Mapping your garden to plan for a better harvest

Guestpost by Renee on Apr 25th

Renee is a long-time urban homesteader from Portland, and as homesteaders know: you need to PLAN if you're going to harvest.

We moved into our homestead back in 2006 when it was just a blank canvas of lawn, with a couple old rose bushes here and there. After six years of major landscape changes, it's about time I got around to making a decent planting plan of the homestead.

I used AutoCAD to create the above plan showing what we currently have growing on our 1/10 of an acre city lot. What isn't shown on the plan are the ground covers. We have flowering bulbs and tubers like crocuses, alliums, tulips, daffodils and irises. There are also swaths of lamb's ear, euphorbia and perennial herbs that I cut and divide each season to slowly carpet the ground. Any bare spots by late spring get filled in with vegetables like potatoes, squash, etc.

I've spent many long hours distracting myself with dreams of our perfect planting plan. Our homestead is filled with edibles, but this dream plan packs it even fuller. It is a real challenge to keep the plant palette small when you are a plant lover, so my list is a little too long. However, there is still some good repetition to keep some sense of consistency in the garden.

The above plan is harder to read, but created with Illustrator. Sadly, this is a plan that will probably never come to full fruition. It's fun to dream about, but I just don't see myself having an extra $2,000 bucks laying around to actually fill the garden out according to plan. That said, having a loose plan keeps me on track with a few things. It prevents me from picking up random plants at the nursery that are not already on my palette list. It also helps me know where to plant new additions as I get them.

How do you map your garden beds?

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About Renee

I have a fascination with watching things grow and getting my hands dirty. My time is spent drawing up landscape designs, volunteering at neighborhood farms, and tending my own modern homestead in Portland.