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February 17th 2017

Garden Planning: Part 3 Draw it Out

Written by
Floret

Floret_Landscape Fabric-3This is the part of the planning process where things can get a little frustrating. If you’re anything like me, then your “need list” is still much longer than what you actually have room for. Trust me, I know this predicament all too well.

Most people are surprised when they find out that our farm is only two tiny acres. Yes, you read that right – just two. And after years of trial and error we have figured out how to cram an insane amount of flowers into this postage stamp sized farm.

One of the tricks is spacing plants more closely than what most seed packets, and planting instructions, recommend. Closely spaced plants require less water and less weeding, which in turn will give you more time to cut and enjoy your flowers.

Floret Garden Design Sketch Pad-1In the planning kit, (which you can get for FREE if you preorder the book ) I have shared the plant spacing regimes that we use here at Floret, and the most common varieties we use each one for. It should help you get an idea of how to lay out your garden beds for maximum production, depending on what types of flowers are on your wish list. I also created a sample cutting garden plan, using inexpensive and easy to grow varieties, which I hope will give you some inspiration if you’re feeling at all stuck.

With your measurements in hand, it’s time to pencil out what you want your garden set up to look like. First, determine how long the beds and paths are. Once that is established, you will easily be able to figure out how many plants you can fit into your plot, depending on what spacing you plan on using.

Floret_Landscape Fabric-4For example, I can fit a whopping 66 plants into a little 10-foot-long bed when I space them 9 inches apart. You can read an in depth explanation of the process here: How-To Grow More Cut Flowers Than You Ever Thought Possible

Don’t fret if this part takes some extra time and focus! You’re probably going to be doing a lot of erasing and refiguring, so use pencil and start over as many times as you need to. It always works out eventually; you just have to stay at it.

Once you know what your space looks like and how many plants you can actually squeeze in, it’s time to reexamine your wish list and narrow it down even more if needed.

Tomorrow we’re going to take our garden plans, review them, and then create a seed sowing schedule to follow.

9 Comments

  1. Amanda on

    Thank you, for all the time it took you to write this Garden Planning series! Last summer I grew my very first vegetable and flower garden. There was no place I wanted to be, but there watching everything grow! As a newbie, I am gathering a lot of great advice for this year. I cannot wait until your book arrives on my doorstep! Congratulations!

    Reply
  2. Debi on

    I noticed your flowers on black plastic. We plant most of our veggies on black plastic, but I have never used it for flowers. What varieties do you plant into the plastic?

    Reply
  3. Kendall Black on

    I’m pretty sure that Floret is a Saint. I woke up a little after five this morning, very odd for me, started brushing my teeth and then FREAKED out when I realized there may be a ‘Planning part 3 series on the blog!’ Trotted down stairs, trying to be quiet, and remembered I’m on East coast time. Ha! Regardless, I made some Jo and continued planning the garden of my dreams away. One of the many things I love about Floret is there constant encouragement. They all want all of us to be better at what we love. And I’m crazy about that. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Becky on

    Thank you for reminding me how much time and focus this part takes! It’s so easy to NOT make time for this stage and just start getting plants in the ground, only to get into a pickle further down the line when the season is in full swing. Looking forward to the rest of this series!

    Reply
  5. Killoran Moore on

    In the planning guide, when referring to black eyed Susans, is this just R. triloba or all Rudbeckia? I spaced them 12 X 12 last year, but if I can cram more in there.. I’m going to try. It’s really amazing how many flowers can be fit in such a small space.

    Reply
  6. PlantLady on

    Could you please write about how you set up your horizontal hortonova netting, with specifics like post sizes, what you use to attach it, etc? I can’t tell in the awesome pictures if the netting is attached to the hoops over the beds…in lieu of the stakes the hortonova instructions recommend. And you don’t appear to have the wire/cable wound through the outside edges (which sounded like a logistical nightmare when I read their instructions). Sure would appreciate some help on figuring this out!
    I shopped around for the netting, but the shipping was a deal-buster…nearly as much as the netting. Until I found I could order it online at Home Depot – slightly lower price PLUS free shipping to my home!
    Thank you so very much for all the wonderful information you have provided over time!!!

    Reply
  7. Placidus on

    I am excited for your book to arrive next month! One of the things I am most hopeful for is to see if you mention for each variety you included what grid spacing you use for it. I’m been able to find mentions hear and there with most throughout your stuff for most but I’m still trying to figure out where to put some stuff. The packet was a nice distillation of what I already do for our gardens.

    Thanks for all you have provided for us!

    Reply
  8. Carmie on

    Would you recommend this method for flower beds that are right next to the house? I want lots of flowers, but most of my space is right beside the house.

    Reply
  9. Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker on

    I recognize the David Austin catalog there! I’ve been trying to figure out how to fit in more David Austin roses. They’re tricky in our climate (zone 9a with 115º and up summers and 5-6 months of above 90ºF), though; it’s so hot that even though they’re supposed to repeat flower, they bear in late April and if we’re lucky, they bear again in late October. Floribundas do well here and will repeat bear in summer, but they get tiny in the heat from June-August (the size of miniature roses). I am trying a new rose this year, a pink floribunda called Earth Angel. It says the buds are 1 1/2 to 2 inches, so we’ll see what happens with them in the summer heat. They are globe-shaped like peonies, but smaller.

    I grow a mixture of food and flowers on our .24 acre lot. Just this week we tore out 10 non-producing espaliered apples (it’s too hot for them to fruit) and I have been trying to figure out how to fit in as many fruit trees in their place as possible.

    I’m planning more space for flowers this year than in years past. It’s tricky with the heat but I find that zinnias love it.

    Reply

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