Thoughts on Planning Your Garden

Planning your garden for the next season can add to the joy of gardening. Planning allows new ideas and accentuating what worked well.

Greetings fellow gardeners,  

Planning a garden is as difficult as you choose to make it. A simple points list can be your plan, or a map, made to scale, of all your garden rooms. I like to be somewhere in the middle. Planning your garden for the next season does not need to be a pain; it can be an addition to the joy that is gardening. Your plan allows you to introduce new ideas and consolidate those features that worked well.

The too-many cats and I are watching the snowflakes swirling down and the fat fuzzy blue jays that are tapping their sunflower seeds against the tree. Winter has truly arrived. Soon the many seed catalogues that I love to look through will start to show up in my mailbox, so I want to get started on my garden plans.

After supper, with the warmth of the woodstove mellowing the too-many cats, I get out my squared paper, pencils, black pen, and highlighters. I do an approximation on the paper of the true size of my garden, but you can assign a number value to the squares should you wish.  For example, one square can represent one foot or perhaps thirty centimeters. I find it easiest to break down my garden into rooms. The front garden is a room and so is the side garden, and so forth.

Cats relaxing by the woodstove
Relaxing by the woodstove

Front and Back Gardens

Let’s start with the front garden. I map out the existing cedar trees, the roses, the water feature, the lilacs, the forsythia, and the cherry bush. I do a review of what I had in this garden last summer. Primarily it had pots of tomatoes, as it has had for a while now, and it is time to rotate those tomatoes to another area. Usually, I like to change the location of my tomatoes so that I am not providing a constant environment for fungal diseases and pests. Every little bit helps!

The plus side of this garden is that while the cedars are along the back, near the front is full sunshine. While that is ideal for tomatoes, it is also ideal for other sunshine vegetables.

The negative side of this garden is that it is nearly all cedar root, which makes direct digging difficult. This garden works best with pots.

Vegetables in Pots

Next, I need to decide which vegetable I will grow in those pots. After I decide on the vegetable I need to see if I have seed for it collected this summer or extra in a package. If I have no seeds, I will write down a seed request on my to-be-ordered paper. I still have last year’s catalogues as well as access to the companies online, so I can find the seeds that I want. Remember to get your seed orders in by mid-January if possible so you can get everything that you want.

It would seem that I have a lot of work ahead of me as I have more than a few garden rooms to map. I have my paper ready and am also enjoying a few little dreams about next summer’s garden. Enjoy your week. Judith. 

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