I'm excited! This is going to be great! Above you'll see a diagram of the garden plan that I will be planting this year. In this plan I suggest using four 30 inch wide beds that are 20 feet long. This is quite doable for many people in their back yards. You'll notice I'm using 1 foot pathways in between, but you could make them as wide as you like.
Also, there's no need to map your beds out exactly like I have them here (although that would probably be the easiest). For instance, if you already have raised beds in your garden, you could still use this same plan and the sample planting calendars (we'll get to that in just a bit) and simply rearrange the veggies to fit your raised beds.
Also, this plan can be scaled as large or as small as fits your needs. If you have more space, feel free to grow more! If not, why not take this and simply grow less of each veggie? It's totally up to you.
That being said, especially if you're starting from scratch, I'd suggest simply copying exactly what I do. It'll be simpler and easier that way.
The garden plan above ends up being 20 feet by 15 feet. Not bad for growing 20 different veggies in!
A Quick Word on Crop Rotation
This garden plan was specifically designed with a simple crop rotation plan in mind. Rotating where you grow your veggies each year is helpful in suppressing diseases and helping keep a healthy soil as different plants give and take nutrients from the soil in different ways.
Click here to view this simple crop rotation diagram. You'll quickly notice how the four beds in our garden plan correspond to the four sections of the diagram.
For my premium gardening course members here's a quick link to learn more about the benefits of crop rotation, vegetable families and their characteristics, as well as how this simple rotation works.
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Now for the Sample Planting Calendars!
This is super exciting!
When I made this garden plan I decided to plug it into my Google Calendar so that I can easily look and see what needs to be done each week. It makes life so much easier when you have a plan that can easily be followed instead of wondering what you need to do all the time.
And so I've decided to share it with you! And not just that, I've made 8 of these sample plans for people based in different locations. This is because suggested planting times change based on when your last frost date is, and so I want this to be as helpful to as many people as possible.
So, here's how this works...
- Find out when your average last frost date is. You can do that by clicking here and entering your zip code. (For Canada click here)
- Find the corresponding calendar below that matches your last frost date. For instance, if your last frost date is April 17, then you'll choose the calendar titled "Garden Plan - April 15-22". Make sense? Great!
- Print out the calendar using the "print" button on the top right OR, at the bottom of each calendar you'll see a link where you can download the calendar file and import it into your own Google Calendar or calendar program.
Here are instructions to import into three common calendar programs:
Importing into Google Calendar
Importing into Microsoft Outlook
Importing into the Mac Calendar app
Finally: A Note on the Veggies
One last note here: I've included some notes on each of the veggies that are listed in this sample plan. You can view these by clicking the "Veggie Planting Information" tab just above the sample garden calenders below.
Disclaimer: This is a sample garden plan and as such I cannot guarantee any kind of results in your garden. Success will depend on the health of your soil and the amount of work and care you put into making this garden plan work for you (besides natural catastrophes that are beyond our control). Also, the dates given on the sample calendars are mere suggestions. They may need to change due to unforeseen weather or because of characteristics of your specific climate. I do not guarantee that planting times will be correct but they will give you a good starting point. Cheers and happy gardening!
Here are some notes for the veggies listed in this sample garden plan:
NOTICE: If you miss the date listed on your calendar to plant one of these veggies, don't get too worried. Many of these veggies have a window of opportunity to plant. The main thing you will want to make sure is that they have enough time to mature before it gets cold and winter sets in again. Also, some of the cool weather crops do not do as well in the summer and hence are best planted early in the spring or planted mid-late summer for a fall harvest.
Basil: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 8 inches apart.
Beets: Sow directly into the garden. Sow 10 seeds/ft in a row and then thin plants to 4 inches apart. Note: you can eat the thinnings in a fresh salad!
Broccoli: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 18 inches apart.
Cabbage: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 18 inches apart.
Carrots: Sow directly into the garden. Sow 30 seeds/ft in a row and then thin plants to 1-2 inches apart depending on your desired size.
Cilantro: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 8 inches apart.
Cucumbers: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 20 inches apart.
Dill: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 8 inches apart.
Green beans: Sow directly into the garden. Sow 3-4 inches apart in a row and then thin to 6-8 inches apart. Space rows 14 inches apart.
Kale: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 16 inches apart.
Lettuce: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 8-10 inches apart. NOTE: The lettuce planting dates in the sample calendar may be a bit early. When it comes time to transplant make sure to check the weather to see if you are still having hard frosts. If you only expect light frosts (28-32 deg. F) then you can probably safely transplant your lettuce. If it is still getting colder then that at night - I'd suggest waiting another week or two before planting it out (or until the frosts let up).
Onions: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 6 inches apart.
Parsley: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 6 inches apart.
Peas: Sow directly into the garden. Sow 20 seeds/ft in a row and then thin plants to 2-4 inches apart. Plant rows 10 inches apart.
Peppers: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 14 inches apart.
Potatoes: Plant directly into the garden. Space plants 16 inches apart.
Radishes: Sow directly into the garden. Sow 30 seeds/ft in a row and then thin plants to 1-2 inches apart depending on your desired size. Sowing and thinning rates may depend on the size of the radish you are trying to grow as well.
Squash: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 24 inches apart.
Swiss chard: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 6 inches apart in rows that are 8 inches apart.
Tomatoes: Plant inside then transplant out. Space plants 20 inches apart.