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New year, new garden: plan before you plant

2020 written on a rustic wooden board, summer sunflowers and wild flowers in the background


SALT LAKE CITY- The beginning of the new year is a great time to set goals and refresh many aspects of your life, including your garden. Whether you are new to gardening, or just want to start freshly planning for the new year, there is no better time than now to get started. 

Draw it out

The best way to start any garden, is with a plan. Mapping out your garden online or specifically drawing out your set up on paper, will help give you proper placement in planting. This will also allow you to plan out the right amount of seeds to purchase for your garden. 

Group your plants 

When mapping out your garden it is important to group your plants together from small to large. For example, in one general group plant smaller plants like beets, onions, carrots, and lettuce. In another group place larger plants such as corn tomatoes and potatoes.

Plants that need wider spacing, such as melons and cucumbers, would be included in another group. The reason for this grouping is that various plants in a group will require similar treatments during growth making it easier to keep track of what you are growing. 

Location matters 

Selecting the location for your garden is another big step in the planning process.  The most adequate location for a vegetable garden should incorporate at least six hours of sunlight throughout the day, a level location, proper drainage and air circulation, and loose rich soil. 

It is also important to give priority sunlight to those plants that need it most. Plants that must ripen their fruits such as tomatoes and egg plants require more sunlight than plants like lettuce, spinach and kale. So keep that in mind if you are needing to be picky about placement!  

Start small 

If you are just starting out, it is recommended to start with a small space for a garden at first than being overwhelmed by a larger area with more plants. Most beginning gardens are most maintainable at a size around 10 x 10 feet with a limit of 5 plants to take care of. Keep it simple and start slow.  

Order seeds early

Gardening season seems far off with the cold temperatures of winter; however, it will be here sooner than you think!  January is the busiest time of year for seed companies. Order seeds ahead of time so you can make sure you get what you want and on time. There are many plant catalogs available to help you get started in the ordering process!  

Plant in good soil  

Select a soil with proper drainage to ensure that water doesn’t drain away too quickly or collect on top. Make sure to provide your soil with compost to provide needed nutrients for sustainability.  

When to start planting  

Once you have your seeds and soil in order, schedule the right time to plant! It is good to make sure  you are not too early and not too late.  Some plants benefit from being started indoors before being moved to the actual garden plot as well, which is another reason to purchase your seeds ASAP.  To see more about when to start your seeds click here 

As mentioned above, starting a garden can be intimidating at first, but with some specific plans put in action you will have a garden growing in no time! 

The KSL Greenhouse Show wishes you the best of luck in your garden! Make sure to let us know how your progress is and call into the show every Saturday from 8 – 11 a.m. to get your questions answered on air!