How to digitally plan & organize your vegetable garden
Have you ever wanted to save all the information about your vegetable garden in one place and take with you wherever you go?
I wanted to share with you how I use Plantsmap.com to save a binder’s worth of growing information about my vegetable garden on my smartphone, tablet or computer.
I start with gathering together all the seed I plan to start and divide them by the ones I will start indoors and what I will wait to direct sow outdoors.
Next I look up the average last spring frost date for my growing area. I like to record my own observations each year of the last spring frost date within My Plants Map Vegetable Garden collections. You can also find and save frost date information from your state cooperative extension website. If you are new to vegetable gardening or move to a new hardiness zone, check with other local gardeners or garden centers for the best local knowledge on frost dates.
After I have a good idea of my frost dates, I can make my best estimate on how far in advance I will start seeds indoors or outdoors and sort by start dates. I then create a Vegetable Garden Collection and a list by date of when to start my seeds as well as other weather, frost notes and reminders. I like to create a new Vegetable Garden Collection each year.
I then add to the new collection list, by planting dates, any other edibles I want to grow such as starting seed potatoes, asparagus plants, onion transplants or other plants I intend to purchase rather than start from seed. After I save this new collection I can now add the plant profiles.
I find it very helpful to be able to look back on my previous growing season hits and misses too: Vegetable Garden 2018, Vegetable 2017, Vegetable Garden 2016, Vegetable Garden 2015, Vegetable Garden 2014.
Creating a Vegetable Garden Collection & Adding Plants
- Sign in to begin your My Plants Map profile
- Create a new collection and add your planning information within the story. Save this collection.
- Add plants to your profile.
- Add your plants into the collection.
- If I have previously added a plant to My Plants Map library, I can simply find the plant and add it to my new vegetable garden collection. At the top of your plant page you will see an action to Add/Remove to Collection.
- A singular plant can be added to more than one collection.
- If I am adding new plants, I save information from the seed packet as well as my personal notes and reminders. I also like to save a reference link for additional growing information from either the seed company or other sources.
- My preference is to add reference links to fact sheets from my state cooperative extension since they tend to have more specific information for my climate, soil and other conditions.
- You can make public or private notes on your collections and your plants.
I now have all this information saved and available to me on my computer, smartphone or tablet.
I can have access to it while shopping, while working in my garden, or to share with others.
Here is an example of one of my favorites: Tomato Sungold.
During the growing season I can add photos, save notes (private or public), and continue to add useful information or reference links. I sometimes even add links to favorite recipes.
The growing information I save will be invaluable to me again next year when I go to plan my next vegetable garden. After all, as Andy Tomolinis wrote, “a gardeners best tool is the knowledge from previous seasons.”
All you need is a notebook, and with Plants Map you now have a digital notebook with plant profiles that grow with information each year.
I look forward to learning what you are growing in your vegetable or edible garden collection on Plants Map.
Connecting People With Plants
[Published 2/8/15. Updated 3/9/19]