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Preparing For A Large Garden

Garden Preparation

For Lucy, spring has mostly sprung.  For Jamie and I, we still have some time before we really get spring even though I have flowers coming up in the front flower bed.  For all of us in the US this has been a weird winter, a really weird winter. So I’m not sure what to expect as far as our last freeze date.  But I’m going to be safe and go with our average.  But since I am preparing for a large garden, I need to get started now. 

First, I need a plan.  I made a list of the vegetables and fruit I want to grow.  I got to go crazy with the list since my garden area is so big. This is what is in my list so far.  Corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, tomatoes, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, carrots, onions, peppers, basil, marigolds, green beans, lettuce, cabbage, spinach

Second, I need to order seeds.  This year I’m going to order as much GMO free seeds as I can.  I found a list of companies that sell GMO free seeds.

Third, some of those seeds need starting. I won’t be starting seeds for a few more weeks.  But for people in milder climates, now may be the time to get those seeds in the ground.  There are several sites that help you know when to plant. A great resource for those in Southeastern Idaho is this month by month guide to gardening. For those outside Southeast Idaho, Burpee has a fantastic chart according to your zipcode. The last frost date on this site for me was wrong.  You may want to double check that.  I entered a different zipcode that is a little higher in elevation to get the correct last frost date.

Lastly, a plan is needed for where to plant these in the garden.  I have been working with two different things to figure it out.  I want to do companion planting.  If you are unfamiliar with companion planting, it is the idea of planting things that compliment each other together.  Sometimes this makes my head spin because there are some things that should be planted together and other things that shouldn’t be planted together.  So sometimes it works like A & B work great together and B & C work great together, but A & C should not be planted near each other.  

So this part I’m still working out. I will be investing a book called Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.  I also am using an app for the iPad called Garden Plan Pro and they also have a website you can use to plan.  It helps you know how many of each plant you should plant in your space and when to plant or start them. With some of my plants, I may be planting more than one kind of plant per row.  My garden is 28′ x 54′.  For several things, I can plant more than one thing per row.  Like the herbs, I don’t really want that much of each. 

This is what my plan looks like.  I have decided to plant lettuce, spinach and strawberries in garden boxes up by the house. 

Garden Plan


Do you plan to plant a garden this year?  Is yours going to be big, tiny, containers, or something in between?  How is your planning coming along.



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Kaitlin S. Welch

Saturday 8th of March 2014

Oh my goodness, I am SO jealous of your garden! I'm living in an apartment now (no yard) but i'm moving to a house in April that has a tiny bit of space for a garden! I grew up on acres of land with huge gardens- yours looks wonderfully planned out!

xx Kait

Kerry C

Saturday 22nd of March 2014

Yay for moving into a house. It's nice to have space for a garden no matter how big. We lived in a mobile home park and I made two flower beds into gardens. I'd rather have produce than flowers if I have to choose. I am so excited about getting to plant all I want.


Friday 7th of March 2014

I would do a garden on my rooftop, but it's just too much of a hassle getting water up there. I'll just stick with flower pots until I get back to the US :)

Kerry C

Saturday 22nd of March 2014

Oh that would be a pain. I have a hard time not having a garden. I had to do makeshift last year since we were moving. I used 5 gallon buckets for my tomato plants.


Friday 7th of March 2014

I can't wait to start my spring garden. You are growing quite a bit. I have 4 small beds that I plant each year.

Kerry C

Saturday 22nd of March 2014

I am so excited that I have the space to grow so much. Two years ago I just had two small beds. And before that I just had containers. I can't wait to start digging!