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5 Ways to start planning your garden

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

Spring is just around the corner and it's time to start planning your garden for next year. We have 5 tips to help you get started.

Spring is just around the corner and it's time to start planning your garden for next year. We have 5 tips to help make the planning process a breeze.

Planning a garden


Spring is just around the corner and it's time to start planning your garden for next year. We have 5 tips to help make the planning process a breeze.



When planning a garden...

1. Take a walk down memory lane. If you planted a garden last year, tap into your memory and review what worked (or didn't). Did you plant enough different varieties of vegetables? Did you find yourself wanting more flowers? Were plants from seeds or seedlings more successful for you? Any issues with rabbits or deers that created a need for pest control?

Looking at last year's successes and failures will help you determine how to approach this year's growing season.

2. Set your goals. It might sound cheesy, but actually sitting down and setting some gardening goals for this year can help you in the planning process. Are you planting a garden for the first time? Want to eat fresh veggies all summer long? Would you like to have fresh bouquets of flowers for your house? Looking for a low-maintence garden so you can simply enjoy outdoors?

Establishing your goals will help keep your garden realistic so you can prioritize what is important.

3. Assess your time commitment. While you're at it, think about how much time you want (or are able) to spend in the garden. Are you a die-hard green thumb who likes to be outdoors from sun-up to sun-down or do you just have enough time to grow a few tomato plants for your summer salads?

Planting more than you can maintain can be a major bummer. Not only will it turn your gardening hobby into a dreaded chore, you'll totally be disappointed when your first plant dies due to neglect. Save yourself the hassle by knowing your time commitment availability from the get go and avoid biting off more than you can chew.

4. Map it out. When planning a garden it's super easy to go over-the-top and try to incorporate every favorite plant you ever spotted. Mapping out your gardening plot will help you get a better sense of the space and will your expectations realistic.

Simply grab a piece of paper and do a rough sketch of your space -- don't worry if you aren't in touch with your inner Picasso. Make note of any existing plants and garden structures and start filling in the blank spots with what you'd like to pant in the space.

Map out your garden while it's still winter out and you'll be ready to plant come spring.

5. Do research...or not. In an ideal world we'd research every last plant to make sure that it is suitable for the planting zone and microclimate. We'd find out which plants are compatible in advance and plant them next to each other.

Let's get real though. Although it would be great if we could research every last plant, gardening is supposed to be fun and sometimes all that extra work makes it, well, work. At minimum you'll want to know the last frost date in your area and general requirements for plant care. After that, sometimes is just fun to experiment.

Happy planning!
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