How to plan a garden part 1

Tis’ the month to start day dreaming about picking my favorite fruits and vegetables in the sunshine in my very own backyard. Last year was the first time I planted and grew a garden full of vegetables. I never realized I could feel such a sense of accomplishment and joy from the growing process and even better, the amazing food. As I begin year 2, I can’t wait to share everything I learned from year 1 with all of you. In the end, hopefully making it easy for you to plan, seed, and sprout your own garden.

Garden space

Assuming you already have a space for planting your garden, you can begin planning what you will grow. If you do not have a garden space, I highly recommend the Square Foot Gardening method. This is what I use and it makes planning, planting, and maintaing your garden easy. A must-have garden book is “Square Foot Garden” by Mel Bartholomew. What I love most about this method is that it can be adapted for any size space you have available.  Grab a copy of this book and layout your garden space, now let’s start planning when and how you will fill it!

Timing

The first thing that I think about is “when can I start planting”? You will need to know the final spring frost date based on where you live. You can find that information here, just enter your zip code. I’ll typically check this and another resource or two and compare dates. In Seattle, I will assume this year that the latest freeze date will most likely be before March 22nd. I will plan to start preparing my garden beds for seeding around this timeframe. Knowing this date will help you to plan when you will gather supplies, seeds, and carve out (a hopefully sunny day) to plant. You may also want to start some of your own transplants from seed and this will give you the time you need.

What to plant

Now that you know when you need to be ready to kick off, you can start day dreaming about what you will plant and when. This is a good time to think beyond just planting for Spring and also think about what you want to grow in summer. Once you get started you will get busy with maintaing your garden, harvesting, and enjoying the warmer weather. Have it all planned so you can make the most of all the great weather and growing season.

Now, I encourage you to take some time to think about the vegetables that you (and your family) like to eat. You should only grow food that you actually enjoy eating. At the same time, find out what grows best in your environment. This week I will make a list of the food I love to eat that I also knows grows well in Seattle in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Next up, selecting from my list what I will plant, when, and how much.

Enjoy filling your mind with images of wholesome, fresh food!

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