DIY Online Garden Planning Grid

Updated February 21, 2017

Planning a garden can be a lot of tedious work, but it is much easier with the use of online tools that do the work for you. Interactive online garden planning grids will help you design the layout of your garden beds in addition to providing useful resources for you as you plant and tend your garden.

Square Foot Gardening

Most garden planning grids are based on a square foot gardening method, where the garden area is approached as a grid of square feet, and each square foot contains just one type of plant. The approach was made popular by Mel Bartholomew in his book "Square Foot Gardening," as he explained how to grow more than enough vegetables in just 50 square feet of garden space. Depending on the type of plant, gardeners can fit anywhere from one to 16 plants per square foot on the garden planning grid. The online tool provided by Gardener's Supply Company automatically puts the correct number of plants per square foot as you design your garden. However, it does not take into account the fact that plants such as zucchini-type summer squash may require up to 9 square feet per plant as they grow larger.

Consider Tall Plants

When using tools such as an online garden planning grid, it is important to consider the placement of plants based on a variety of factors, such as visual appeal, sun penetration and the need for vertical supports. In particular, tall plants such as peas, tomatoes, corn and eggplants should be planted on the north side of the garden because of their height. This also makes it easier to build vertical supports for them if they are in one location. Shorter plants, in particular root vegetables, should be toward the southern side of the garden to make sure they get enough sunlight.

Planting Dates

An important element of planning a garden is figuring out when each type of vegetable or herb should be planted. Some hardy plants such as broccoli and spinach can be planted outdoors four to six weeks before the last frost, whereas others, such as tomatoes and summer squash, should not be planted until the ground has warmed up. Your garden planning grid should include information on when to plant each type of vegetable in the garden, including whether it can be started indoors even earlier, as is the case with broccoli and tomatoes. Gardener's Supply Company automatically includes this information with your free custom garden design.

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