6 Tips for Planning Your Crops for the Garden and Homestead


Kacey BradleyEvery homesteader wants to make the most of their land. One way to do this is to grow a garden full of practical fruits and vegetables, food items you can use to replace trips to the grocery store. If you’re new to growing, you may be unsure where to start. Follow the guide below for helpful tips on how to plan and plant crops on your homestead.


1. Find the Right Location

The right location for your crops is essential. You want a sunny spot, as most plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to grow and thrive. The more sun your plants receive, the bigger they’ll get and the better they’ll taste. Find a place that isn’t prone to flooding during rainstorms, as excess water can kill plants. But you also want a location with some water, as dry soil can also damage plants.

2. Understand the Seasons

You won't plant all fruits and vegetables in spring and harvest them in fall. Get the most from your garden by planting at the right time.

  • Spring: Plant lettuce, arugula, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.
  • Summer: Plant spinach, radishes, onions, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers and okra.
  • Autumn: Plant Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, collards, snow peas and garlic.
  • Winter: Plant asparagus, shallots, beans, peas, potatoes, scallions and mache.

Keep in mind the growth of seasonal fruits and veggies will vary based on different regions in the U.S. Fruit that’s ripe in the South during spring may be different than what’s ripe in the Northeast.

3. Think About Spacing

Certain crops, like corn and sunflowers, will need a lot of space to grow. They can quickly overshadow smaller plants and cut off access to sunlight and essential nutrients. When deciding what to plant in your garden, separate plants into size groups, with the largest at one end and the smallest at the other. Be sure to research how far apart to plant individual seeds to avoid overcrowding.

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