We have some exciting additions to announce about our award-winning Vegetable Garden Planner program. If you haven’t yet heard about or tried these cool programs, click on the links in the previous sentence to go to complete info pages. In a nutshell, these programs help you plan and design your vegetable garden, ultimately helping you grow more food. You map out what you want to grow (choosing from more than 140 crops), and the programs tell you how many of each plant you can fit in an area and when you need to plant each crop based on your ZIP code. The computer-based program received praise from beginning and veteran gardeners, who often comment on the time they save by using these tools.
Here are some of the recent additions and improvements we’ve made to the Vegetable Garden Planner and Grow Planner:
New Seed Company Catalogs
We’ve recently integrated more seed company catalogs into our garden planning tools. We already had these existing seed suppliers in our planners: Territorial Seed, Jung Seed, R H Shumway, Totally Tomatoes and Vermont Bean Seed Co.
We are very excited to now include some of our favorite companies: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, High Mowing Organic Seeds and The Tasteful Garden.
There are now more than 10,000 varieties and descriptions included in the planner! When you’re using the Garden Planner and want to know more about varieties of a particular crop, double-click a plant, click the + button next to the variety list, and then hover over the information button for any variety to learn more. From the Plant List, you can also select which seed company you’d like to order from, and then click the “Buy” button to be taken straight to the catalog page on the supplier’s website.
New Features: Plant Filter and Favorites Button
These two new features have already been added to the online Vegetable Garden Planner and are coming soon to the Grow Planner.
As we’ve expanding the range of plants available, we’ve received some feedback that gardeners would like help choosing crops. In response, we have added a Filter and Favorites button. These new features make it easy to ask the Garden Planner questions such as: What herbs are in the brassica family? What vegetables are easy to grow and can be planted in my area in April? Which cover crops are suitable for planting in fall? And many more.
The Filter is multi-layered, meaning that you can set as many criteria as you wish and it will find the relevant plants and display them in the selection bar. Clicking the Filter button again will remove the filter and return to all plants. This is how the custom filter will appear in the Planner:
By using the new Favorites button, you can easily select certain plants to show in your selection bar, while hiding those you know you don’t want to grow. We think this simple feature will save you even more time as you plan your garden.
Best wishes to you in your gardens this season. May you have your biggest and best harvests yet!
Shelley Stonebrook is MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine’s main gardening editor. She’s passionate about growing healthy, sustainable food and taking care of our environment. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.