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Updated: Feb 23, 2021

Why is garden planning so important? A garden plan is an essential part of growing a garden. A garden plan is the difference between a garden that is a headache and one that runs smoothly.

Why Is A Garden Plan So Important?

Now let me put that into a little perspective for you, when I first started growing a garden it wasn't about a garden plan, my garden was about the dream in my head and providing food for my family. I had a growing family.

I had toddler back in 2005, I was expecting. My family was growing, and I had the dream of giving them good homegrown vegetables. My dream did not include a garden plan. To me a garden plan was something that was daunting. I was already a busy person so why did I need to add more to my plate, but my first garden suffered. Because of that thought. Because of me wanting to avoid making a garden plan, my first garden probably, the first two or three years of gardening I struggled. Because my idea of a garden plan was just to go to my local feed store, get some seeds that I wanted to grow, things that I knew might be my kids my eat, and plant them. I mean there was no other idea.

I remember having struggles with my soil and wondering what was going on. I went to our local growing center and ask them what I needed to do. And the first thing they asked me.

“OK what have you been putting in your soil?” and I kind of liked answered “well I've been putting in this, and putting that in. And then they were, “like do you have a record of what you?”

No, I don't have a record.

A garden plan should includes records. It should help in your garden from year to year and not in the first week.

Finding the Solution

It wasn't until I was doing a little more research into why my garden was struggling that I came across an article an interview with a market gardener. He said that the key to his success was his garden plan.

I was just really taken back by that. I was like the key to your success is this drawing of your garden. I read more into the article and his garden plan was more than a cute little drawing. He had a list of seeds he was going to order. He had a list of seedlings that he was going to be planting that week. He had a list of seedlings that were germinated that week. He had a list of fertilization. He had a fertilization schedule. He had so many different databases. As a market gardener he needs to keep track of all of those things. I meant, it's his job. It's the thing that he does every single day. It's important that he continues to make produce.

I've always thought of myself as a busy mom but as I have gone you know it to be coming homesteader, I have to become more than that. because I'm a Mom, a cook, a homeschooler, I home school my children. I'm a homesteader so I'm a carrier at in that aspect of the caregiver to animals, I run a small dairy. Each of those things need their own separate job. And why wasn't I doing that for my garden?

Why wasn't I making a plan that would work seamlessly?

And in actuality that plan that plan that I was so avoiding that I always thought was so daunting was my saving grace. Because it was like now as a busy person I could look at my schedule and say hey I've got 15 minutes to go work in my garden and these three things need done. It wasn't anymore of standing there going, hmm I have 15 minutes of working in my garden and know I get to go out there and I would get distracted by this and get distracted by that. And then I would completely avoid harvesting my peas when they should have been harvested at peak. That article really opened my eyes to that my garden needed something beyond a cute little drawing.

I needed a plan that had a plan for everything and that is when I developed about three other databases that help me keep track of when to start my seeds when to transplant my seeds, when to add compost to my beds, when to harvest, and a list that could go on and on. Making a garden plan beyond just the first week of getting the seeds in the soil, you're going to be able to improve your soil health. You're going to be able to plant more things because you're going to be able to maybe turn beds. You're going to have knowledge of when that produces hit its peak.

I began using this new garden plan that was more of a market gardener. I'm still that busy person so instead of wasting that little time but I do have in my garden I know what needs done. I can walk out there and have a list of exactly what needs done.

How To Make A Better Garden Plan

I'm going to walk you through the steps of how you can take your garden plan to something that's simple to one that can help you through the whole growing season. Having a garden plan that will help you in the whole growing season should be your goal.

Having a plan is going to be that guide that sets you on any path. Every path you have needs a guide. Let's go through, how you can make a garden plan that will help you through the whole garden season.

You need a plan with specific starting dates, specific planting date, specific transplanting dates, specific harvesting dates. You need to plan that includes those. Having that is going to be so beneficial and you're gonna know what you need to do week to week.

You need a place to keep all these dates in one place. You are not going to be able to remember these dates. I like to use a planner or a garden calendar. That was another database that I developed.

Your plan needs to includes tasks. There's things that need to be done like weeding, watering, fertilizing, turning beds over, turning your compost pile, adding compost to your beds. There so many tasks that need to be done. And if you have some kind of plan of how those tasks are going to get done every week.

Your plan should have a weekly task schedule. Like Monday's weeding day Thursdays fertilizing day or just you know some kind of schedule that works with you. Some kind of blocking schedule. For instance weeding is truly the worst job in a garden. And if you catch those weeds when they are itty bitty little tiny things. The job will take 5 minutes. If you avoid the job or forget about the job or get distracted with something else and the weeds big. It's gonna take you a few hours to pull those weeds. But if you had a schedule weekly task of every day, I'm going to go out and weed for 20 minutes. You could hit three or four beds that day. The next day you would hit three or four more beds. And you could have complete rotation through the week all the way around your garden. And so your every bed would be weeded every week. And weed seeds only need 7-8 days to germinate. So by the time you come back at 7-8 days you're going to be weeding again and those weeds are going to be small. Now that's just one example of how having a weekly task schedule can help you.

It's hard to explain how having a garden plan has really helped me out. In a way taking this time in the in the winter when we want to be dreaming about seeds anyway. We want to be dreaming about a garden, we just put a little more into it. And when the garden season actually comes and you have a garden plan that's gonna help you through the whole garden season. It is going to feel like weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Now when I go into the growing season, I have this sense of calm. And one benefit, I never realized my garden was missing was records. Like I told you before, I never even thought about keeping records of what I was putting into my soil. And if you read my book, Dirt: Finding Solutions To Soil Health, you would find out that I messed up in that area because I just threw amendments at the problem. There are so many other things that I could have been doing. But having those good records is gonna help you improve like I said your soil health, the variety of seeds you pick, the surprisingly it can increase your harvest.

Helping You With The First Step

The first step, and I want to help you with that first step, is just getting your seeds organized. You can start improving your garden plan today with the Red Ridge Farm Seed Variety Tracker. First step of a garden is your seeds. The tracker was designed to help gardeners take that first step to improving the garden plan by having one place to keep all their seed information.

I know once you get your seeds organized the rest of your garden plans are going to fall into place easily. If you don't want to take my word for it here's what another one of my listeners has said about the seed tracker.

“I love the seed tracker and the video was very helpful. It was fun to spend some time with my seeds and making plans for a garden on this snowy day,” Virginia Switzer.

The seed tracker is a database set up to help you keep all of your seeds organized. As everyone organizes differently this Seed Tracker lets you organize by variety, when is best to plant, or if you start them indoors or outdoors. The main goal though is that when you sit down to plan you don't have to handle your seed packets every single time. You only need to do it once when you put it in the seed tracker. And my favorite feature of the seed tracker is it lets me keep track of when and where I purchased my seeds. That is a huge thing!

Knowing exactly where you purchased that seed that you fell in love with is amazing 'cause if you gotta try to remember it it's just not gonna happen. The seed tracker is completely free just click on the link in the description box to get started now.



00:55 Why Is Garden Planning So Important

07:37 Finding the Solution

14:32 How To Make A Better Garden Plan

19:45 Helping You With The First Step

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