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Growing a great vegetable garden involves juggling the needs of dozens of different crops. Some like it hot while others prefer cool spring or fall growing conditions. Some can be closely planted while others need lots of room. But figuring out when to plant what — and where — just got easier.
With the help of our interactive Vegetable Garden Planner, you can quickly get the data you need to design your best garden ever — and it's all free for 7 days. To get all the same great features on your iPad, try our Grow Planner app.
Here are some of the things the Vegetable Garden Planner can do:
Find the average first and last frost dates for your area, based on records from over 5,000 weather stations across the United States and Canada. All you have to do is punch in your ZIP code, and the Garden Planner software does the rest. If your experience in your microclimate points you toward different dates, you have the option of setting the frost dates yourself. The Planner will use these dates to tell you the best planting times for more than 130 garden crops. This function is a great one to use during the free 7-day trial. If you want, the Planner will even send you twice-monthly reminders about what crops to sow and plant from your plans.
Experiment with bed designs and plant placement. If your garden beds are already in place, simply set up your garden's template in the Vegetable Garden Planner and start plugging in plants. The vegetables and herbs have already been coded with space requirements, so you can quickly see how many will fit in a given bed or row. Or, use the Garden Planner to design new beds for any garden.
Get a personalized planting chart. Once your plan is complete the software compiles a chart showing how many of each plant you need to buy or raise from seed, the correct spacing and recommended planting dates for your area. You can print both the plan and plant list as a handy reference to take into your garden.
Plan succession sowings. If you plan to grow fall carrots after spring peas, or plant fall garlic in the same space used for summer snap beans, you can incorporate end dates for certain plantings into your plan. The plan will then show available space for a second crop.
Plan crop rotations. Plants are coded according to the botanical family to which they belong, and the Garden Planner keeps track of what you have grown where. When you plan next year's garden based on this year's plan, the Planner will warn you if you try to follow tomatoes with potatoes, squash with pumpkins, or otherwise violate standard rotation practices.
Plan cover crop plantings. The Garden Planner includes several common cover crop varieties for improving soil.
Keep track of varieties. You can quickly change from generic labels such as "lettuce" to specific variety names such as 'Red Sails.' Then you can make notes in the Garden Planner about what happened with different varieties over the course of the season. The notes will be stored so that you can refer to them during the next planting season. If you grow any unusual plants then these can be added as varieties of the generic plant symbols such as "fruit bush," "herb," etc.
Now it's time to see the Vegetable Garden Planner in action. You can view instructional videos or sign up for the free trial — no credit card or personal information beyond a valid email address is required. Your first 7 days is free, then the Planner costs only $29 per year if you choose to continue (or $45 for two full years). We think you're going to love how this interactive software can streamline and improve the garden planning process.
"I just wanted to tell you how excited I am that there is finally a way to organize everything for my several gardens. Many other programs list too many plants or are geared toward 'Master's Elite' gardening, but this Planner enables me to do more planning than ever, and it takes the stress off my hands at the same time! Thank you so much for the thoughtfulness and creativity of this all-in-one Garden Planner."
— Devin Koser
"This will only be our third time planning a garden, but it was a breeze with this new Planner! We will be starting our own seeds for 99 percent of what we plant. Thanks to the Planner, we know how many plants we are going to need for every row! Thanks again, MOTHER!"
— Paula Spalding
"I just love my Garden Planner program — best money I have ever spent!"
"Wow! I was reading your email (as I always do anything coming from MOTHER EARTH NEWS) and thinking how great it was that you would send an update of when particular vegetables could be sown or planted out. All of a sudden, I realized that not only were vegetables listed, but the email was personalized and named particular varieties that I had entered in my garden plan ... AMAZING! Your Garden Planner is incredible, and I plan to use it for many years to come. I can't believe the amount of work and confusion it has saved me."
— Christina Scheel
"I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how neat I think your Garden Planner is! I just started my free trial, and I've been reading all of your plant info, trying to decide where I should put my garden and how best to arrange it. I can't wait to dig in! Thanks for such a great resource!"
— Shannon Wendt
"I'm planning my garden for next year as we've just moved to a high altitude area. Thank you for making the Garden Planner so visual and easy to move plants from one area to another. All the useful videos on succession planting, planting reminders, etc., just make it so complete! I'm sure I'll be subscribing, as I don't ever want to do without this useful program. You've thought of everything — varieties of vegetables, spacing, light exposure, companion planting ... I could go on and on. This is just the best!"
— Susan Borgardt
Garden Planner support pages:
Gift cards for the Vegetable Garden Planner are now available! To learn more, or to purchase one, visit our Shopping Page.
For updates about the Vegetable Garden Planner plus tips related to gardening and garden planning, follow the Planner on Facebook. For a mobile version of the Garden Planner, check out our Grow Planner app. Love digital tools? See our complete Apps for Wiser Living page.