Garden Planning

Great Garden Planning Resources

As a gardener in Wisconsin I usually have most of my seeds ordered by mid-February. I want to make sure I have everything I need when my seed starting schedule begins in earnest at the end of the month.

This timeline forces me to sit down and delve into some garden planning during January and early February. It’s not that I don’t love the garden planning process, it’s that I find it difficult to carve out the time with my busy speaking and teaching schedule at this time of year.

A case of the cobbler’s children having no shoes? Possibly. This garden educator sometimes has trouble making time for her own garden.

If this sounds like you, too, I’m hoping to help you jump start your garden planing with this round up of resources. Block out a few hours of time in the coming weeks to really delve into and savor the beginning of the gardening season.

The season really starts with the planning, and is quickly followed by seed starting, and then actually getting into our gardens. Spring comes quickly, even in cold climates, so make sure you’re prepared!

How Many Different Varieties Should You Plant?

tomatoes from garden in wooden bowl

Two things happened last week that gave me the idea for this blog post:

#1: As part of the pre-order for my Smart Start Garden Planner I offered a special bonus that included a list of all of the varieties I’m growing this year. On the list are 29 vegetables and 79 total varieties.

One of the gardeners who received this list posted on my Facebook page, “I just looked over your list of seed varieties for this year…Wow!!! I’m curious, how big is your garden space?”

#2: I was asked to look over a new gardener’s plan for the upcoming year. She mapped out her new garden space with everything she was going to plant. It was beautiful and organized and I think she’s going to be a very successful gardener.

And, I did find one potential problem with her plan. Her plan included planting eight tomatoes, nine trellises of pole beans, and fourteen cucumbers, all of the same one or two varieties. I advised her why planting more variety would be a much better idea.

Both of these this things led to the realization that there’s a big question hanging out there in a lot of your minds – how many varieties should you plant?

And this is exactly why I love this community of gardeners. You inspire me to look at gardening in new and fresh ways. And you help me become aware of the ways I think about gardening as an experienced gardener, ways that might not be natural for newer gardeners.

So, let’s chat more about this topic!

How I Choose Which Vegetables to Grow in My Garden

man holding harvest of tomatoes and beans

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you sit down to try to decide what to grow in your garden. I’m an experienced gardener and even I start to feel stressed out when I spend too much time flipping through seed catalogues.

Every variety description makes it sound like it’s the best ever…

Superior color and flavor!
Very impressive!
A standout!
Beautiful and flavorful!
The ultimate variety!

The photos are pretty, the descriptions are tempting, and the choices can number into the hundreds for vegetables like tomatoes and peppers.

It’s confusing out there in seed ordering land.

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