Stop! Before you site that garden or dig that hole, plan, plan, plan. A simple garden plan can be as modest as a quickly drawn sketch on the back of an envelope or drawn to scale on graph paper. Either way, you’ve got a plan.
But don’t get ahead of yourself! Many first-time gardeners think too big. Start small and simple. If all goes well, expand later. If not, adjust your plan and keep gardening.
7 Steps to Create a Garden Plan:
- Decide if you’re planting a sun or shade garden. A sun or vegetable garden needs at least 6 hours of sun each day. When choosing the right spot, keep in mind that bare winter trees will create shade in the summer.
- Measure the space where the garden will go.
- Take a photo or sketch your garden on paper, marking any existing structures, trees or plants.
- Draw outward from the middle of the plan. Draw curves if you want a more relaxed design. Straight lines and circular forms are more formal.
- Mark your sketch with the types, number of plants and how much space they’ll need as they grow. You can find this information on the back of seed packets, plant tags or in The Home Depot Garden Club Plant Database.
- Add a focal point like a birdbath, fountain, arbor or statue. It makes your garden seem more permanent.
- If room allows, plan for paths 4′ wide so two people can walk together, or so you can pull a garden cart along the path.
- Refer back to your sketch when you’re ready to dig to remember where each plant goes.