Before the first seed is even tucked into the soil, a gardener’s work has already begun. A successful garden harvest in the fall begins with proper planning in the spring.
Browsing seed catalogs is a fun way to start planning the garden season. There are so many beautiful fruits and vegetables to dream about growing!
You’ll surely choose a good selection of your favorite tried and true varieties. But don’t be afraid to experiment with some new and exciting crops as well.
Being aware of your available growing space will help you not get too carried away with your seed shopping. Whether you’re growing in raised beds or a large garden, knowing how many square feet of space you have will allow proper planning of your garden for the greatest success.
The back of your seed packet is a great place to find much of the information you will need for accurate garden planning. This includes how deep to plant the seeds, proper spacing between plants and days to maturity.
Additionally, knowing your last potential frost date in the spring as well as the first frost date of the fall will help you determine how many growing days you need available for each of your crops.
Some of our garden favorites can be direct-sown, or planted directly into the garden. But others need a longer warm season than many locations can offer. These plants will need to be started indoors before being transplanted out into the garden at a later date.
Crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants all benefit from this early start. Indoor seed starters will need some additional equipment such as heat mats for warming the soil to encourage germination as well as lighting for the young plants.
Most garden supply centers offer seed-starting trays that include a clear plastic lid. This is ideal for creating a warm, humid greenhouse environment—perfect for sprouting seeds.
Consider making a list or diagram of your garden plans to help you organize your information. This is a great tool to help you visualize your potential garden. You can easily edit and adjust when necessary.
It’s important to stay flexible with your garden planning. And never take on more than you can handle in one season. Remember, the most important part of planning and planting your garden is to have fun!