Garden Planning with SmartGardener.com

by Admin | January 28th, 2013

January is coming to an end…thank god!  Cabin fever has me pretty bad this year.  Maybe I have a bad memory, but last year was the best winter ever!  LOL  The last two weeks have been so cold I have only gotten out of the house when I have had to, one reason being the library.  The library seems to be the key to my winter sanity this year.  I have dove into a few gardening books.  One that really kept my attention is Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!  While the idea could probably be summed up in a much smaller book, perhaps a pamphlet, the book as a good section if you are looking for a garden guide to growing different fruits and vegetables.  Now if I had just picked up the book earlier, like last fall.  Oh well.  Thankfully it is still useful information.

This year I will be building new garden beds.  Last year, due to lack of planning and the funds, I tried a little experiment with gardening in bagged soil you would get from the garden center.   Surprisingly, it worked.  I mean, I had other failures, but the soil wasn’t one of them.  I learned that I can’t start seeds in my windows as I just don’t get enough sun and I definitely can’t start tomatoes and peppers .  Now I know why my father-in-law always bought those as plants from the store.  I also learned that I have bunnies that liked to eat my beans faster than I could grow them.  So not a great success but plenty of lessons learned without dishing out a ton of money on mistakes.

Bags of soil laid out on a few large pieces of cardboard.

The tops of the bags were cut back, but not too far as to allow soil to fall from the bags.

Lasagna gardening showed me that I could save a little money on soil, compost, etc by using what I have to help build up the organic matter in the beds.  I am still going to start rather small, compared to my big dreams in my over zealous head.  I am currently saving my food scraps and I have TONS of leaves available from last fall.  This will provide at least a starting layer on top of the cardboard I have been hoarding saving.   Now I just need the snow to go away!

So that brings up the plan…the garden plan.  I still don’t have one.  LOL  But I did spend a lot of time yesterday playing with a website:  SmartGardener.com.  On Smart Gardener you can plan your entire yard.  But in my case, I am just looking to plan a small space up by my barn.  :)  At first I thought it was all set up for square foot gardening techniques but after putting together what I thought was a plan I was rather happy with I found the “extras”.  While Smart Gardener is a free site, there are some extras you can spring for, and I did.  :)  I dropped under $9 and added square foot gardening planning to my design which figures spacing of plants on a more intensive gardening idea.  I also added succession planning which helps me spread out my harvest.  Lastly I added berries.  Yes, you have to pay a small fee to add strawberries, blueberries, etc to your plan.  While I could have just imagined them in my plan, I figured, “Why not!”

For those that really want a no-brainer, SmartGardener.com also makes it easy to order your seeds, plants, etc.  You can link up through their affiliates to purchase right from your garden plan.  Pretty easy.

Where I left off with SmartGardener.com Sunday night….

Check it out for yourself.  It is free unless you want to upgrade some items so you have nothing to lose.  And in this weather, what else do you have to do?  Right?  (Ok, there is plenty to do, but why not be distracted for a while.)

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