Garden Planner Frequently Asked Questions
Free Trial and Subscription
Q. Is it really free to use the Garden Planner?
A. Yes, for 30 days you get the fully working version of our Garden Planner. You can create up to five plans per year, and all of the advanced features, such as crop rotation, are available. There is no obligation to subscribe at the end of your free trial and we do not require any financial details unless you decide to subscribe.
Q. Why should I subscribe if I can just sign up for the 30-day free trial?
A. Once your 30-day free trial is over, you will need to subscribe if you wish to continue accessing the garden plans that you have produced and receive the e-mails that remind you when to sow and plant. When you come to plan next year’s garden, the Garden Planner will remember your garden layout and where crops have been grown in previous years. This enables you to quickly produce next year’s plans without having to re-draw your layout. In addition, the Garden Planner shows you where to avoid placing plants for crop rotation based on your previous years’ plans.
Q. Can I share my account with others?
A. Our Terms and Conditions only allow people in the same household to share one Garden Planner account. We respectfully ask that you do not share your account details with others. Special accounts are available for educational purposes where multiple-user access or more plans per year are required. Please contact us for more details.
E-mails and Privacy
Q. Will I receive junk e-mail if I sign up for an account?
Subscription and Payment
Q. How do I subscribe?
A. Just start the Garden Planner, then log on and click the “Subscribe or View Account Status” button.
Q. How much does a subscription to the Garden Planner cost?
A. Your first 30 days are free and a subscription does not automatically start. After that it costs $25.00 for a one-year subscription to the Garden Planner or $40.00 for two years. School accounts are available for teachers who wish to use the Garden Planner with their students at a cost of $40.00 for up to five classes per year. Please use our Contact Form for further details about school accounts.
Q. If I subscribe before my 30-day trial ends, will I lose my remaining free days?
A. No, we add your one or two year subscription on to the remaining days of your free trial.
Q. How can I be sure that it’s safe to use my credit card to subscribe to the Garden Planner?
A. We use PayPal, the leading provider of secure credit card transactions on the Internet, for all our credit card processing. Our site is secured by industry standard technology (see the padlock symbol when you navigate to our Subscription pages). We never store any credit card details on our servers. If you still have concerns, then you have the option of using a PayPal account or sending us a check.
Q. Will you continue to take subscription payments out of my bank account each year?
A. No, we simply send you a reminder asking you to re-subscribe via our website.
The Garden Planner
Q. Do I need to install any software?
A. No, the Garden Planner simply uses Adobe Flash player, version 9 or above, which is installed on well over 98% of all internet-connected computers. Adobe Flash works with Windows PCs, Apple Macs and Linux, in all major browsers. If you need to update your version of Flash player, then you will be notified when trying to launch the Garden Planner, with a link to the page for the free download.
Q. Will the Garden Planner scale to large growing areas (such as market gardens)?
A. You can create plans up to 1,000 feet in either direction, with up to five plans per year (contact us if you require more than this). For large garden areas, consider splitting them into several smaller plans to limit the amount of scrolling you need to do. For plans with a large number of plants the “Show Only End Plants in Rows” option is available to increase scrolling speed. This option can be accessed by clicking the Settings button.
Q. When I click to start the Garden Planner it doesn’t work. What’s the problem?
A. As long as you have tried waiting for the Garden Planner to load, then you probably need to give your computer a bit of a helping hand. Our Technical Help page gives all the details you need with practical steps and details of how to contact us so that we can help you sort it out.
Q. Do you have a stand-alone version of the Garden Planner that I can install?
A. No, at the moment we only provide an online version so that all our customers are using our most up-to-date software and we can keep backups of the data.
Q. Can the Garden Planner adjust planting times for the Southern Hemisphere?
A. Yes, when you specify that you live in a country in the Southern Hemisphere, the planting seasons are adjusted automatically.
Q. What weather/frost date data do you use?
A. We currently use the 1971 to 2000 data for the United States, which is the most recent official data from the National Climate Data Center. For Canada and other countries, we use data that often extends up to 2010. The date ranges of data vary by weather station, but we use the most recent and reliable data sets available.
Q. A vegetable I plant is not shown in the Garden Planner. What can I do?
A. In order to keep the loading speed of the Garden Planner to a minimum, we have only been able to put the most common vegetables and fruits into the Garden Planner. If one that you plant isn’t there, you can do one of the following:
Choose the closest vegetable to it and use that picture instead. You can then double-click it to specify a variety of that vegetable.
Use one of the generic vegetables we have provided such as “Other,” “Herb,” “Fruit Bush” or “Tree,” and give it a variety name for the new plant.
If we receive a lot of requests for a particular vegetable, it may be added in the future. Feel free to contact us with suggestions.
Q. What is the difference between “Spacing” and “Spacing in Rows”?
A. This is often something that confuses people and gardeners have many different opinions on it. A basic description is as follows:
Spacing: the distance between plants when planted individually or in blocks.
Spacing in rows: (the distance between plants down the row) x (the gap between rows).
By spacing plants closer in rows, but keeping the rows farther apart, it means that they still get the root space they need — but you get more access to them and they are easier to weed due to the gap between the rows.
Q. I want to grow more than one crop in the same space. Is that possible?
A. Yes, just view the Succession Planting video on the start page of the Garden Planner for details of how to do this.
Q. Why am I getting no sow/plant/harvest times for a vegetable I have added to my plan?
A. Based on the frost dates you have chosen, our system has calculated that you do not have a long enough growing season to grow this crop. Please note that with protection such as row tunnels or a greenhouse, glasshouse or polytunnel, you may still be able to grow it.
Q. My garden plan won’t save. What should I do?
A. Please follow the instructions on our Technical Help page.
Q. What should I try if the Garden Planner runs slowly on my computer?
A. Try restarting your computer and making sure that other demanding programs are not running at the same time. The Garden Planner does slow down with very large garden plans but speed can be increased by using the Settings button on the toolbar and selecting to 'Show only end plants in rows and corner plants in blocks'. Alternatively a large garden or plot can be split into separate smaller plans.
Q. Scrolling is very slow on my garden plan. What should I do?
A. Again, try the steps mentioned above. Also, click and drag the scroll bar itself, rather than the end arrows.
You may also find the following pages helpful:
Our Contact Page for other questions.
Our Technical Help Page if you are having difficulty getting the Garden Planner to work on your computer.