Garden planner

Many of us dream about being able to pick vegetables we grow in our garden and serving them at summer dinners. Fertiliser, water and sunshine work wonders, but proper planning is actually the basis for an abundant harvest. Let the growing season begin!

Define your conditions
Begin planning by thinking about how much you would like to grow and the purpose your garden will serve. What growing options do you have access to? Will you be away on holiday for most of the summer? In February it’s easy to dream about gardening and get carried away, but by growing realistically you will increase the chances of a successful harvest.

Make a list!
What plants do you dream about having in your garden or in your allotment? Make a list of the crops you want to grow; you will find loads of inspiration from gardening blogs and in garden centres. Think about what you want to eat and focus on the things you know you will eat and use in your cooking. If you like challenges, it's always fun to try experimenting with new types of plants each year!

Draw and sketch
Now you have created a foundation for your garden and it’s time to begin sketching! The seed packets will advise you where your plants will grow best. Some crops need to be planted in different places each year, while others do best when planted together and others can be planted close to each other. If you plan what you are going to grow before you put your seeds in the soil, then you will give your plants the best possible start.

Design your own garden planner
Growing is personal and is governed by the hardiness zones you live in, whether or not you have access to a greenhouse and, of course, the plants you wish to grow. When you design your own garden calendar you can write down dates that are important to you. Such as the last frost date, when different vegetables should be cultivated and when you can begin planting them out. Next year you can use your template as a basis and adapt it.

Evaluate and improve
Just as with everything else, practice makes perfect. If you make a note of what you do in your garden it is much simpler to go back and evaluate what worked well and what you want to do differently next year. This is why it is a smart idea to add extra pages in your calendar for notes and sketches. The perfect time to begin planning for the next gardening season is when your garden is at rest during the wintertime!

The choice is yours

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