I am so excited to share all the details of my 5,000+ Sq Ft Vegetable Garden Plan with you today!
I am sure that you have read the advice to plant a small garden if you are a beginner. Here is my advice:
If you are a new gardener with the intention of building a large garden, prepare yourself to work EXTREMELY HARD if you want to be successful.
This is my 3rd season gardening, and I have had a lot of success so far. My husband and I built our dream home out on 13 acres in the country in the spring of 2013. We moved in at the end of May after a whirlwind 3 month building project.
On of my requests was that hubby build me a garden ASAP so I didn’t miss the growing season.
And by June 1, I was planting my very first vegetable garden (I am married to a saint). The size of my very first vegetable garden was 1,000 sq ft. Here are some photos from my first year gardening:
I had a lot more time to prepare for my second year of gardening. I spent a good portion of the winter studying up on intensive gardening techniques, and discovering ways to extend my short growing season when planting a large garden.
I live in zone 4a, so a few more weeks on either side of the growing season could really change things for me.
I learned how to start my own seeds (read my top 10 Seed Starting Hacks), asked hubby to build hoop houses and cold frames, and planted my first cold hardy vegetables out mid-April. That was a full month and a half ahead of the previous year. Here are photos from my second year gardening:
What a difference a year can make?!?
I had a blast learning how to get the MOST out of MY FRUGAL DIY garden last season (here are 70 of my favorite FRUGAL Gardening Resources).
I learned a lot about companion planting, succession planting, and season extension. My garden produced a beautiful crop (although we did suffer from an extremely early hard frost, and a few rounds of hail).
I was able to can and preserve a lot of the harvest, and we are still enjoying the fruits of our summer toil!
But I truly want to be as self sufficient as a northerner can possibly be, and our garden simply was NOT BIG ENOUGH!
So last fall we extended our garden to a full 75’x75’…ENTER my 5,000+ Sq Ft Vegetable Garden Plan!
I have spent the last few months making a vegetable garden plan, and I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty this season. Here are some photos from our expansion project:
It is my hope to post frequent updates this gardening season on our progress and experience with our large vegetable garden. (Click Here to read an Update from 7/27/2015) I will be planting approximately 60 different varieties of fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Here is a downloadable .PDF of the plants I will be growing in my 5,000+ sq ft vegetable garden this year.
Click the Image to Download:
I have often wished that more large-scale gardeners shared their plans online, so I hope this is a benefit to you! Click the Image below to view a closeup of my 5,000+ Zone 4 Vegetable Garden Plan:
View Detailed Garden Plan:
>>Click Here for my 2016 Garden Plan <<
I also believe in the value of a detailed garden schedule. I always do the math pre-season and work hard to develop a planting schedule. I figure out when I will need to start certain seeds indoors, schedule a plan to harden them off and plant them outside.
I refer to my garden schedule regularly throughout the growing season. It is so nice to start the week by looking at my garden schedule and work with the confidence that I am not forgetting anything.
As the season progresses, I will keep track of my garden tasks in a journal. Keeping good records of planting schedules, fertilizing schedules, and harvest dates will create a valuable resource to help me plan my 2016 garden.
I am sure that I will make minor changes to this plan as we go throughout the season, but this is what I have for now (if you live in a different gardening zone, these dates will not apply to you):
LOVE the detailed work that you’ve done. I just came across your plant download (which I printed out for myself) and your garden plan. I like it but I do have a question about the companion planting. Do you have any problems with pests and would you suggest to plant any herbs/flowers mixed in with the fruits/veggies to deter the bugs? I live in zone 8 so we get a lot of bugs. 🙂
Hi! Sarah, who wrote this amazing article, is no longer writing here at Grounded & Surrounded. I know she does plant a few flowers and herbs in her garden, but I am not sure which she pairs together to repel pests. You may find this article helpful though: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/525302744023228839/ . Happy gardening and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!
Hello, great job on Everything! My question is could you explain your method to weed control? I have a large garden also and the weeds are overpowering. I was doing the newspaper straw method when it was smaller but not really possible for such a large garden.. wood chips?? Thanks for any insight you have!
Hi Jen, thanks for your question. I am not sure anything works as well as just taking it section by section and pulling the weeds. However, I have tried sprinkling cornmeal to deter the sprouting of new weeds. If anything it makes me feel like I’m being proactive! Happy Gardening! 🙂
This is a great post!!!!! I am in the my second season on this property or prepping for that. I love the planning. I tried to plan like this last year- failed alot. But live and learn!!!! Love it
Thanks so much for your kind words, Jennifer! Isn’t gardening the best?! You are so right, “live and learn”, especially with gardening. I seem to have a lot of failures too each year, but along with them come many unexpected blessings of harvests. Keep it up! Year 3 will be your best year yet 🙂
Thanks for posting your calendar schedule! I have been keeping track of things for the last 2-3 years, and am trying to figure out the best timing to start my veggies. When I did the math, I discovered I was starting my tomatoes way to early. I also discovered that peppers are slower germinators, so I should plant them a bit earlier etc. I’ll have to take yours in consideration next year, along with my notes from this year!
Sounds like you have this gardening thing down pat, Sarah! Gosh, don’t peppers take FOREVER?! We have experienced the same thing. I am so glad you found this post helpful! Happy planting and we hope you reap a HUGE harvest this year 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
You have been blessed with a wonderful family and a great gardening spot!!!!
Thank you Karen, I couldn’t agree with you more!
Definitely the best garden plan I’ve seen lately. Everything’s so neat. I’m still not done with my garden plan and I’m still having some issues on the beds we are preparing. found some good ideas here and I’m definitely having them on mind while working on my plan. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Della, I am so glad to hear that my plan encouraged you and wish you all the best this gardening season. I only have a rough sketch of what this year’s garden is going to be, but can’t wait to get it all drawn up and published on the site. Keep in touch!
I started my first garden in 2013, too, with around 2,000 square feet. Most people thought I was nuts! My zone 7 season is long so I don’t have to do the cold frames, but I think that’s so awesome how you’ve extended your season. I also enjoyed seeing your garden plans. It’s so interesting to see how other gardeners do it. Best of luck this year!
Most people still think I’m nuts, girl! But it is so worth the effort, isn’t it? I’m glad you enjoyed my garden plan for last year, I hope to publish this year’s plan soon. I am trying to make it a bit easier on myself, so I don’t think I will be planting quite as early this year. #learning Good luck with your garden…keep in touch!
You have demonstrated how hard work pays off! Your garden development since year 1 is impressive. Well done. You’re an inspiration to future gardeners! Thank you for this post!
Thank you Brittany! I can’t wait to share pics of this year’s garden, it is nearly 1/3 planted and my basement is overflowing with seedlings. Just praying we don’t get flattened with hail (which is always a strong possibility where I live.
Sarah – Your garden is so inspiring. It seems like a very big job and you have done so much planning. I’m not sure I’m ready to plan as in depth as you but I look forward to learning more and planning more than I did last year.
Hi Nikol!! I totally agree with you, Sarah’s garden is SO inspiring! Thanks for stopping by and take care 🙂
What a great post and a beautiful garden! My hubby is a gardening NUT. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at my link up. I hope you link up again! The new link up will go live on Friday at 9 am MST.
Wow! I just found your site, and read through this entire post with excitement. This year will be my third year to garden in the north. First year I gardened at our rental property. I had my husband build me a “greenhouse” with PVC pipe and plastic. I had a very successful first year. Last year, I put in a garden at the property we have purchased, and hope to homestead on soon. I had huge problems – turkeys, no water (had to haul water every day), groundhogs, and the worst – an early freeze down to 20 degrees on Sept. 10th. Lost everything. So, not such a good year. I threatened to throw in the towel after that loss, but this year, here I am again, and have just started seeds again. There is just something about spring that brings new hope into your heart. I will be following your journey closely, and hope to learn more from you too. I am also going to check out the garden planner. Hugs to you today 🙂
I am so glad to hear that my garden plan has encouraged you. The whole idea of living a more sustainable life can motivate us to do crazy things (like try, try, try again). I am excited to hear you are giving gardening a shot again this year. We had a terrible killing frost early last fall too! It was so disappointing. I grow a lot of barassicas and root veggies so I at least get SOMETHING out of my garden when the season is too short for the tomatoes and peppers. I hope you stay in touch, and please feel free to e-mail me if you have any specific questions. I will be putting out some GREAT gardening articles in the next 4-6 weeks. They are all written and I am so excited to share them with our readers.
This is my dream one day-to buy land and build a home and have a large garden and geese and sheep. How exciting seeing you plan our your garden! Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope to one day have to plan out a garden as big as yours!
Miranda, just keep moving forward to your goals one step at a time. I had no idea I would have come this far in such a short time, but it has been well worth the effort and I am excited to be a source of encouragement to others.
Wow this is amazing. I am so jealous. I have a teeny tiny postage stamp sized backyard that this would never fit in. I have a tiny space against my fence where I would like to plant some veggies this year. This post is great inspiration – thanks!
p.s. I found you on mom blog party 🙂
Kelly, check out vertical gardening tips online! I have a bunch of ideas pinned on my gardening boards. Last year, I learned how to grow up and really saved some space. Best of luck.
Looks very ambitious, but exciting! I can’t wait to have a proper garden. We plan on adding to ours gradually over the years too. 🙂 Good luck! Thanks for sharing on the Pintastic Pinteresting Party!
Great post! Now I’m wondering how big my garden is? It looks bigger then your first year, but smaller then the last. lol Guess I’ll have to measure it!
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