Last week, I ran a series on planning your vegetable garden. After a lot of arguing with myself, and trying to contain my urges, I have finally finished the first revision of my vegetable garden plan for 2010. My garden plan is always a work in progress, even up to the time I actually start planting.

If you remember, I first began by gathering some information. This mainly consisted of measuring the garden space for the length and width dimensions, plus any structures that might be near the garden. Then I used this information to draw a rough sketch of the garden spaces.

The next part of collecting information is to form a wishlist of the vegetables you would like to grow in your garden. Here is my wishlist of vegetables this year, along with the quantities of each variety:
  1. Tomatoes
    • (2) Black Krim
    • (2) Park's Whopper
    • (2) Celebrity
    • (1) Brandywine
    • (1) Cherokee Green
  2. Summer Squash
    • (11) Early Prolific Straightneck
  3. Pole Beans
    • (12) Kentucky Wonder
    • (6) Kentucky Blue
  4. Bush Beans
    • (11) Early Contender
  5. Turnips
    • (24) Purple Top White Globe
  6. Green Peas
    • (10) Wando
  7. Eggplant
    • (3) Black Beauty
  8. Zucchini
    • (3) Burpee's Fordhook
  9. Cucumbers
    • (4) Straight 8
    • (2) Marketmore 76
  10. Baby Bok Choy
    • (14) Shanghai
  11. Okra
    • (25) Clemson Spineless
  12. Potatoes
    • (4) Red Pontiac
  13. Butter Beans (Baby Lima Beans)
    • (20) Henderson's Baby Lime Bean
  14. Spinach
    • (10) Baby's Leaf
  15. Leeks
    • (7) American Flag
  16. Carrots
    • (10) Danvers
  17. Poblano Peppers
    • (2) Poblano

Garden Area 1

Once I had my wish list developed, I started planning my garden using the GrowVeg online garden planner. I have two garden spaces, one on each side of the yard, and will start with my largest garden space which has an unusual shape. It is about 23 feet at its widest point, then tapers down to about 10 feet at the other end. It measures roughly 40 feet long. It is so long that I had to take three screen shots of it once I was finished. Here is the top part of my garden plan using the GrowVeg software.

Top of Garden Plan

As you can see in the picture, I started out with three eggplants, and a raised bed of baby bok choy. I am only growing three eggplants because I don't use eggplant that often. I grew six plants last year, and gave most of the eggplants away, which is just fine. The raised bed of baby bok choy is new for 2010.

Next will be two rows of summer squash with radishes inter-planted between the squash. It's no secret that I love summer squash, and the radishes will serve as salad-toppers and bug deflectors, since squash bugs don't like radishes. Towards the end of the second row of summer squash is a new trellis (the red colored box in the picture above) that will be used to grow green peas. This is also new for 2010.

Middle of Garden Plan

The picture above is the middle of the first garden bed. This area will feature two rows of bush beans, and a pole bean structure similar to a teepee. The pole beans will surround the teepee, and grow up each leg of the structure. To see what a green bean teepee looks like, check out How to Build a TeePee for Pole Beans.

Moving further down the image, we come to three rows of okra, but you can't see but two rows in this picture. Okra is probably my favorite vegetable to grow and is second only to tomatoes for eating - so I have to have a lot of room for okra. I will be planting about 25 plants of okra this year.

Bottom of Garden Plan

The bottom section of my garden plan features a small row of three zucchini. The zucchini I planted last year produced abundantly, so I narrowed the quantities from 6 last year to just three this year. Below the zucchini, I have the cucumber trellis that I built last year, which has two cucumber plants on each side - the same as last year. I also decided to plant two more cucumber plants near the edge of the garden space, and let them grow up and down the small garden fence I put up every year to keep my dogs out of the garden. Letting these cucumbers grow along the fence is an experiment I'm trying out. Hopefully, they do well.

Garden Area 2

My second garden area is pretty close to the same size as garden area 1, but has a truer rectangle shape. This garden area roughly measures 14 feet wide by 40 feet long. It will be about 10 foot longer than it was last year. Again, because of the length, I had to break the images of the plan into three parts - a top, a middle, and a bottom. I'll start with the top section first.

This part of garden area 2 will feature a potato box. This is a four foot by four foot box that will be used to grow potatoes. I have never grown potatoes in a home garden before, so this should be fun and exciting. I'm looking forward to starting it! The style of box I'll be using was featured on LifeHacker, and is supposed to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in a year. Next to the potato box, is also a new raised bed for 2010, that will house butter beans (or baby lima beans). The blue line you see next to the butter beans is there to cut out the nearby clothesline pole.

Below those raised beds is two existing raised beds. I built these four foot by four foot raised beds last year as an experiment. The bed to the left will house the turnips, the one on the right will hold the carrots, leeks, and spinach. I'm not quite sure if these vegetables can be grown together. I'll have to research that some before I make the final revision to the garden plan.

The picture above shows the middle section of my garden area 2. On the left, you will see a vertical row of tomatoes. I like a lot of space between the tomatoes, so that's why they look so far apart. There's actually a mistake with one of the tomato plants. I labeled two tomato plants 'Brandywine', when one should be 'Cherokee Green'.

On the right, there are two poblano pepper bushes. Below those are two more pole bean teepees just like the one in the garden area 1.

As you can see in this picture, the vertical row of tomatoes continues, and on the right there are a couple more summer squash plants. I marked these squash as optional because I may go back and add something else in that space.

Garden Plan Printouts

Another cool feature of the GrowVeg software is that you can print your garden plans out. This will be useful when you actually go outside and start your garden. Here are the printouts for my two garden areas.

Garden Plan 1

Garden Plan 2

Garden Plant Lists

Also mentioned during the Planning Your Vegetable Garden Series was the nice plant lists that you can create with GrowVeg. Here are my two plant lists that GrowVeg generated for my gardens.

Plant List 1

Plant List 2

GrowVeg gives me everything I need when planting my garden such as the quantity of plants I need, plant spacing, row spacing, sowing/planting times for my zone, and harvest time for my zone.

Other Notes

I am slowly but surely converting my in-ground garden into a raised bed garden. I try to add at least two or three raised beds each year in my garden. In a couple years I will be gardening solely with raised beds.

How are your vegetable garden plans coming along? I'd love to hear about them? Also, what changes to my garden plan would you suggest? Please feel free to share them!

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