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How To Plan Your Garden Like a Pro

How To Plan Your Garden Like a Pro

It's cold outside, and your starting to miss your garden. Fret NOT! Now is the perfect time to prepare. Normally for farmers this is the time to get into the "next outdoor season" mindset. Planning now will pay off tenfold especially if you start to germinate and grow fruit bearing plants like tomatoes and peppers a months before spring comes. If you start making your garden plan now you'll be prepared for an early or late spring. Every year is different so pay attention to the seasonal signs in New Jersey (like when forsythia blooms.)

How do I make a Garden Plan?

One easy way is the square foot method...

Start with the square footage of the area you planning to grow in, for example a small garden plot is typically 4' L x 4' W (which equals) 16 square feet. Now it's easy to imagine each square foot as being a "grow site"

Big fruit bearing plants like tomatoes and peppers require 1 sq ft each

Whereas smaller plants like lettuce, 9 plants can be grown in 1 sq ft.

Timing is Key

Now that you understand the basic concept we can now factor in time. For example let's say you love juicing organic veggies for your family of 4 and want to grow as much organic spinach, kale, and lettuce as feasibly possible to save on organic groceries. This means having a continuous harvest throughout the spring and fall months, sounds pretty tricky right?

In your 4'x4' Garden bed we would want do do 8 grow sites with Lettuce, 4 grow sites with spinach, and 4 grow sites with kale.

Not so tricky anymore once we put our plan to paper.

It takes 4-5 Weeks to grow a head of lettuce.

When growing kale and spinach we can safely pull 1/2lb per plant and let it re-grow back for next week.

So by week 5 our succession planting cycle is in full effect and every week we will be able to harvest;

18 heads of Lettuce

2 pounds of Kale

2 pounds of Spinach

Going back to our juicing family of four, now let's do the math.

1 Head of Organic Lettuce = $2.50

$2.50 x 18 = $45 + Tax $2.98
Totaling $47.98

1 Pound of Organic Baby Spinach = $4.99
$4.99 x 2 = $9.98 + Tax $.61
Totaling $10.59

1 Pound of Organic Baby Kale= $4.99
$4.99 x 2 = $9.98 + Tax $.61
Total ling $10.59

In one week they save $69.19

In one month they save $276.76

*ALL Prices are from 2/8/19, Whole Foods Inc, Wall NJ

Garden plans are just what they imply, a good plan is well thought out and certainly not rushed. Saving money is great but you as a gardener will gain a lot of experience every time you make and commit to a garden plan.

We could go even further and break down my grow schedule to the day including rigorous pest control maintenance, weeding, feeding, and when to germinate seeds.

You should also now plan out your trellising locations if you want to grow tomatoes and other fruit bearing plants and don't forget to leave rows for yourself to get to all your plants for weeding/pruning.

If you would like any assistance making a garden plan don't hesitate to stop by the shop and sit down with us to cover all the bases. You will need to know the size of your growing space and what you want to grow!

Mar 10th 2019 Doug

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