Planning your vegetable garden

Planning your vegetable garden                                                                                             

Now is the time to finally get out of the rain and start planning for the new season.  The enthusiasm for gardening must have waned by now for even the most committed gardener.  I used to worry about it a lot.  What if I don’t like gardening anymore?  What else could I do with my life?  And the sad answer was – not much.  But luckily, every spring – just like the birds start to sing again and the first growth in nature unravels – so does our urge and longing for another growing year with new promises, trials and experiments and the hope that all our crops will thrive.

Make yourself comfortable with a nice fire and reflect on the past year.  Try to remember what crops or even what varieties have done well.  Try to remember which sowing and planting dates were the best.  The sad news often is that we can’t remember the varieties or the sowing dates for many crops.  So the first thing is to buy yourself a nice diary and record all the essential cropping information the next year.

This will provide you with the most valuable information you can ever get:  you’ll be able to identify what does best in your very own garden.  If something does well you’ll know how to repeat it the following year and if something fails you know you’ll have to change something.  The most likely changes you’ll have to make is changing the variety, the sowing date (probably sow later) or the soil preparation/feeding technique.

Planning can be quite simple.  You can set it up in a table format – either handwritten or on the computer.  That’s the way I do it:

Bed Veg Variety Sow Qty Plant 1.Harvest Clear Ground


1 Swede Gowrie 15/4 30pl 15/5 August Sep Add FYM  
2 Carrot Rothild 31/5 1 pack Direct October End Oct No FYM  
3 etc                




The very best would be to do it on an excel spreadsheet and if you have finished entering all the data you can simply select all data and sort them by column 4 (Sow) and suddenly you have a sowing plan for the year!