5 Spring Garden Planning Ideas to Do During Winter

It's that time of year when the spring seed catalogs start to arrive during the darkest, dreariest days of winter. As your have spring dreams during cold days and nights, take a little time to do some planning for the upcoming gardening season.

Make a Plan

To start your spring garden planning, begin with a plan. Write out the goals you hope to accomplish with your gardening projects. Do you plan to grow fruits and vegetables or do you simply want to grow flowers? Be sure to take into consideration your expected time constraints for the spring and summer. Don't bite off more than you can chew and overload yourself with more garden than you can keep up with as that will only leave you frustrated and disappointed.

Consider whether you will be doing all of the gardening by yourself or will you have help from family members. If you are planning a vegetable garden, think about the vegetables you might want to grow.

If you plan to just grow flowers, think about whether you want to plant them in the ground or grow everything in containers. Do you already have perennials planted and if so, how can you build upon what you have?

Mark Your Spot

Even though it's winter, you can still be marking out the spots where you want to plant your garden or gardens. You can begin preparing your spot now by placing newspapers on the ground to begin killing any grass that might try to pop up on those warm winter days. Newspapers will biodegrade into the soil.

Use stakes to mark corners and you will have all winter to ponder and be sure that the spot or spots you have chosen will be appropriate. You can keep track of the sunlight and shade on the spot (remember that when trees leaf out, the sunlight and shade will change so be sure to take that into account).

Do Your Research

Spend some time researching recommended planting dates for your area. Research plants that you would like to grow to learn more about their needs and care requirements. Reading about spring and summer gardening on cold winter days can make the days much more enjoyable.

Pick Your Poison (Plants)

While you are doing your research, take some time to pour over seed catalogs. Search the Internet for seed companies that offer catalogs and request to have catalogs mailed to you. Peruse these gems to determine what plants -- fruits, vegetables, bushes, flowers, trees -- you would like to try and begin to make a list based upon your family's needs, your location and your time constraints. If your family doesn't care for squash then don't spend your time and energy growing squash. Choose plants that your family will enjoy and you can make use of.

Do you plan to "put up" your garden harvest? Now is the time to be looking into preserving your future harvest and adding this to your plan.

Draw It Out

Draw diagrams of your plans and keep them with your written plan. A drawing can help you better visualize what you wish to do and will keep you focused. When the winter is getting long, pull out your drawings and make any adjustments or simply daydream about the coming garden season.