Creating a map to optimize your garden

Brought to you by Ace Hardware of Shelley
Written by Candice Christensen

Planting season is upon us. We have only a few weeks to go before we can get all of our frost-tender plants tucked away in the warmer garden soil. It’s time to make a garden map if you haven’t already. What side of the garden will the tomatoes grow? Do you have room to plant the perfect pumpkins you planned? Certain plants will take more room than others. Some crops need their space and some like to be snuggled in. Individual crop needs should be taken into account when planning where to plant.

Most of us have a certain garden square footage to work with, a couple of raised beds, or at the very least a couple of well-placed pots in which to grow your crops. Did you start more plants than you have room for? Has a shopping spree at a greenhouse left you with more starts than garden real estate? If you’re laying out your plans and are coming up with less available space than you had previously planned, consider some companion planting.

Tomatoes love to have space and are heavy feeders, however, your carrots benefit from having a nearly nutrient-deficient soil and a bit of shade. Plant your carrots at the base of your tomatoes and watch them thrive from the symbiotic relationship they provide. You’ll be saving space and growing healthier crops. Lettuces and leafy greens can also benefit from some shade provided by other plants. Onions can be planted fairly close together saving you some room in your rows. No room for herbs? Most herbs do very well in a pot and as many varieties tend to spread and send out runners, planting them in pots will keep the rest of your garden from being overrun.

Whatever your growing aspirations this season, draw out a garden map that will comfortably accommodate your crops and get ready to plant. Happy gardening East Idaho.

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