Seed Starting Basics: Planning

I was originally going to post about gathering and prepping your materials, but then realized I was missing one of the most important steps: planning! You really shouldn’t start planting until you know how much you need to plant and of what. It could get you in a whole mess of trouble.

Plan before you plant!

That lesson was learned the hard way last year.The season was starting, and I was so enthusiastic and the seedlings looked so tiny. Of course I had planted extra to account for lack of germination and casualties (way more than necessary, honestly). Well, everything germinated better than expected and we had minimal casualties. And I just couldn’t bear the thought of composting them. So I, thinking they would fit, put as many plants into the beds as I thought they could handle. I was wrong. So very, very wrong! My tomato plants were way to close together and, once the blight caught them, there was no turning back. No matter how much time I spent pruning and caring for them, it just wouldn’t be stopped. So lesson learned the hard way, planning is extremely important.

But how, you ask?

Well, there are a couple ways to go about it. My husband and I are on opposite ends when it comes to this. He loves paper and pencil (or pen), and I like to use the computer.

Pen and Paper Planning via Paper

If you prefer to use pen and paper, you will want to refer to your seed packets and/or a gardening book or even (dare I say it) the internet. There are all kinds of resources and charts available to aid you in planning spacing and the number of plants your family will need. My husband likes to use graph paper to help with spacing things properly.


Planning via ComputerThis is what I prefer to do. I tried pen and paper at first, but I kept making it, putting it somewhere it wouldn’t get lost, and then losing it. Lol. Anyway, I like to use Zukeeni (I am not affiliated) now. It lets me put in my family size, select the plants we like to eat, and, when planning the garden, tells me how many plants I need. It also can give you a to do list based on your first/last frost dates and the plants you select, which I think is absolutely awesome!

How about you?

Do you normally plan out your garden, or just wing it? If you do plan it, what method do you normally use? Please let me know in the comments!

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