At the start of each season the gardener is often faced with the situation of:

What should I grow?

When shall I sow it?

How many plants will I need?

Some pre-planning can answer all of these questions and save a lot of heartache later.

The best time to do this planning is between the end of one season, and the start of the next i.e. in the winter months.

In this way you will be in a position to order just the right amount of seed and or plants you need.

You can also determine if you want to grow some of your plants from seed, or buy in pre-germinated plants or indeed, use a bit of both, either way the choice is yours.

The following notes and links should help you to develop a working plan.

As with many plans, there sometimes has to be a change of plan, a plan B if you like, and with this in mind these sample charts have been designed to offer flexibility!

The plan:

As a suggestion, why not plan all of this on a spread sheet on your computer, where for example, each column represents one bed, and each row a row of plants.

Another advantage of doing your planning on the computer is that you can keep your annual plans/layouts on file to assist in future crop planning / rotation, as seen in the following examples;

1) Make a scale plan of your plot showing the individual beds.(see layout here)

2) Work out the designated plot layout and spacing for each genus.(see plot layout here)

3) Establish the number and length of rows required for each variety.(see plot layout here)

4) Establish the approximate sowing / planting date for each variety from your diary / records .(see diary here)

5) To save waste and coldframe space, establish how many plants of each variety require growing on for transplanting at planting out time.(see sowing plan here)

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