Our vegetable garden is a bit unusual in that we don’t have formal beds. The vegetable garden itself is around ten metres by five metres and each season we just set up plots within that space as we need them. We have a few main paths around the vegetable garden but other than that we tend to make our plots as big or as small as we need them.
We find that this is quite handy because we can often squeeze more into the garden by leaving smaller pathways. It does however have its drawbacks, the main one being that we have to keep a plan of our complete garden each season so that we can see what we have planted where.
Recording what you have planted and where you have planted it in the vegetable garden is vital for ongoing success with your vegetable crops. It is important to rotate vegetable crops around the garden to minimise pest and disease problems.
If we had raised garden beds we could simply give each one a number and then record what had been planted in each. But because our garden beds differ in position and size each season, we need to draw up a vegetable garden planning record.
I initially used some graph paper to record our vegetable garden layout but found the grid background was too busy and didn’t look very nice. Also if there is a grid in the background I am too tempted to try and draw everything to scale – and I don’t have time for that!
I ended up using just a plain artist type sketch pad and drew up the basic shape of the garden and then filled in the rough position of each crop. I didn’t need it to be exact, I just wanted to be able to see roughly where we had planted each vegetable crop so that we could avoid planting the same vegetable in that area for a couple of years.
I am very happy with my vegetable garden record because each season I can add to my sketch pad and I can also look back each year to see where I have planted things in the past. Each time I just draw in the permanent structures and plantings around the garden and then add in the seasonal crops.
If you don’t have a sketch pad, or you would like some free printable worksheets to help you record your vegetable garden planting, check out the following link. It includes PDF worksheets that can be used with different garden shapes, a printable grid sheet, and a vegetable planting guide.