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Beginning the Garden Discussion {Start}

January 15, 2015

By Jeanetta Darley

Garden rows

We are one twenty-fourths of the way into 2015.  Now is the perfect time to begin dreaming and planning about your garden space.  Whether you’re just starting out with a few vegetables in containers or you’re turning yet another few square feet of your lawn into a bounty of productivity, it’s never a bad idea to have a plan.

Just as the Sears catalog was the most popular wish book before Christmas from my childhood, the seed catalogs are now my favorite wish book after the New Year.  I pour over them, circling varieties and dog-earing pages.  But before I place orders for seeds of 10 different tomato plants, I always head to my garden planner.

Whether you prefer the old graph paper method or a digital planner, its best to look at what you have space for.  As well as taking into consideration what you have time to take care of.  For that reason I love the website Smart Gardener.  I can plan my garden based on the space available as well as how many people I hope to feed off of the bounty.  They also email great weekly reminders about what needs to be tended to.

I have a few gardening shows I always set my DVR for or subscribe to on Youtube.  You will find a ton of information on Pinterest but if you’re just starting out it can be a bit overwhelming and get you in over your head.  And never underestimate the wealth of knowledge you can find from garden organizations (Urban Gardeners, County Extension Office, or Master Gardeners) and your local library.

With simple planning and a basic knowledge of the plants you’re interested in growing you can have a successful and bountiful harvest.  Check out these helpful links and resources.

Open Pollinated Seed Sellers


Online Garden Planners


Publications & TV Shows


Central Arkansas Gardening Groups & Organizations

Headshot-Jeanetta DarleyJeanetta is a crocheter & coffee addict, chicken keeper & goat wrangler, a farmer girl & maker of drunk jellies. You can find her online at or on twitter, pinterest & instagram @jeanettadarley.

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Connie Ash January 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing! I am so excited about starting a new vegetable and herb garden this spring….I can’t wait to go through the resources you have shared.

Jeanetta January 23, 2015 at 8:44 am

Green thumb blessings! I hope you find them helpful. I feel I’m always learning from my garden. Take notes on what worked and didn’t work. Smart Gardener is great for that or if you prefer the old school method of an actual notebook.

Dorothy Johnson January 15, 2015 at 1:38 pm

I like the idea of a garden, but I think in reality containers are probably best for me. Thanks for getting me started in thinking about it and for the resource info.

Jeanetta January 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

Green thumb blessings! I’m doing a mixture of garden beds and containers this year. I’m hoping the containers let me be a bit more flexible with new plants i’m trying this year.

Jodi January 16, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Hoping to do a better job of PLANNING my garden this year! Thanks for the great info!

Jeanetta January 23, 2015 at 8:41 am

Green thumb blessings! I found that having a definite plan made it so much easier once I was at the most bountiful point of the growing season. My family doesn’t really need 8 tomato plants (even with my good intentions of canning ALL THE THINGS).

Debbie January 23, 2015 at 9:05 am

I’ve got to get my seeds ordered! I went down to the garden yesterday and was pleased to find arugula, kale and fennel going strong. I think the sap rises in gardeners just as it does in trees. My hands are itching to dig in the dirt. Ahhhh Spring:)

Jeanetta January 23, 2015 at 2:25 pm

I’m itching to turn over some dirt and build new beds.

Sharla Orren January 23, 2015 at 12:20 pm

I think we are going to try raised beds this year. We have our Bakers and Seed Savers catalogs! Wish us luck. 🙂

Heather || Heather's Dish January 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm

I’ve been geeking out over gardening for weeks now…I can’t wait to check out the garden planners though!

Jeanetta January 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm

My Smart Gardner planner is my saving grace. As long as I stick to it. 😉

Shell January 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm

🙂 I’ve been reading my seed catalogs and getting overwhelmed on where to start a garden. Thank you!!!

Jeanetta January 24, 2015 at 9:29 am

Green thumb blessings and good luck!

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