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A Primer On Gardening: Planning

Somewhere, in your most personal and private thoughts, you know you’re paying too much for cucumbers and green peppers. It’s a gnawing feeling you have deep inside, but, try as you might, you simply can’t get it out of your head. This is only the beginning. Soon, you’ll be looking at other produce in the grocery store and wondering whether you couldn’t grow your own. Perhaps you might even become judgemental, secure in the knowledge that you could grow vegetables far superior to those available for purchase.
Congratulations. You have just taken your first steps into a much larger world. The world of gardening.

Before You Start Your First Garden
At this point, you’re probably ready to run outside and start planting stuff. I mean, that’s how you get started, right? Well cool your jets, hot shot. Before you grab your shovel and floral print work gloves, you’re going to want to do a little planning.
“But planning sounds boring,” you’re probably saying. “Convince me that it’s an important part of the process,” you implore.
Fair enough; here are just a few of the reasons why planning is so important:

  • Having a plan will allow you to maximize your efforts, increasing the number of tomatoes yielded per hour of effort
  • Carefully studying the space available to you will allow you to select the most appropriate plants to grow and the most efficient way to plant them
  • Planning in advance will allow you to identify and resolve any issues, such as lack of soil nutrients, before you plant your first vegetable

What to Keep in Mind When Planning Your Garden
To get the most out of your time and money, you need to bear a few things in mind when planning out your garden.
First, don’t get too carried away. If your garden is on the small side, it will be much more manageable for a first time gardener. Gardens can be a lot of work, so make sure you’re able to handle what you plant.
Second, make sure your plants have enough room, and make sure you’re able to comfortably get to everything. This might seem to run counter to the first suggestion, but hear me out. Plants need enough space between them to ensure they get the right amount of light and nutrients. Furthermore, taller plants might shade shorter plants, robbing them of the light they need. Make sure you’ve spaced things out enough for each plant to thrive and accounted for the size of your plants once they’re fully grown.
Third, choose your location carefully. Not only should your garden have enough space and be easy to access, you’ll also want to ensure that it gets as much direct sunlight as possible.
Check back soon for more articles on gardening, including entries on preparing soil, selecting the right plants, and keeping your vegetables health to ensure a good yield.