There might still be snow on the ground throughout much of Canada, but spring is just around the corner which means gardening season is quickly approaching. Whether you're a first-time gardener or a seasoned pro, one of the most important things to keep in mind when starting your garden is that a ton of preparation is required to ensure that the fruits of your labor will grow successfully. These helpful tips and FREE Garden Planning Worksheet are a great way to get ready for the season of planting! Proper planning & organization is key to fresh & flourishing gardens! Although the three basic requirements for successful gardening are simply sun, water and good soil, there are many things to take into consideration when planning your gardens. While it can be tempting to take on an ambitious go big or go home mentality when you're a beginner, it's best to start small so you don't get overwhelmed and possibly give up on the entire thing! The Style of Your Garden Before you can plan out what to plant, you'll need to decide how and where you are going to plant it. If this is your first garden, do some research and decide on the style of garden that you want and what will fit best within your space. As stated in this article from Better Homes and Gardens, there are many options that you can choose from including patch vs. raised beds or row cropping vs. intensive. While it's generally best to clear and prepare beds in fall for spring planting, you can also prepare the beds in spring when the soil is workable. What to Plant & When Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, you'll need to plan what you'll be planting this year and when you should plant it. If you've never had a garden, be sure to find out what will thrive in your climate and space. For example, according to The Old Famer's Almanac, some of the most successful herbs and vegetables to grow in Canada are asparagus, basil, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and carrots. However, if you live in an apartment with a small balcony or if your garden doesn't receive the recommended 6 hours of direct daily sunlight, some of these particular crops might not grow as well as you might have hoped. In addition, you'll want to find out what plants you can start as seedlings indoors, which ones you'll want to buy and transplant from your local garden centre, and what can be planted directly in your garden. FREE Garden Planning Worksheet To Get Started! After you've done your research and decided on your chosen plants, use this FREE Garden Planning Worksheet to keep track of the details. Since the key to successful gardening is proper planning and organization, you can download, print and insert it into a binder along with your other gardening resources. You can print as many as you need and can refer back to the notes section over the years to see which vegetables grew well, which ones didn't, etc. Here's How to Use it: \tOn the first line, write down the vegetable or herb you're planting \tCheck off the S (seed) or R (replanting) circle depending on the plant \tWhich season and month are you planting it? Write an E (early) M (middle) or L (late) under the appropriate box. \tOnce your plants are ready, write the down the date they were ready to be picked under Date Harvested. Gardening Is Good For You! Once you plan out the logistics of your garden, it can seem a little daunting to get started - the sheer amount of work can intimidate even the most experience gardeners. However, the act of gardening and getting in touch with nature is beneficial for not only the environment since you'll be able to grow your own food, but it can be healthy for your mind, body and spirit, too. In fact, according to this article by Earth Easy, gardening can help relieve mental health issues like depression and anxiety, reduce your risk of strokes and heart attacks by up to 30% and more. Looking for MORE gardening resources? Check out these helpful posts: Save Bees & Butterflies - A Look At Why Our Garden Friends Are In Trouble & How To Help 10 Upcycle Ideas For The Garden Easy Tips for Spring Gardening If you love gardening, you'll love eco-friendly seed paper! Created with biodegradable materials, this eco paper is embedded with NON-GMO seeds that grow wildflowers, herbs or vegetables when planted in a pot or garden. Perfect for a variety of events and purposes including crafting, weddings, memorials, promotional products, recipients will love growing their own bounty of fresh flowers, basil, parsley, dill, carrots, lettuce or tomatoes with a simple piece of compostable paper. Like what you see on our blog? Join our mailing list to receive emails with freebies, projects, coupons, green living tips and decor ideas and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.