Garden Layout

Ever have one of those times where you feel in a really good spot –you’re organized, ready, well rested– and then it all comes crashing down. That was my yesterday. So I’ve been obsessing over that… and thinking about little else. Between that and Emily waking up ridiculously early, I’m a bit of a mess. TGIF!

So there’s a little part of me that’s relieved that Logan hasn’t built the new raised beds for the garden yet. Because it means I can spend the weekend trying to get things figured out and not feel guilty that I’m not turning soil, planting more seeds, etc. Next week though!

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I’ve done LOTS of planning around my vegetable garden this year! Here’s been my process, because I feel like it’s a little daunting for a new gardener (which is me–this is the first time I feel like I’m really doing this well).

1.  Determine the size of your beds.
For us, it’s two beds that measure 4×8. I’ve seen several recommendations for 4′ wide beds so you can access the middle easily.

2.  Build your beds and add your soil.
There are tons of tutorials out there for building raised beds. The one from Vegetable Gardener is the one we’re using for inspiration, with a few variations here and there.
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3.  Plan your garden.
This is where I really wanted a website to say, “You live in Indiana. That’s zone 5. Here’s the vegetable garden you should plant.”  You know, telling me exactly what seeds to put where. Not the case. So last weekend, I did much Pinterest research to plan my 64 sq ft of vegetable space.

Helpful websites:
Sprout Robot:  enter your zip code to see when you should plant
Morgan Plays in the Dirt:  how many of each plant can grow in a square foot
AfriStar Foundation:  companion planting

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My garden plan

4.  Start your seeds inside.
I’m a little late on this one, but I’m not terribly worried. Wednesday evening, Emily and I started most of the seeds in the bottom of a paper bag (biodegradable, cheap, available). My little helper LOVED playing in the dirt and crawling around the driveway in the light rain. Huge mess, totally worth it!

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So there you go! How to plan and start your garden. Happy planting!

*Note:  The building of the beds can be done during/after Steps 3 and 4. That’s how it’s working for us!

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