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How to Layout Your Garden

MAP YOUR PLOT

Growing your own garden whether it's indoors, in your backyard, at the schoolyard or part of a plot in a community garden can do more than provide tasty produce and beautiful flowers. There are some major health benefits to getting a little dirt under your nails including improved heart health, reducing stress, better sleep, and improved hand strength. 

Set a reasonable scale for the paper and grid that you have. 1”=1’ is a good scale for starters, especially if your garden is small, and/or you are considering square foot gardening. Download a garden grid here.

Growing your own garden whether it's indoors, in your backyard, at the schoolyard or part of a plot in a community garden can do more than provide tasty produce and beautiful flowers. There are some major health benefits to getting a little dirt under your nails including improved heart health, reducing stress, better sleep, and improved hand strength. 

List all the crops that you might want to grow. Create a legend by assigning a color or symbol to each crop (colored pencils work best).

Growing your own garden whether it's indoors, in your backyard, at the schoolyard or part of a plot in a community garden can do more than provide tasty produce and beautiful flowers. There are some major health benefits to getting a little dirt under your nails including improved heart health, reducing stress, better sleep, and improved hand strength. 

Determine which direction is North and draw an arrow pointing North on or beside the map grid (not sure which way is North? Use either where the sun sets (West) or rises (East) to determine North and South.)

Map Your Plot

Draw the perimeter of your garden on the map grid (or sketch in containers

Growing your own garden whether it's indoors, in your backyard, at the schoolyard or part of a plot in a community garden can do more than provide tasty produce and beautiful flowers. There are some major health benefits to getting a little dirt under your nails including improved heart health, reducing stress, better sleep, and improved hand strength. 

Pencil in any structures (fence, garden gate, shed, etc.) large trees, sunny and shady areas, as well as the general path of the sun (directly overhead, from East to West in summer, slightly to the South, from East to West in the winter). If relevant, make note of other traits that you notice in your garden, like wind direction, any standing water, etc.

Growing your own garden whether it's indoors, in your backyard, at the schoolyard or part of a plot in a community garden can do more than provide tasty produce and beautiful flowers. There are some major health benefits to getting a little dirt under your nails including improved heart health, reducing stress, better sleep, and improved hand strength. 

Choose where each crop will go based on the needs of each plant (keep seed packets nearby, or a reference guide handy for planting needs of each crop). For each crop, label, and draw in the required area. Taller plants (tomatoes, corn, pole beans, etc) should go towards the “rear” of your garden (aka, North) to avoid shading other plants. Check plants that you have “planted” (sketched onto your garden map) off of your master list.

Growing your own garden whether it's indoors, in your backyard, at the schoolyard or part of a plot in a community garden can do more than provide tasty produce and beautiful flowers. There are some major health benefits to getting a little dirt under your nails including improved heart health, reducing stress, better sleep, and improved hand strength. 

Create your planting calendar. Now that you know how many of what plants you will need, you can use the planting information on each seed packet to determine the seed starting and/or planting out date for each crop. Some plants can be planted while there is still a risk of frost, while others must wait until all danger of frost has passed. Some shorter season plants, like lettuce, may grow quickly enough that you can plant more than one crop in a given space in a season. Now you are on your way to succession cropping!

Enjoy the experience, take notes of what works, trade plants/seeds with friends!