Campus News

Create a gardening plan now

To reap a hearty harvest, Bob Westerfield, UGA Extension consumer horticulturist, suggests creating a garden plan before putting hoe to soil.

“You need to know where everything is planted, how much you planted, the varieties you planted, the dates you planted them and when you fertilized,” he said. “All of this information will help you solve problems, and avoid them, down the road.”

Select vegetables to consume, and plant only enough to fill predetermined needs. Westerfield also recommends planting in an east-west direction.

Keeping accurate records also helps gardeners rotate crops. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers are in the same plant “family,” he said. Avoid planting any of these in the same location of each other for up to three seasons. Plant another “family” of vegetables in that spot.

To extend the garden’s harvest, stagger planting, too. For example, plant a few new squash plants every two or three weeks. This method also helps with pest control.

Also, don’t use too many plants and overcrowd the garden. Plants need space for ventilation and to keep the chance of disease down.

Taller crops like okra, corn and sunflowers grow tall and will shade other crops. Keep this in mind when designing plant rows early in the season. Vegetables also mature at different times and rates.

Keep notes on the varieties planted, taste and whether plant performed to expectations. Next winter, consult these notes before ordering seeds for the next garden.