Garden Planning When You Aren’t Sure What To Do

Have you started your garden planning yet this year?  Are you looking to do exactly the same thing in your garden that you did last year?  Or do you want to change it up?

I’ve talked to several people who want to do something different, but just don’t know what to change.

We’re all getting gardening magazines and seed catalogs like crazy right now. Which ones are better than others?  (Yes, it matters!)  It’s so tempting to order seeds out of a pretty pictured catalog, but are there also local stores that sell seeds?  Or did you harvest your own last year?

Where Do You Start Garden Planning?

Perhaps you’re good at gardening, but you haven’t figured out how to utilize and preserve your loot?

A woman drove an hour last year to come see me and tell me what an inspiration my garden and my grandmother’s garden have always been to her.  She decided that she wanted to grow a garden that season.  She had never done this before.  I gave her some pointers on the easiest starter plants, threw 200 pounds of compost in the back of her SUV and wished her luck.

Just before the first frost she got ahold of me and asked me what to do with it all.

While we had been eating off our garden for weeks and had 75% of our harvesting done, she had made exactly one salad for her family and was watching the rest of it rot.

I quickly realized she didn’t know how to cook, preserve, or otherwise use what was in her garden.  She had not invested proper time into her garden planning, and was now watch fresh, healthy, organic food rot.


If this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place.  Whether you are brand new, or you love gardening but just want to take your gardening/ harvesting skills to the next level, this is going to be an excellent opportunity.

If you wait until spring to start your garden planning, this will likely turn into a frustrating experience for you.  It’s best to start your planning right away.

Heirloom Seeds from our Family to Yours

Here are some places to start your planning:

  • What Do I Plant?  Start here if you need help figuring out what to plant to feed your family this year.
  • How Much Do I Plant?  Read this once you know what you want to plant, but aren’t sure how much you should plant to feed your family—either in this season, or to preserve and feed them for the next year.
  • Preparing The Soil  Do you feel like you’re unsure if you should be doing something to prepare your soil or not?  If you know your soil needs attention, but don’t know how to go about helping it, read this.
  • Perennials Vs. Annuals:  Not only is it important to know the difference between the two, but it’s also important to make choices based on your personality and your family’s needs—not always just what you want to eat.
  • Starting Out With Fruit And Nut Trees:  Everyone wants fruit and nut trees.  But it can be a devastating decision to get the wrong one or to put it in the wrong place.  Consider these things before investing.
  • Where To Get Seeds: Yes, it matters where you get your seeds.  No, not every seed magazine is worth ordering from.  Know what your options are, and which ones are better and worse before making your decision.
  • Thoughts On Co-Gardening:  Sometimes you can’t grow a garden in the space you have.  Sometimes you’ve got leftover space.  Have you thought about sharing garden space between friends?
  • Choosing A Preservation Method:  There are three basic preservation methods for the newbie to look at.  Some are easier than others, some are harder.  If you’re new to preserving, take a look at the pro’s and con’s of each.

Whether you are a beginner who is looking to de-overwhelm, or just wanting a tighter plan this year, there should be plenty of ideas for everyone.

Garden planning how to: Want to start a garden this year but just don't know where to start? Been gardening for awhile but want a new plan? Here's a series all about planning it all. Written by a farmer's wife and homesteader who encourages us all to be a little more self-sufficient. | Grace Garden And Homestead


Determined To Grow Your A Productive Garden This Year?

Be sure to read these 7 steps to help you get off to a great start with a solid plan.

You can grow a beautiful and abundant garden this year--you just need a plan.


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We’re in this together Friend.  Join our community to get tips, reminders, and even updates on my garden and preservation endeavors throughout the year.  I can’t wait to meet you!


  1. I have to say, I’ve been there! I had no idea when to harvest and how much work went into preserving it. I’m learning, though. 🙂

  2. I’ve been there too. *sigh* I’ve planted quite a few things over the years that I wasn’t sure what to do with. Kohlrabi is the most memorable! lol


  3. My husband was asking me today if we needed seed pot starters. As a non gardener I just gave him a blank stare and said I need to talk with gardening friends before I know what to buy. I guess it is time for all that planning even with all the snow outside.

    • You bet it is! I’m planning my gardens already.
      Your answer will depend on what you’re growing and if you depend on putting it right in the ground (if you have a longer season or you’ll be planting crops that don’t transplant well), or if you will start them inside by seed (if you have a short growing season, and they will transplant well).
      Sounds like you have gardening friends who can tell you what works well in your area, and they might already have seeds to share.

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