Planning A Garden

seed catalogs

Spring is almost here.  Planning a garden begins with seed catalogs.

During the time between February and March I begin planning our garden.  Here in Wisconsin I won’t be planting outside until the end of May.

Review Seed Catalogs

I love going through the seed catalogs. It took me several years to learn the importance of  seeds and from whom you purchase them does make a difference. All I can say is my best produce came when I started ordering Heirloom Vegetable Seeds. I actually do a combination of hybrid and heirloom seeds. I especially like the heirlooms as you can keep the seeds (and you should) to replant the following spring. Buy once, plant for a lifetime.

Plan Garden Size

I started with just a few plants in containers several years ago. Last year we added five 4’ x 4’ square gardens in our yard; still small by many city standards, but enough to keep us happy.

I just plan how much room I have and build on what worked the year before. I did find that:

  • my herbs will be better on their own
  • My tomato towers were shading my squash, so I will move those
  • Be sure to read the package and see how tall each plant will grow!
  • Leave lots of space for cucumbers and squash because they have such long and big leaved vines!

Grow Lights

You don’t have to have a lot of room in your house or own a big greenhouse to start your plants from seed. I start my herbs indoors in containers. All they need is some light. Here in WI there is not enough sunlight to support seedlings. I compensate for those cloudy days by using a Grow Light system.

TIP: Lights are expensive, so if you can purchase an old bathroom light fixture that holds at least 4 bulbs, you are good to go. Just exchange two of the regular bulbs with grow lights. I move the plants around so they each get some time directly under the grow lights, but the warmth of all 4 bulbs is enough to keep them happy.

I am sure everyone has a different process, but this works for me. I do try to get my seed orders in for seeds native to my area of the country for best results. If I order them by March, I seem to have no problem getting the seeds I want.

Do you order seeds or get seedlings from a local nursery?

Love to hear from you on this!


  1. I order some hybrid seeds and buy some plantings. Our yard is surrounded by trees and live in MI., so like you I can only grow so much indoors.

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