Your Garden Planning: Vegetable Garden

Simply put, the garden planning process should begin with goals and then proceed to understanding the plants you want.

Once you comfortably determined your goals you can begin planning! We’ve found the easiest way to go about this is to take it back to good old-fashioned pencil and paper. Using our Downloadable Garden Planner, you can sketch out your gardening space and scale the area to get an accurate read on how many plants you can accommodate.

When initially sketching your garden area be sure to include walkways, fencing, gates, any hardscaping such as fire pits, patios, etc., and pools or ponds. Take into account that some plants need more space than others to grow productively and map out their spacing accordingly. Some plants can grow vertically so you may want to install plant stands and mark their spacing on the garden planner, too. Sample plans drawn out by Avant Garden Décor gardeners can be seen here.

Thanks in part to the internet, researching plants has become a very simple process. Entering a plant’s name into a search engine will yield you a ton of results. Seed companies, gardening publications, and general knowledge sites all offer a bevy of information for you to use. You can also gather information from your local garden center.

There are key components of information you should note that can drastically assist the success of your garden. Be sure to gather the following:

  1. Suggested planting date
  2. Days until maturity
  3. Recommended soil pH levels
  4. Plant size
  5. Plant spacing
  6. Water and sunlight requirements

What does all the above information tell us? Suggested planting dates help you determine the start date for seedlings and then transplanting growing seeds to the outdoors. Typically this suggested is mapped out according to weeks before or after a last frost. You may start seeds indoors before a final spring frost, but if starting plants outdoors you’ll want to wait until after the last frost. In very rare instances you can start a plant’s seeds outdoors before the final frost, for instance onions.

Days to maturity will help you understand how long the growth of the plant will be until it bears mature fruit for harvest. Recommended soil pH levels, plant size and spacing, and water and sunlight requirements will help you determine plant placement and prepare your soil for the plant.

The start date and days to maturity will be instrumental in mapping out your timeline, along with the knowledge of your hardiness zone. We’ve now learned that hardiness zones tell us our last frost date, so we can now understand a time to plant in relation to that.  We like to make a chart with columns to map out our timeline.

Plant Name

Planting Date


Time to Maturity



April 1





April 1





April 1 – May 1


40 – 45



April 1 – 15


55 – 65


After plugging in the necessary information, we take it to a calendar to get a visual understanding. Keep this calendar handy and use it as a guide for your planting and harvesting tasks. Take notes throughout the gardening season regarding when you actually harvest, any notes on sunlight and watering successes or disappointments, etc., and rely on this information for help in future garden planning.

APRIL 2014

MAY 2014 JUNE 2014 JULY 2014

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