Create Your Own Garden Planner for the New Year
Creating a garden plan of your own is the best way to ensure you get the garden of your dreams. Taking the time to plan your garden will allow you to consider all elements and features and arrange them in a practical and aesthetic way. Planning your garden also helps you to assess what you already have, what you need, and what it will cost, so you can create a budget for the entire growing season. With a garden design, you can also develop your garden in stages, so you can keep it cost-effective and know that it will all come together in the end.
Knowing What You Want in Your Garden
The first step in your garden plan should be to make a list of what you want from your garden. Every gardener has different expectations, so make sure to think about what you really want to grow (not what you think you should grow). Do you want a flower garden to attract pollinators, an herb garden for teas and tinctures, a vegetable garden for daily meals, or an ornamental garden to bring natural beauty to your home?
If you are growing edibles, the most essential question is - will I eat it? There is no point in growing fruits and vegetables you don’t actually enjoy, so make sure you list your favorite food items first (it will make growing and harvesting them that much more rewarding). If you are growing for a family, you must take into account the tastes and preferences of everyone.
Assessing What You Have
The next step is to assess what you already have in your garden, such as the size of the area, the plants, pathways, and other features that are already present. Make a comprehensive list of what you need, with the most important features at the top (this will help you prioritize during the season). Here is a list of some of the utilities and recreation items you may want to include in your garden:
- Washing line
- Tool shed
- Bin storage
- Composting area
- Table and chairs
- Water feature
- Root crops
- Leafy greens
- Peas and Beans
Drawing Up the Garden Plan
The next step is to draw your garden plan. It doesn't have to be perfect; the drawing only needs to be good enough for you to understand (no one else needs to see it). You will want to make sure to draw your garden plan to scale, so that you can easily transfer your plans from paper to reality.
Once you have your sketch drawn out, with all your existing features, you will need to take some time to observe how nature plays its role in your garden. Take note of the areas that receive more sun, and the areas that get more shade. Analyze the soil and see how it affects your garden. Consider the amount of hours of light your plants need, how much water they can tolerate in the soil and how deep their roots need to grow. Accessibility is another important factor to consider in the garden.
Finalizing the Garden Plan
Your garden plan should be full of information and a couple of sketches by now, so it's time to draw up your final garden plan. This is a sketch of your garden, similar to what you have done thus far, but this time you can use your imagination to create a drawing of what you want your garden to look like in the end.
Start out with the basic layout drawn to scale, the borders of your planting areas, the pathways and plants that will stay. Then add to the basic layout with what you want to incorporate into your garden (remember the list of requirements?).
Now that you have your garden plan ready, it's time to get those seedlings started!