Planning the Vegetable Garden

Planning the Vegetable Garden

Best time for planning the vegetable garden and get ready, for spring is during the winter. This is the time to evaluate last year’s harvest, and to see what variety of vegetables did well and what didn’t. Planning the vegetable garden is one of the key things that should be done to achieve success.

Some Questions to Ask Yourself Are:

  • Did I plant too much of any one vegetable?
  • Did I plant them too close?
  • Were they properly placed or did some plants get too much shade?
  • Did I plant them too late so that I didn’t have time to harvest them before they went to seed, or bolted, or the frost got them?
  • What varieties did I love and which ones I don’t want to replant?
  • What new vegetables do I want to try?
  • Does my soil need improvement? If so, learn about soil microbes, creating black gold and restoring the soil into a fertile ground. Just some of the topics covered in this course which is on sale until February 7, 2024. Soil, The Key to Organic Gardening

Four-Season Planning

The solution to some of these questions is to sit and create a four-season plan: one for early spring, then for mid-spring, another for early summer and, lastly, for late summer fall.

After taking stock of your prior year, decide what you like to eat which vegetables you have enjoyed eating or would like to try. It’s a good idea to try at least one new vegetable each year. Based on available space decide how many varieties of a given vegetable you will grow. If you grow peppers are they going to be Habaneros, sweet peppers or bell peppers or a few plants of each type? Or just one plant?

Consider Placement

  • Then survey and measure your garden.
  • Where is the north versus south?
  • Taller plants on the northern end and shorter ones are place in the south.
  • Where should the paths be, and the compost?
  • If you have a compost pile or bin, was it placed correctly or does it need moving?
  • Do the raised beds need expansion or should they even be moved?
  • Was there enough room left in the paths for a wheelbarrow to go through?

Incorporating Color in the Garden? 

This is really important for several reasons. A garden can become a place to relax and escape into your own world. It’s important for it to look pleasing to the eyes, and the greater amount of color, the better.  Leave a section or small area for flowers or planting various types of peppers that have different colors or herbs that give a fragrance when handled. All these different inputs can help make your garden experience joyful and relaxing. In addition, it will provide you with fantastic fresh produce.

Get my paperback copy:  ‘Garden the Organic Way’ and become an expert gardener. Garden the Organic Way is a comprehensive guide to organic gardening, designed for all skill levels. The book provides methods for growing delicious, pesticide-free vegetables using sustainable practices.

Creating the Plan- Additional considerations:

  • Do we want a focal point?
  • Is fencing necessary to keep deer, groundhogs, and rabbits out?
  • Can I use containers for certain crops?
  • If planting perennials such as rhubarb or asparagus, they need a permanent place where they won’t interfere with the rest of the garden.
  • When you start the plan, it is best to have different layers. On the layers, you should place them by the height of the plants.

Example Using Tomatoes

If they are the kind that are indeterminate (keep growing indefinitely) place them in the north, they can get to be five feet tall or taller by late summer. They will shade anything that is behind them. You can also take advantage of the shade they provide and plant shade-tolerant plants that will thrive with tomatoes. Example: planting tomatoes with parsley or carrots. As long as they get a little sun or dappled sun, they will do well during the summer months. Read more about companion

Once the tomatoes are done, you carefully remove the plant by cutting the base of the tomato plants and allowing the parsley to finish the season into late fall.

Learn all about growing tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplant! Take my course on sale now at a great price until February 7, 2024. It includes videos providing information on how to prune tomatoes, and the growing practices of this whole Solanaceous family. Great visuals along with many tips and techniques are covered complementing the book Garden the Organic Way.  Course on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes

Succession Planting

Companion planting

Succession planting would work great if you plan it out and know when the last planting will take place in a given space. You can do this as a family project, with the kids coloring the various plants and deciding what they should grow. If children grow something, they then tend to eat it, as it was their labor. Example: Consider planting radishes – they would be ready in thirty days from seed to harvest. You can follow with a second and third crop?

Making a List and Choosing Seeds

Here is where planning the vegetable garden comes into play. Make a list of the early spring plants that are cool weather crops. Followed by the warm season crops and, once again, the cool season plants. Once your plan is complete and you have decided where things should go, then order the seeds. This way you don’t order way more than what you need. Seeds only last two years or so in the refrigerator before their germination rate goes down significantly.

  • In this list you should note if you want seed potatoes.
  • If you are going to start your own seedlings or if you plan on buying them.
  • Choose which plants require transplants – broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower and, if so, who will be your supplier?
  • Where are you going to order the asparagus or rhubarb crowns?
  • Are you planning to put in strawberry plugs or bare-root blackberry plants?

Pre-Purchase Items

It’s a good idea to purchase pots for herbs; this way they will not take over the garden and can easily be moved.  Or create a small raised bed for just the herbs. Some will easily survive through any winter. Mints and their family should be kept in pots, no matter what. Otherwise, they will invade your garden and take over.

Purchase growing trays or materials to make your own blocks to start seedlings. Build a cold frame, and purchase your shade-netting units or cloth for insect protection.

Now that you have covered all these items, planning the vegetable garden should be easy.

You can also purchase ‘Garden the Organic Way’ as an eBook http://Amazon- Garden the Organic Way