We continue to use Grow Veg’s Garden Planner software and truly believe that it’s use has enabled continued success in our gardens. It is easy to use and you can plan this year’s garden using the free trial. Here is a repost of our February 2015 blog.
In an earlier post, “Time to Plan the Garden”, I referred to the use of an excellent tool called the Garden Planner.
The illustration is of our Upper Garden (still in the planning stages). A raised bed garden where we experiment with Square Foot Gardening, as well as locate our garlic and asparagus beds. This year we used the Garden Planer to plan the irrigation system. Once everything was located, the Garden Planner produced a materials list detailing what was needed to complete the irrigation system. This materials list was very helpful to review our current inventory of irrigation parts and enabled us to order new.
This is one of the great features of the Garden Planner that we have come to like. In addition to producing a materials list for the irrigation system, the Garden Planner will produce a seed and plant list for our garden making it easy to determine what we need to buy for the 2015 garden.
Learning how to use the Garden Planner is easy and to help you get started there are nine training videos available detailing all the features of the Garden Planner.
As I plowed out the homestead today, I had the radio tuned to Stewart McLean, host of The Vinyl Café. Today’s show focused on Daydreaming. (You can listen to Stewart here.) Ann Murray sang “Daydream Believer”, and later, The Loving Spoonful joined in with “What a Day for a Daydream”. Those tunes took me back to the Sixties for a while and then the mind began to wander to warmer days and into the garden. It was more of the “I wonder” kind of daydream. The kind of thoughtful daydream that one can allow the mind to explore the “whys” of why you choose to do things. Like, “Why have a garden?”
When we initially started our garden there was not a lot of thought or planning. We jumped in and created a garden. You may recall how the seed display at Home Depot became our plan. Since then we have put careful thought into what we wanted to achieve. We thought out and wrote down goals for our gardens. The four main goals dealt with production, learning, leisure, and diversity.
Production – We wanted a garden to meet our defined needs. Fresh, nutritious, organic produced food, for canning, pickling, freezing, and winter storage. And for fresh salads, beet greens, HodgePodge,
strawberry pie, etc.
Learning – We wanted to gain knowledge about gardening. Experiment with raised rows, raised beds, square foot gardening, vertical gardening, and straw bale gardening. Learn about composting, mulching, and soil development.
Leisure – Create a relaxing environment. A garden for reflection, observation, and of course daydreaming. (our lower garden plan includes a hammock under the pergola!)
Diversity – Our garden will include vegetables, fruit, flowers, and shrubs. We will experiment with different varieties, colours, tastes, and textures.
Having these goals allows us to focus on what is important for us. The goals are like the cornerstones for our garden planning and allow us to establish specific objectives each year.
Looking at the Upper Garden covered in two feet of snow it will be awhile before we will be digging in the soil. Maybe time to relax and daydream about this summer and our gardens.
If you have not already started to plan your 2015 garden now is the time to start. Here is a great tool to help and is a valuable educational resource as well. We used the free version last year and chose to subscribe this year. It is the “Garden Planner” fromGrowVeg.com
Here are the features we like about the Garden Planner.
easy to draw out your vegetable beds, add plants and move them around to get the perfect layout
works for traditional row planting, raised beds, raised row or square foot gardens.
as you add vegetables the space they need is clearly shown by the colored area around each plant and it calculates how many plants will fit into the area
crop rotation is easy as the Garden Planner warns you where you should avoid placing each vegetable based on what was in your previous years’ plans.
enter your address and the Garden Planner adapts to your own area using a database of over 5000 weather stations.
print a planting chart showing how many of each plant and when to sow, plant and harvest them
the Garden Planner sends email reminders of what needs planting from your garden plans
you can organize which crops will follow on from others using the succession planting feature
add customized varieties with their own spacing and planting dates
acts as a garden journal by adding your own notes about what and how your garden grows.
This is our “lower garden” designed with the Garden Planner. (More on the lower garden in a future post.)
Have a look at the Garden Planner in action.
Setting up your Garden Planner account is easy, and there is no obligation to subscribe. If you find it useful the annual subscription is $25. We have found the Garden Planner a great tool for a successful garden and subscribed for two years for $40.