From what I am observing a lot of people plan on making a home garden this year. Some have probably gardened in the past and some may be doing it for the first time. I had a friend use the steps in my organizational workbook From Vision to Victory to develop his perfect garden.
1. Find your motivation. Why are you wanting to do a garden now? Are you desirous of some fresh herbs and perhaps some lettuce and tomatoes? Are you wanting fresh vegetables? Are you afraid some of your favorite fresh grown produce may not be available later? Your motivation will drive your vision.
2. Create your vision. Once you know why you want the garden, imagine how it will look. How large will it be? Where will it be located? How will you feel when you are working in your garden or using the produce from the plot?
3. Have a brainstorming session. List everything that you would have to do for your vision to come true. Some ways to get ideas are to sketch a plan, find pictures of gardens that you like, make lists or make a mind map.
4. Set some goals. The goals are your commitment to your vision. Your goals should be positive, consistent with your vision, specific and measurable, and reasonable yet challenging. Some goal examples could be:
· My plot is measured out and tilled by (put in a date).
· My first set of plants are in the ground by (date).
· My system for weeding and watering are in my calendar.
5. Develop your implementation plan. Chose what you plan on doing from your brainstorming list. Put them in a chronological order. Assign dates to each task and actually put those dates on your calendar. Allow yourself some wiggle room. You might schedule a date for planting, but it is pouring rain. Have back up dates for most of the tasks. Remember to be reasonable. Do not put on your calendar, plant green beans. Break tasks into smaller more doable bits. Instead put:
· Choose variety of beans that you like and that will fit into your space
· Prepare ground for the beans
· Buy the bean plants or seeds
· Plant beans at multiple times
· Schedule watering and weeding beans
6. Schedule your maintenance plan. Once you have completed your garden plan, you want to keep it working. Just as you can’t clean and organize a kitchen and expect it to stay organized, neither can you expect your garden to stay healthy and happy without a lot of maintenance. You need to schedule watering and weeding and pest control. This is one project that really requires staying on top of.
Having done gardens in my past, I know that your vision often falls a little short. The zucchini take over and the broccoli gets eaten by bugs. The carrots are stumpy. However, the lettuce and tomatoes are to die for. Learn from your setbacks and tweak that vision. Was the dirt more like clay and the carrots couldn’t thrive? Did you not schedule enough time to pick off those caterpillars from the broccoli? Were some of the items you planted more work than they were worth? Enjoy the successes and learn from the failures. Come fall you will be ready to do your fall garden.