While an organic garden can be incredibly rewarding and have many long term benefits, there is a lot of planning involved in reaching a successful garden. One of the most important steps that need to be completed before anything else is deciding on the size and location of your organic garden. When making this decision, you need to consider what kind of plants you’re going to be growing in your organic garden, which will help you decide on the layout you want. Graphing paper is incredibly helpful in this step, as it allows you to set a scale so you can neatly plan out the size and shape of the organic garden. Use the lines on the graph paper to help plan the rows and where you’ll plant each different crop. Make sure you have lots of paper and a good eraser- you’ll go through a lot of different layouts for an organic garden before you find one that you really like.
Planning the Layout of an Organic Garden
There are some things that you should take into account when planning the layout, such as the plants that need full sun versus plants that only need partial sun, and the positioning so that every plant in your organic garden is in a good position to grow. You should plan on allowing about two feet between the different rows, so that you’ll be comfortable while working on your organic garden. Even if you’re planning on using your garden for mostly food, you should try to plant some herbs and flowers in as well. They add variety, color, and beauty to an organic garden and also help attract bees and birds, which help with pollination and will increase the growth and health of your plants. Make sure to include some common pest repellents such as onions and chives.
Since growing things from seed is more difficult than tending an already grown plant, you should start the growing process indoors some 4-6 weeks before you start moving them outside to your organic garden. Chances are you’ll be replanting your vegetables each year since most of them are annuals, and making sure that they’re planted at the best time is imperative. Make sure you do some research as to when the best planting and harvesting time for each crop is, as not all of them will be the same.
A Timeline for Your Organic Garden
Some vegetables are cold season crops and should be planted in early spring or fall, while some are warm season, and it should be after the last frost that you plant them. Having a special calendar with all of the planting and harvesting dates for each of your crops in your organic garden will help make this task much simpler, and allow you much more time to plan. You should also keep track of when you start planting them inside, making sure to plan this date around when they’ll be moved to your organic garden. The calendar can also be used to plan things such as when you need to fertilize things, or when you’re planning on harvesting certain vegetables. A calendar may seem troublesome and unnecessary, but it will help keep you organized, and can be an incredibly helpful tool that will keep you organized and in the end, make your organic gardening experience a much more pleasant one.
This is Part 2 of a two part article! Click here to read Part 1.