Posted on 11 April 2012 by

Successful Gardening 101: How Much Do I Need?


By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Every gardener has been in a situation where they wondered what they were thinking when they planted those 15 determinate tomato plants or those five squashes, or wondering how they were going to fit gardening into their day’s plan.

Well, planning is one way of preventing this situation but before jumping into the garden space let’s talk about some things that need to be considered.

Garden Requirements

Many people just go to the garden store and buy up what they like without considering what their garden is going to be used for and for how many. It is said that 16 plants will feed one individual for the season or if you are square foot gardening then one 4 by 4 foot bed will suffice.

Each additional person that you plan to serve will also need his or her own 16 plants or 4 by 4 foot garden space. Also, if you plan to preserve some of your produce you will need to add an additional 16 plants or 4 by 4 foot garden space for each person you plan to serve during the winter. Lastly, if you plan to donate some of your produce you will need to plan for additional plants.

Likes and Dislikes

The next thing that every gardener needs to consider is his or her family’s likes and dislikes. While this may sound simple with a touch of common sense, it is a step that many gardeners overlook. Once you have a list of likes, the next step is to chart it out.

This chart consists of listing the vegetables you would like to grow into two categories, which includes warm season and cool or Cole crops. After the vegetables have been divided, it is time to look up their individual growth requirements. Do not limit the information to just zone, soil type, moisture level, and light requirements but also include companion plants.

Once you have this information, it is time to create a garden-planting schedule.

Garden-planting Schedule

A garden-planting schedule can help you stay on track and get the most out of the garden space.

Many cool or Cole crops can be planted in a successive manner.

What I mean by this is that once the first planting of spinach is done another can be planted in its place or a warm season crop can go in the space.

While this schedule is not set in stone, it does give you a guideline to follow.

After you have gathered all this information, the next step is to finalize your garden plan in your journal and prepare for the first planting date.

So until we blog again, may your garden grow by leaps and bounds without growing beyond ones ground.

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