Five Golden Rules of Garden Planning

5 Vegetable Garden Planner Principles | Garden Design

December 21, 2020

Here are five golden rules to make your garden more productive! We’ll help you to avoid many of the pitfalls this year.

5 Golden Rules for Garden Planning

Rule 1: Provide the right growing environment.

Full sun is essential for most veggies. For shady areas, choose crops such as leafy salads and greens.

Ensure your soil is fertile and moisture retentive yet well-drained by regularly mulching with or digging in compost.

Rule 2: Grow what you like!

Concentrate on the fruits and vegetables you love to eat. By growing your own you can choose varieties that promise exceptional taste and quality.

Rule 3: Make the most of the space you have.

Choose vegetables that are hard to find in the grocery store, or expensive to buy.

Many types and varieties of fruits and vegetables are well-suited to growing in containers. Miniature varieties of vegetables, naturally compact salads, and dwarf fruit trees can all be grown in pots.

(You can use our Garden Planner to maximize the use of garden space. The Planner will show you exactly how many of each vegetable or fruit you can grow within the space available to you, without overcrowding them.)

Rule 4: Make gardening easy.

Opt for varieties that are suited to your growing conditions and the time and resources you have available. Seek out pest- and disease-resistant plants.

Place your vegetable garden or containers close to the house to make it easier to tend and harvest. Install water barrels to collect rainwater from greenhouse or shed roofs. Paths between beds should be wide enough for a wheelbarrow, while beds should be of the right proportions for easy maintenance and crop rotation.

Rule 5: Timing is of the essence.

Sow quick-growing crops at one- or two-week intervals to spread out harvests and ensure that your garden is achieving its full potential. Harvest prolific crops such as pole beans when little and often to encourage more produce to follow. (The Garden Planner can help plan this type of succession cropping. By viewing your plan in a particular month you can see where and when gaps appear.)


Almanac Garden Planner

To create your perfect vegetable garden this year, be sure to try out the online Garden Planner tool! It’s now the #1 garden planner in the world for good reason.

  •  Quickly find the best plants to grow! You can even select “easy” veggies if you’re a beginner.
  • Draw beds and move plants around to get the perfect layout on your computer. Have fun creating!
  • Our garden planning tool calculates how many plants fit your space to avoid wasting seed.
  • We’ll also calculate all your planting and harvesting dates—along with email reminders of when to do what!

Want to grow your future with a well-planned garden? Learn more about the Garden Planner!

We offer 7 days for you to play around and see if it’s a good fit for you. Give it a go!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Bare soil..

One of my garden rules is to never leave my garden soil bare. Always try to have extra plants ready to pop into empty spaces. If that isn't possible I always have some kind of mulch handy to cover the bare soil. In the Fall I like to use a mixture of chopped leaves and grass cuttings to provide a winter mulch cover. This helps to protect the growing beds and add nutrients to the soil as they decay and provide food for the earth worms. In the Spring it is easy to just pull the mulch to one side to sow seeds or pop your plant starts in the ground. Also, a good mulch or plant cover will prevent the soil from getting hard and compacted in the heat of the summer. I have many other "rules" in my garden but I think this is my main one.

Start at the very beginning

Ok! I moved to west TX from Ky. The dirt is mostly sand, weeds I don’t even recognize, so how do I recognize weeds to get what I need to get rid of them, how do I get dirt to grow things in?

garden beds

Every fall I till into our garden beds bags of leaves. It makes for rich soil and a bountiful harvest. I use about 2 garbage bags full for each 4x12 garden bed.


Your video is so helpful. I will start all over this year. I have been doing a few things wrong.


Sign up for our email newsletter by entering your email address.

BONUS: You’ll also receive our free Beginner Gardening Guide!

The Almanac Webcam

Chosen for You from The Old Farmer's Store

Sign up for our email newsletter by entering your email address.

BONUS: You’ll also receive our Almanac Companion newsletter!