A Solid Plan for the Season
Creating a crop map will help you decide what plants to put in the garden, when to plant them, and where to place them to maximize yield from the available growing space. When creating a crop map, you should consider which direction is north, plant heights, plant spacing, seasonal transitions, and crop rotation.
Crop Planning in Four Simple Steps
- Rank the vegetables that grow in your region in order of highest priority. This is your vegetable wish list. Consider whether each is a cool/warm weather crop and quick/slow growing crop.
- Draw the growing area in a bird’s eye view. Find the northernmost edge of the growing area and mark it on the drawing. This is where the tallest plants will go (and trellising if needed).
- Organize your vegetables into 3 crop maps, one for each season (spring, summer, fall), keeping in mind slow and quick crops, and whether the vegetable is short, medium or tall.
- Break up the growing space into individual square feet when considering plant spacing. These squares help give plants enough room to thrive, but also help to minimize unused space for maximum output.
All of these elements are addressed in the Crop Mapping Tool, which includes a crop map template to get you started.