Although I'm still a total novice at garden planning, I spent a couple of hours putting together our 2011 garden plan a few days ago, and I figured I'd share my work, if only to get feedback and advice from those of you who know what you're doing. We've had a garden here at our condo for a couple of years now, but have approached it in a pretty haphazard way, throwing some random seedlings and seeds into the ground--ones we've acquired from friends, our CSA, or a seedling sale here or there. We've focused pretty heavily on tomatoes and peppers and herbs, just because we know we love them all and have had success growing them. Last year, I started some seeds indoors, and had mild success in that venture, even without grow lights, but many of those plants got taken over by runaway squash.
This year, we have an 8' x 10' plot, and I would like to try out the Square Foot Gardening technique, or some modified version of it. We're starting with sixteen tomato seedlings that I started from seed a couple of months ago, four sungold tomato seedlings that we recently bought at a Community GroundWorks plant sale, some herb seedlings from our CSA, and random seeds we have left over from previous years (which may or may not be good anymore).
After using a few resources to read about things like companion planting and situating taller plants on the North side of the garden and how many of each kind of plant can fit in a square foot, here's the sketch I came up with, in Excel:
It's probably overly ambitious, but we'll give it a go, anyway! The numbers on the right side of the image indicate how many seedlings of each variety can go in one square foot. Our tomatoes are all of the small variety, so I figure two squares per plant should work ok, even though larger varieties definitely need more like four squares per plant. I also hope to have a trellis along the back and right sides (west and north) of the garden, to help hold up the squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and beans. We'll also probably do the remaining tomatoes and all the herbs in containers in our backyard.
Here are some sites I found particularly useful in planning:
Square Foot Gardening Plant Spacing
Creating A (Square Foot) Garden Plan
Martha Stewart on Seed Starting (though this looks really complicated!)
Other resources, ideas, suggestions you all have to offer?! I'd very appreciative...