Welcome to the third installation of the Planning Your Vegetable Garden Series. Today, we will discuss how to use a garden planning tool to easily and efficiently plan your vegetable garden. This is the part of the series that I have been looking forward to the most for two reasons. The first reason is because the actual planning of the vegetable garden is the most fun. Second, I have been chomping at the bit wanting to tell everyone about the garden planning tool that I use - GrowVeg.com.

What is GrowVeg.com?

A few weeks ago, as I was surfing the internet, I came across an interesting website - GrowVeg.com. GrowVeg.com is an online garden planning tool like no other I have seen before. Sure, there are many online garden planning tools on the internet, but none of those compare to the robust features that GrowVeg has to offer. Not only can you easily plan your entire garden in minutes with GrowVeg, but it also features a plant list. The plant list will list the number of plants you will need, the plant spacing, and when to sow and harvest each vegetable according to your zone or climate. I will show you how easy it is to plan your garden in minutes using GrowVeg.

Planning Your Vegetable Garden With GrowVeg.com

Once you have signed up for aGrowVeg free trial, you can immediately start planning your garden, or watch the very useful tutorials on how to use GrowVeg. If you are ready to start planning, go ahead and click the "Start Garden Planning Tool" button in the Members' Area, and the GrowVeg program will start.

Creating a New Garden Plan With GrowVeg

Click "New Plan" (the first icon on the tool bar) and a dialog box will appear in the upper left corner. You will need to give your garden plan a name, and whether you will be using metric measurements or standard (feet and inches). At this point you can type in the size of the garden you are working on, and hit "OK". This is why I said it was important to measure the length and width of your garden in the previous installment to the series - Planning Your Vegetable Garden - Gathering Some Information.

A grid will appear representing your garden space - a blank canvas for you to work. Each dark line in the grid represents one foot, while the lighter lines represent six inches. For the folks using metric, the dark lines equal one meter, and the light lines equal 10 centimeters.

I made my garden space 20 foot by 20 foot for this example.

Determine Your Vegetable Garden Size With GrowVeg

Finding Out Information On The Vegetables

You will see there is a row with pictures of vegetables towards the top. This row contains almost any vegetable that you could possibly plant in your garden. At the bottom of each vegetable picture is an icon with a letter "i" in a box. Clicking this "i" will give you some information on that particular vegetable.

Choosing the Vegetables In Your Garden Plan

For instance, if I click the information icon for Pole Beans, a box appears that tells me some valuable information on Pole Beans. This information includes the plant family, soil conditions needed, how much sunlight the plant requires, how to sow and plant it, the frost tolerance, feeding (fertilizing the plant), any special notes of the vegetable, how to harvest, and any companion plants that can be grown near the particular vegetable.

GrowVeg Gives Planting Information On Each Vegetable

Also, each information icon is shaded with a certain color. Each vegetable of a particular plant family has a color. Pole beans are in the legumes plant family, so all the plants in the legume family are shaded light blue. All plants in the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes) are shaded yellow and so on. This makes it very easy to see what vegetables belong in the same plant family.

Planting Information on Pole Beans

How To Add A Vegetable To Your Garden Plan

To add a vegetable to your garden space, just click on the vegetable that you want to add to the garden, and drag it to the location that you want the vegetable to be located in. Once you have it where you want it, click the mouse again. If you want a row of that particular vegetable just hold the mouse button down and drag it to the desired location.

Let's say I want to add a row of pole beans to my garden.

Placing the Pole Beans Icon In the Garden Plan With GrowVeg

I click on the image representing pole beans and place it in the area that I want my pole beans in the garden. To make the row I just hold down the left mouse button and drag it across. GrowVeg will even give you the length of the row you are creating. My row of pole beans is 18'6" long.

Creating a Row of Pole Beans With GrowVeg

Now I have a nice row of pole beans added to my vegetable garden. Easy!

You can even create raised beds. Let's say that we want to put our new row of pole beans in a raised bed. Just use the rectangle tool in the tool bar (at the top of the page, above the vegetable images), and you can easily make a raised bed.

Adding a Border Around the Pole Beans

Just a couple easy clicks and Viola! Our pole beans are now in a raised bed!

Another great feature about GrowVeg.com is that it automatically gives you the plant spacing for each vegetable. Do you see the shading around each vegetable in the image below? The shading represents how much space the plant needs in order to fully grow and be productive. This will take a lot of the guess work out of your garden planning.

It doesn't get much more fun and exciting than using Grow Veg. The great thing about this software is that if you need to make changes or corrections, it only takes a few seconds. You can play around with your garden design and tweak it until you have it just the way you want it.

Completing the Vegetable Garden Plan With GrowVeg

This is how your completed garden layout could look like.

The Plant List

I also like the Plant List that comes with your garden plan. The Plant List lists all the plants you have in your garden. It also gives you the quantity of plants, the proper spacing, and a planting and harvesting chart. Just click the "Plant List" icon in the tool bar, and GrowVeg will generate your plant list in a separate tab.

The Plant List Supplied By GrowVeg

As you can see GrowVeg is a complete garden planning tool, and I highly recommend it for your garden planning. Using the awesome features of GrowVeg is very easy and will save you a lot of headache once it's time to start your vegetable garden.

I did not even scratch the surface of all the nice features that GrowVeg has to offer. Sign up for a free 30 day trial today, and give it a spin. I guarantee that you will never use anything else to plan your garden again!

If you missed the other installments to the Planning Your Vegetable Garden Series, here they are:

Planning Your Vegetable Garden - What Is A Garden Plan?

Planning Your Vegetable Garden - Gathering Some Information

Planning Your Vegetable Garden - Purchasing Your Seeds

Planning Your Vegetable Garden - Start A Garden Journal