Shopping Cart

How To Plan A Successful Garden. 3 Main Considerations.

Having the right garden beds & irrigation are fundamental steps to starting a successful garden. But to make the most of a garden, you’ll need to understand your local climate, select the right amount of crops, and position and space them accurately. So, to help you on this journey, we reached out to our friends at PlanMyGarden to create an easy-to-follow guide for planning a successful garden. This guide will help you navigate everything from climate considerations to the best use of your garden space, and even how to choose the best spots for your plants.

PlanMyGarden has helped gardeners for over seven years by offering personalized garden plans, via their online planner tool. They also know a thing or two about gardening products, since they’ve been a GIM Ambassador for the last few years.

We like the PlanMyGarden tool because it fits in with the Garden In Minutes® goal of making gardening easier. You just input your gardening preferences, and within 24 hours, custom plans are sent directly to your email.

Now, let’s dive into PlanMyGarden’s three key areas to focus on when planning your garden. Also, be sure to read to the bottom, PlanMyGarden included a discount code, exclusively for Garden In Minutes® blog readers. Enjoy!

Planning Raised Garden Bed Plants

Garden In Minutes® 4×8 All-In-One Raised Garden Bundle

PlanMyGarden’s 3 Main Considerations For Planning A Successful Garden

Author: Tim, Founder of PlanMyGarden


1. Understanding Your Climate: The Significance of the Last Frost Date

Starting your garden begins with knowing your local climate, especially the last expected frost date in the spring. This critical date determines when to start seeds indoors, when to transplant, or when to sow seeds directly outside:

Seed Starting in Cooler Climates:

  • In cooler regions, it’s important to start certain seeds indoors. Take onions, for instance, which should be started indoors approximately 10-12 weeks before your last expected frost. This early start is essential for their development in cooler climates.

Planting Examples Relative to the Last Frost Date: 

  • Cucumbers: Start these seeds indoors a few weeks before the last expected frost. Once the risk of frost has passed, they can be safely moved outdoors.
  • Kale: Begin these indoors about 8-10 weeks before the anticipated last frost and they can be transplanted out several weeks before the last expected frost as they are frost tolerant. 

Gardening in Frost-Free Zones:

  • Year-Round Opportunities: In frost-free regions, such as the southern states, gardening can often be a year-round activity. This environment allows for a diverse range of plants and continuous harvests without the constraints of a frost schedule.

By aligning your planting schedule (which we will touch on below) with the last frost date, you ensure that your plants get the best possible start, adapting to your local climate conditions.

Tip: To find your last expected frost just enter your use the Garden In Minutes® growing zone finder here.

2. Efficient Space Utilization: Raised Beds & Square Foot Spacing

Optimizing your garden’s space starts with understanding how much area you have and organizing it effectively. The combination of raised beds, square-foot gardening, and strategic planning tools like PlanMyGarden makes this task more manageable and productive.

First, Identifying and Dividing Your Garden Space

  • Assess Your Available Space: Start by measuring the total area you have for gardening, calculating the square footage to understand the extent of your gardening canvas.
  • Maximize Efficiency with Square Foot Gardening: Divide your garden space into one-foot squares. This technique is highly effective for organizing planting in raised beds. For example, if you’re using the Garden In Minutes® 4×8 all-in-one bundle, the metal raised bed comes with a 4×8 Garden Grid™, which divides your garden into roughly 32 square foot sections of garden space. The grid layout provided by these systems clearly marks each square, simplifying the division of your garden space and aiding in efficient plant arrangement.
    • Note: Your garden doesn’t need to be exactly divisible by an entire square foot. Garden beds have varied material thicknesses which usually leads their interior planting area to be smaller than a full foot measurement. For instance, a 4ftx4ft garden bed, made out of 2” thick wood, would have a planting area of 44”x44”. This is totally fine. Your square can be just under a foot. Garden In Minutes® Garden Grids™ account for this with squares that are ~11”x11” making them a perfect fit for most garden beds, including their own 🙂. Overall, square-foot gardening is a guide to grow by area, instead of rows. By following that guiding principle, your raised garden will be on the right track for its best production.
Garden In Minutes 4x8 Raised Garden Bed Bundle

Garden In Minutes® 4×8 All-In-One Raised Garden Bundle

Next, Identify Which Vegetables You Want to Grow and How Many You Can Grow Per Square Feet 

  • To identify how many of each crop you can place per square foot, you can use the Garden In Minutes® plant spacing chart to determine how many of each type of vegetable you can plant per square foot/Garden Grid™ square. This ensures you use your space optimally without overcrowding.
  • PlanMyGarden builds on this for you. Just enter the dimensions of your bed, enter your plants, and decide how much space to allocate to each. Our PlanMyGarden tool then calculates how many crops you can grow, using square foot gardening guidelines as a basis. Next, we’ll delve into how PlanMyGarden can further assist with optimal plant placement and scheduling.
PlanMyGarden Garden Planner Spacing Tool

Two 4×8 Raised Beds Shown On PlanMyGarden, totaling 64 sq ft.

Plan My Garden Plants To Choose

Allocating Space for Crops Using Plan My Garden

3. Organizing Your Garden: Scheduling and Plant Placement

The final step is to schedule your planting and strategically place your plants:

  • Developing your schedule: In garden planning, it’s crucial to differentiate between plants needing an indoor start and those suitable for direct sowing. This ensures your plants have the right conditions for growth and development and you know what to do exactly when.

Garden Planting and Planning Schedule

Plan My Garden: Detailed Scheduling For Each Crop.

  • Check Seed Packets for Specific Needs: Seed packets are an essential guide. They not only tell you whether to start indoors or sow directly but also indicate the lead time each plant needs based on your last expected frost we discussed earlier.
    For example, some plants may need to be started indoors several weeks before the last frost date to achieve a sufficient growth period.
  • Consider Frost Sensitivity and Lead Times: Understand the frost sensitivity of each plant. Frost-sensitive varieties, like tomatoes and peppers, typically require a longer lead time when started indoors, especially in cooler climates. This early start is necessary to protect them from cold and to ensure they have enough time to mature before the growing season ends.
  • Sketch your Layout: Arrange by plant placement by height and growth pattern. Keep taller plants & trellises in the north and west, and shorter ones in the south and east for balanced sunlight exposure.

Plan My Garden Finalized Layout for Two 4×8 Raised Beds

Plan My Garden Finalized Layout for Two 4×8 Raised Beds

Embark on Your Gardening Adventure with PlanMyGarden and Garden In Minutes®

Bringing your garden to life is simpler than ever with PlanMyGarden’s personalized planning and Garden In Minutes’® practical gardening solutions. Combine the smart planning of PlanMyGarden with the convenience of Garden In Minutes’® Raised Beds and Garden Grids™ for a harmonious gardening experience. 

To get you started with your first plan, here’s an exclusive discount code for Garden In Minutes® readers to save 10% on your PlanMyGarden custom plan. Code: GIM10

Here’s to a beautiful, productive garden journey that’s uniquely yours!


Garden In Minutes® is all about making it easier for you to grow your best garden!

From our patented Garden Grid™ watering systems to our long-lasting Metal Raised Garden Beds; our gardening products are loved by tens of thousands of gardeners across the U.S.!

Tap below to explore our gardening solutions & let’s start your best garden in minutes!

Metal Raised Garden Beds with Garden Grids Footer Image
Shop The Garden Grid

Pin It on Pinterest