The term “garden planner” is usually associated with an app or software that gardeners use, to help them design their garden. But did you know that a garden planner also refers to a person who creates a gardening plan?
Every gardener should first be a garden planner!
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance and benefits of planning your garden. We’ll also discuss how a garden planner app or software can help with garden planning. Our expert team at Gardening Boost outlines the critical aspects of garden planning.
Here’s a sneak preview of the main topics covered:
- Why Every Gardener Should Be A Garden Planner
- What Should Be Included In A Garden Plan
- Choosing A Garden Planner App/ Software
So let’s get started.
Why Every Gardener Should Be A Garden Planner
Planning a garden is more than designing a garden layout. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced gardener, planning is important.
If you are new to gardening, we recommend that you first read our article on “How To Start A Garden.” This will give you some background information to help you understand a bit more about gardening. You will then be in a better position to start putting your gardening plan together.
By creating a gardening plan, you can significantly increase your chances of becoming a successful gardener.
Without basic garden planning, you are likely to make avoidable mistakes. Some gardening errors can cost you an entire growing season, which can be really frustrating.
To be a successful gardener, you must understand how to coordinate all the different factors of gardening. Good planning can help you to do that.
As a garden planner, you will be able to maximize your gardening efforts and utilize your time and other resources efficiently.
Next, we’ll look at some of the elements that you should include in your gardening plan.
What Should Be Included In A Garden Plan
Planning your garden is an important activity, and a good discipline to develop. It should actually be an ongoing process.
You can use an app or software to help you plan and design your garden. While such tools can make planning much easier, they aren’t always necessary. You can choose to create a garden plan without a garden planner app or software.
Whether or not you choose to use an app/ software, you should take the following into consideration, when creating your gardening plan.
1. Plan Where To Grow Your Plants
Location, location, location. Where is, or where will your garden be located?
If you already have an outdoor garden or you have identified an area, make sure it is exposed to adequate sunlight. Most plants need 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Make sure there are no tall structures that significantly shade your garden.
If you have a traditional garden (rather than raised garden beds), ensure that it has proper drainage. Poor drainage can cause excess water to settle at the roots of plants. This deprives plants of oxygen. Over time, plants can drown and die.
If you’re using raised beds, a good garden planner tool can help you with a layout that utilizes the area efficiently. Check out our article: “The Top 25 Raised Garden Bed Plans” for raised garden bed ideas.
2. Plan What Kind Of Plants To Grow
When selecting the type of plants to grow, keep your climate in mind. Know what grows well in your climate.
Also, consider the space available. There must be enough space between plants, so they won’t have to compete for sunlight or nutrients.
Adequate spacing between plants also minimizes the spread of diseases from one plant to the next. If you have limited space, use smaller plants.
Based on your location, the size of your garden, and your gardening objectives, a good garden planner app or software can suggest the most suitable type of plants.
3. Plan Your Planting System
A planting system (or system of planting) refers to the layout or positioning of plants.
There are a number of planting systems. Some common ones include:
- Square system – plants are arranged in square patterns, with an equal distance from one plant to the next.
- Rectangular system – the distance between plants within rows, is the same. But the distance between rows is greater. So, plants are arranged in rectangular patterns.
- Triangular system – plants are spaced in a triangular pattern.
- Diagonal system – This is similar to the square system but, in addition to the four corners of the square, plants are also placed in the middle of each square. This also creates a diagonal pattern (but plants will be closer to each other).
There are others but these are the most common ones.
When considering a planting system, you should take into account the amount and the shape of the land available. You should also think about the type of plants you will be growing. Larger plants need more space between them than smaller plants do.
If you are using raised beds, square foot gardening is a popular system you can consider. 
If you’re using a garden planner app/ software, it will help you to decide which planting system is most suitable for your garden.
Keep in mind that the main objective is to maximize the use of the space available in your garden. So, don’t get too obsessed with trying to figure out which planting system is best.
4. Land Preparation Planning
Land preparation is not a one-time activity. Each year before the growing season comes around, you must factor land preparation into your planning.
When preparing the land for planting, you may need to clear it of weeds and unwanted shrubs.
Also, ensure that there’s proper drainage. Even if there are existing drains, ensure they are not blocked.
You may need to add some compost and/ or manure to the soil, as well. We have an excellent article called “How To Make Compost At Home“. You should check it out!
If you’re using raised garden beds, check the structure of the beds to make sure they are intact.
5. Plan When To Start Planting
If you live in a temperate climate, you can start growing seedlings indoors during the winter. When winter is over and the growing season begins, the seedlings will be ready to be transplanted outdoors. This will help you to maximize the growing season.
To make the most of the growing season, it is important that you start early.
If you plan on growing seedlings indoors, you will need to do so approximately 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area.
A good garden planner app or software can also help you to determine when is the best time to start planting.
6. Plan Your Plant Watering Methods
Watering plants is an important aspect of gardening. Some plants need regular watering and this can be time-consuming.
If plants are not watered correctly, they won’t grow well.
The watering method you choose should be based on the size of your garden, the type of plants you are growing, and the amount of time you can dedicate to watering them.
If you have a small garden, you can use a small watering can to wet your plants. For larger gardens, you could consider using automated watering systems, such as drip irrigation.
For great plant watering tips, check out our article: “10 Golden Rules For Watering Plants The Right Way”.
7. Plan To Minimize Plant Diseases
Plant diseases can destroy your plants and undo all your hard work. So, you should make sure that you are doing the right things to minimize plant diseases and their harmful effects.
Plant disease falls into two broad categories: infectious and non-infections. 
Infectious plant diseases are caused by pathogenic organisms (like bacteria, viruses), and can spread from one plant to the others.
Non-infectious plant diseases are caused by unfavorable growing conditions, such as extreme temperatures, too much or too little moisture, and poor soil conditions. Non-infectious plant diseases are not transmissible from plant to plant.
When planning your garden, you should know the conditions that are most suitable for the plants you want to grow. Be sure to include them (the best growing conditions) in your plan. By doing this, you can minimize or eliminate non-infectious diseases.
Also, know the signs of plant disease and what to do if you notice these signs.
In your gardening plan, include a schedule or reminder to regularly monitor and examine your plants for signs of diseases.
8. Plan When To Harvest
Harvesting is often overlooked when preparing a garden plan.
While you will get tremendous satisfaction from successfully growing your plants, the ultimate satisfaction comes from harvesting. But, it’s important to know when to harvest!
If you use a good garden planner app/ software, it will let you know the likely harvest dates.
Alternatively, you can do a bit of research to know when to begin harvesting. A good place to check for this information is on the seeds packet. It usually lets you know the timeframe from seed to harvest.
Apart from the harvesting time frame, learn to identify when your garden produce is ready to be harvested. You can usually tell by their size and change in color.
Choosing A Garden Planner App/ Software
Once you understand the basics of garden planning, using a garden planner app or software can make planning a lot easier.
These are some of the benefits of using a garden planner app/ software:
- It speeds up the garden planning process;
- It helps to design a garden that looks beautiful but is also functional;
- It identifies the best times to plant, based on your location;
- It helps to maximize the use of the garden area and minimizes wastage;
- It helps you select suitable plants, based on your location and garden size;
- It helps with irrigation planning;
- It helps you identify likely harvest dates
These are just some of the benefits of using a garden planner app/ software. It is not an exhaustive list but it gives a good idea of some benefits to expect from using a garden planner app/ software.
Ultimately, you are the one who should make the decisions about your garden. A garden planner app/ software should act as your assistant. It provides you with the tools and information to make planning easier and faster.
To be a successful gardener, you must be the chief garden planner. A garden planner app or software will provide tremendous benefits and support, but it should not replace you, as the decision-maker.
Keep in mind that garden planning is not a one-time task. It is an ongoing exercise. So, make planning a habit and you will likely see better gardening results.
Once a garden plan is created, it should be implemented, monitored, and adjusted over time.
We hope you found this article helpful. Don’t forget to check out our other gardening guides for more great gardening tips.