip to the last section and write the start date based on when I want to harvest that food! Often, I will be starting seedlings and different intervals to have food coming in at different times and not all at once!
Step #2 – Complete the Companion Guide
- It is important to figure out which foods are friends and which ones are enemies – to put it in simple terms! This is called companion gardening and it is a simple, but very beneficial step to take to have a healthy, flourishing, bountiful garden!
- I use the Companion Guide download. In the first box, write the plant name. Then there are two sections – one for the “Friends” and one for the “Not’s.”
- To find the friends and not’s of planting together, I use Almanac.com or OrganicGardening.com sites.
Step #3 – Write out your plan
- Whether you are planting square foot gardens, rows or something else, it’s best to write it out so you don’t over or under plan.
- For square foot gardening, it’s easy to write it out! I just use the Square Foot Garden Planner download to write what food will be planted in each “foot” and then the number of seeds or plants to be planted in each square foot. You can research online how many of each type of plant can fit in a square foot, or use the official square foot gardening book which lays all of this out!
Step #4 – Finish the Planting Schedule
- Go back to the first download and now fill-in how many seeds you need to plant. It is best to add 10-20% more to plant as you will often lose some. Worst case, if they all sprout and grow, then give some of your seedlings to others and bless others! But this excess will hopefully make up for seeds the don’t sprout or plants that don’t turn out very healthy. So if I want 4 of something, I will plant 5 or 6, etc.
Finally, once you are all planned out…. get growing! Follow your “start dates” and start your seedlings!
So here’s what we are growing this year. We have 6 square foot garden boxes this year (last year we had 4) and a potato tower that we are building for potatoes.
But here’s what’s going in the boxes:
- 32 peas
- 4 Tomatoes
- 4 Cabbage
- 4 Kale
- 8 Cucumber
- 6 Broccoli
- 6 Cauliflower
- 4 Pepper
- 128 Carrots
- 32 Beans
- 32 Corn
- 4 Spaghetti Squash
- 36 Onion
- 4 Zucchini
- 4 Mixed Lettuce (this is one where you cut and it keeps regrowing)
- 4 Spinach
- 64 Radish
- 8 Watermelon
- 8 Cantaloupe
We already have a bunch of fruit all over our yard….. details on this on a later garden update!
So all I needed to start in the house was:
So that is what is on our light table now, along with a tray of 72 Marigold plants that we hope to use as a natural pest control. I will be writing later what we are using for a handful of natural pest control ideas!
What are you growing this year?
Here’s those downloads for you to use if you would like!
Please note, if you are reading this email in our rss feed or our email newsletter, you may have to click to the post HERE to print this download.
|<== Download your Planting Schedule page HERE
|<== Download your Companion Gardening Planner page HERE|
|<== Download your Square Foot Garden Planning page HERE
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