Jordan Freytag + photo

Jordan Freytag

Jan 7
4 min read
bubble 0

1. Get a Gardening Journal

Tracking your garden from beginning to end is a joy and an essential component when planning next year's garden. You can learn from what worked and what didn't work the year before. Over time, after observing different varieties succeed or fail following each growing season, you get an instinct what grows best in your area of the globe.

2. Before Buying Your Seeds, make a list and do the research

This is where the gardening journal comes in. Track all of your research in it. Having all the info together will reveal aspects about your future garden that you won't initially think of--but you must! Most importantly, you'll see that seeds fall into one of two categories (for the most part): warm season and cool season crops. Basically, what this tells you is that a seed is suited to a particular climate, either warm or cold. This can help you plan for various harvesting and planting dates that comes with planting a garden diverse in cool and warm season veggies.

3. Start Indoors or Direct Sow?

As you do your research, you'll find that some seeds need to be started early indoors a few weeks before the ideal planting date in order to have timely blooms or fruiting. This requires a seedling transplant when the time comes. Direct sow is the old school method of planting your seeds outdoors after the last frost when spring is in full force, which is a tried-and-true method. It just has a different maturation schedule over the growing season compared to indoor-started crops.

4. Sow What You Eat, but Don't Sow More than You can Reap

Ambition is good, but don't bite off more than you can chew with planning your garden. Keep in mind that as your plants grow, they require many times the water and care than they need to begin with. Troubleshooting will be a necessary and manageable step in the coming months, but if you have too many plants, you may become overwhelmed with tasks.

5. Perform Ground Prep if Necessary

Determine whether your ground that you plan to grow in needs some preparatory work done to it. Tilling is a controversial topic with some swearing by it and others claiming it causes damage. Adding manure is another option. Or, you can add "green manure", commonly called cover crops. Read more in-depth articles about soil treatment and cover crops.

6. Where is the Sun, and Where will it Be?

As you make plans for your garden plot, keep in mind that where the sun sits in the sky now is not where it will be in a few months when you need it the most. So, chart what direction the sun will travel in that time and where it will be in the sky when you need it most. This may change where you place your plot and how you orient it in your yard according to sun placement. 

7. Recycle Last Year's Seeds

There is no need to buy the same variety twice! If you still have some seeds left over from years past, they are still good for planting and growing on. Seeds are often packaged for a certain year to better track lot numbers--in no way is it an indication that the seed will "go bad". Still it is good to try at least 2 new varieties each growing season.

8. Review Last Year's Gardening Experience

Last year can tell us loads about what to expect for the coming growing season. Whether you have grown year after year, or if this is your first year gardening, the info the previous year provides about weather patterns and temperature fluctuations is invaluable. If this is your first time gardening and you don't have a garden journal from the previous year, check out the farmer's almanac from last year--or, better yet, talk to your neighbors who may garden, or drop in at your local nursery.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


No Comments yet! Be the first to start a conversation

  1. Discovering the Festival of Lights: Hanukkah's History and TraditionsHanukkah menorah

    Discovering the Festival of Lights: Hanukkah's History and Traditions

    Written By Chelsea Hafer Often referred to as the Festival of Lights, hanukkah is a radiant celebration that illuminates the winter season with hope, unity, and tradition. Can you feel the warm glow of candlelight, the sizzle of potato latkes, and the ...

    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    5 min read
    bubble 0
  2. Stay Healthy - Foods to Eat This Wintersick woman sipping tea

    Stay Healthy - Foods to Eat This Winter

    Written By Lara Wadsworth Staying healthy in the winter is always on the top list for health-conscious individuals. With flu season, less sunlight, cold temperatures, and back-to-school time, the winter season is often a hash of sickness after sickness...

    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    5 min read
    bubble 0
  3. Rediscovering Kamut: A Nutrient-Rich Journeykamut berries pouring from a wood spoon to a wood table

    Rediscovering Kamut: A Nutrient-Rich Journey

    Written By Chelsea Hafer In the world of grains, Kamut stands as a venerable ancestor, a time-honored variety that has gracefully made its way back into the spotlight. The name Kamut, derived from the ancient Egyptian word for "wheat," paints a vivid p...

    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    7 min read
    bubble 0
  4. DIY Bird Seed Ornamentsbirdseed tree ornament diy

    DIY Bird Seed Ornaments

    Who doesn't enjoy watching birds out their window? I find birds absolutely mesmerizing to watch. The way they interact with each other and the environment is so much fun to observe. You can even stage their presence by providing a source of food. These...

    Ashleigh Smith + photo

    Ashleigh Smith

    3 min read
    bubble 1