Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. We have all heard this saying but one may wonder what that has to do with gardening. Gardeners who do not plan run the chance of producing too much, too little or creating a garden full of problems.
The planning process should never become a chore but instead a time to revisit the past, evaluate the present, and plan for the future. I personally do this garden planning on January 1st. This gives me time to reflect and plan before the avalanche of seed catalogues arrives.
Things one should consider while walking “down their garden path” includes what was successful last year, what their gardening goal is for this year, and economics.
Do not limit yourself to the traditional idea of what a garden should be. All types of gardens need to be planned and this includes traditional, container, square foot, raised, mulch and straw bale gardens along with the vertical space.
Garden journals are also a great way of recording family history. This history tells the story of a garden space, the land, and the people involved in that gardening season. As the seasons go by, this record becomes a family artifact documenting those who have passed on and how individuals have changed along side the structure of the garden. Do not limit your journal to drawing but enhance it with pictures, saved seeds, saved plant materials and even family recipes that were used during that gardening season. Also, do not forget pictures of those picking and preparing the bounty. They are just as important to the gardening process as the gardener.
Once you have evaluated the past’s year garden space, it is then time to calculate how much you will need. This is based on the number of people one plans to feed, how one plans to use the space, and the likes and dislikes of those who will be benefiting from the garden. After you have obtained this information, it is time to play.
This part of the process simply entails where one is going to place the plant material. Doing a so-called dry run of my garden helps one visualize possible problems. These include too much shade, not enough shade or not enough space.
After this gardening dry run has occurred, finalize it by adding the plan to the drawing of your garden space.
Once your gardening journal for the upcoming gardening season is complete, you can begin to look at the seed catalogues and at your own stash of gardening seeds. At this point, one is prepared for the next gardening season.
Gardening is like life and life is like a bank. Your get out what you put into it with interest. How you reinvest that interest starts with a good plan.