Every successful garden season begins with raised bed and container garden planning. It’s not enough to stick some plants in the ground and hope for the best. Gardeners need to assess their space, the amount of sunlight that casts down on different areas of the property, determine what you want to grow, evaluate and test your soil, check what tools you have and need to acquire, and consider how to protect your plants.
Raised bed and container garden planning can occur all year long, particularly at the end of a garden season or at the beginning of a new one. But with so much to tackle, where do you start, and how do you accomplish it all?
Follow our raised bed and container planning guide for a look at some garden planning tips that will set you on a path for success as the gardening season approaches.
Garden Planning Tools
Raised bed and container garden planning goes much more smoothly when you have the right tools at your fingertips to keep you on track and organized.
- Identify Seed Sources: It’s a worthwhile endeavor to assess the seeds you already have and compile a list of the seeds you’d like to acquire. Do some research on where you can source certain seed varieties from so you can put those seed orders in early.
- Planting Chart Spreadsheet: Check out the garden chart for your zone and plan out when you will be planting seeds indoors, direct sowing outdoors, and which will be successively planted.
- Seed Packet Organizer: A good seed packet organizer can go a long way to finding your seeds quickly and easily, keeping them safe from sunlight and moisture, and taking inventory of what you have.
- Planting Space Inventory (garden beds, raised beds, containers): Take a look at the raised beds and containers that you will be using. Consult the plant spacing column on the garden planting chart and determine what else you need to add or create to create the growing space that you need. Consider fabric grow pot, pots, in-ground, and raised beds.
- Garden Notes: When raised bed and container garden planning, it is pertinent to review your garden notes from the previous season so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes twice. There may be some notes on pests that were a problem or even a variety that thrived so well that you will want to plant again.
- Garden Design Layout: Design your garden layouts on the computer or on graph paper and jot down what you will be planting in the raised beds and containers.
- Planting Tracker: Keep track of when and where you actually do plant your seeds or transplants.
Garden Space Planning
Consider the spaces in your landscape that are best for growing. Raised bed and container garden planning is most successful when you take the time to thoughtfully survey your yard and landscape.
- Walk around your yard at different times of the day and really take a close look at how the sunlight hits each side of the yard and the hours in which the sun is present.
- Does your property provide any protection from wind and weather? Strategic placement or adding wheels to planters can help protect your plants from the elements.
- What garden pests do you anticipate contending with? Deer, rodents, ground squirrels, groundhogs can make gardening tricky. Your raised bed and container garden placement and protective measures can make all the difference in a successful crop.
- Once you’ve assessed the containers and beds you have, think about how you will lay them out in your garden, yard, and patio. Can you benefit from some vertical gardening tools like trellises?
- Consider access to water and how you will irrigate your plants.
Seed Inventory & Organizing
Take inventory of your seeds and make a note of where you sourced them from. This is an excellent way of keeping track of what seeds you have, knowing where you should reorder them from, and keeping track of favorite varieties and their days to maturity. This will help you determine which plants can be succession planted for continual harvests throughout the garden season. Once you know what you have and what you would like to plant, and when, you can stay on track, and it won’t be so overwhelming.
Seed Storage Containers
The right seed storage container can make all of the difference in your seed organizing endeavors. Seed storage should keep seeds protected from sunlight and moisture and allow plenty of space for cataloging different varieties of seeds for each category. You can organize your seed packets in whatever way works for you.
Digital Planting Chart & Garden Design
Create and use vegetable, fruit, herbs, and flower planting charts as a resource for all of your gardening needs. These charts are some of the most valuable resources for your raised bed and container garden planning.
- Planting charts for each grow zone
- What you can plant in each region
- Information on planting depth, spacing, days to maturity, height, and more
- When to sow seeds indoors
- When to direct sow seeds into the garden
- When to transplant
- When to harvest
- Companion planting
- Design layout templates
7 Quick Tips For Raised Bed & Container Garden Planning
- Walk your garden space and assess what you will be planting where and how much space you have.
- Take notes and review previous season notes.
- Make a note of sun exposure
- Wind and weather considerations
- Pests that you have contended with the past
- Look back at what did well and what didn’t thrive in its location last season.
- Assess your seed supply.
- Order seeds early to ensure that you can get the best access to the varieties you desire.
- Create a garden schedule.
- Inspect your garden supplies.
- Order any garden needs: tools, supplies, soil, row covers, and nutrients.