I wanted to share an online tool with you guys that helps you organize and create your own garden plans. It is called Smart Gardener. You create a personalized plan with settings reflecting growing conditions like which direction the bed is facing for sun light, which plants you want to grow/have seeds for already, household size, companion planting, and zip code for hardiness zones (Find your zone here). You design the shape and size of the garden. Once your plans are created based on plants and growing conditions- Receive weekly e-mails that tell you when to prep, plant, care, and harvest! The damn website even knows the weather! It is a little creepy, but a really great way to incorporate technology into the family garden. It isn't a bad way to start off.. Garden planning is a little time consuming. Considering which plants need the most sun, which ones grow best in the shade. Companion planting is in it's own category of complexity! Companion planting in short is based around the idea that certain plants can benefit others when planted next to, or close to one another. Companion planting exists to benefit certain plants by giving them pest control, naturally without the need to use chemicals, and in some cases they can give a higher crop yield. It also assists in pollination, and by staggering plants with companion plants between them, you reduce the likelihood that blight which strikes one plant will strike its fellows. The companion plant, which would be resistant to the strain, would serve as a protective barrier. Companion planting can save your crop, even if you lose one plant. Back to Smart Gardener- You create a journal where you log specific details about your plants, and what to do differently next year. Also you can attach photos to your journal notes, as a reference for future planting. It is brilliant! As if I couldn't go on more with this ranting- There is a pest and disease guide with photos and a description to help you identify the problem with your plants more easily. I am completely impressed and it is a free website!
Check it out, and let me know what you think!Companion planting sources here and here!
Photo credit here and here.