When you’re about to plan a garden, anything is possible. With so many types of gardens, plants, and layout options to choose from, a garden planner will help you stay on track. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gardener, we’ll show you how a free online journal will make this year your best garden yet.
The winter months offer perfect prep time, and the right garden planner for you will come with many added benefits beyond simply staying organized. Before you venture outside with your gloves and shovel in tow, try planning with a virtual garden for fast and reliable results.
Why a Garden Planner is Beneficial
A free online garden planner can help you plan the layout of your garden, from what you want to grow, to where each plant goes. Plans like these help you stay organized while your garden thrives and is a great tool to help you think ahead. Use the planner continuously, and you’ll have an action plan off the bat that helps you create a stunning garden.
It doesn’t matter what season it is, or if you’re starting your garden from seeds. A planner can help make your garden a huge success this year. Many gardeners keep a garden journal to remember which plants worked and which didn’t quite work out in prior years, and this can even be helpful in remembering what time frame you have to plant outside or start your garden.
Greatest Garden Planner Benefits:
Beginners and pro gardeners alike take advantage of awesome garden planners for two main reasons:
- They’re great for staying organized and remembering what plants your tried and when
- A great planner will offer growing tips to yield a better harvest year after year, no matter what type of garden you tend.
However, there are many other benefits to using a garden planner. Depending on the option you choose, a garden planner can help:
- Offer perfect harvest and planting times for veggies or other plants
- Provide guidance on fertilizers and optimal sun exposure
- Figure out how many plants you can grow in your garden
- Prevent over-crowing plants to yield a better result
- Make the most out of every inch of the space you have
- Catalog and process photos with descriptions of each plant
- Keep a shopping list or notes for next year
Use this information to decide which plants and vegetables you should plant in your garden and check out the cheat sheets each planner may offer to help your plants thrive better than ever.
Web-Based Planners are Easier than Ever
With a web-based planner, you can zoom in and move your virtual garden around to place each feature where you want them, or rearrange as you see fit. You can use a template if you’re not sure where to start, or plan out your dream garden from scratch.
After you’ve created your garden plan, simply save the layout and revisit it as you go. Or, you can print out your plan if you’re more of a paper and pencil type of person. This way, you can make notes and changes directly onto the page and store them in a nice three-ring binder.
What’s great about printing out your plan is that you can write out a list of the supplies you’ll need to make your design work and take it with you when you visit the store. I find doing this helps me stay organized and on top of my game should I get to the store and find a better option I hadn’t previously considered. It’s also handy if problems pop up.
Online tools and free software applications make the process easier than ever, and you can try them out before you waste even a penny.
Online Garden Planners That Won’t Break the Bank
Whether you’re new to gardening or typically plan out your garden using old-fashioned pen and pencil, you’re going to love these online planners. Not only are they free, these are the best garden planners you can find online that allow you to customize yourworksheet, calculate rainfall and the amount of soil you may need, look up pest control and growing information, or keep a diary.
The following are the best online garden planners that are entirely free to use, with no added costs after you use the app a few times and fall in love with it. They won’t tease you into paying for an awesome product because they’re already great on their own.
Check out the features of each, as they all offer different ways to help gardeners build their best green spaces. Try out a few different options and see what works best for your needs. You may find yourself using a certain planner for short time needs before committing to the right one for you all year around.
Here are the 10 best free garden planner options online:
1. Gardener’s Supply Company
If you’re looking for a completely free garden planner but you only grow vegetables in your kitchen, this is the perfect tool for you. Gardener’s Supply Company allows you to design productive veggie gardens based on the square footage of your space, rather than traditional rows. A grid helps you fill in the perfect amount of plants, or you can go with any of the 16 pre-planned options.
Simply drag and drop where each plant will go, print out your map, and you’re ready to plant. There’s even an encyclopedia with in-depth information to help you choose the best variety of veggies. You won’t be able to plan out your entire yard, but many users love the square foot gardening technique.
With a rainfall calculator, soil calculator to fill in raised garden boxes, and a disease and pest directory, your garden will be happy and healthy.
2. Better Homes and Gardens Plan-A-Garden
Plan-A-Garden is an easy-to-use, free tool on the Better Homes and Gardens website. You can see your garden layout in a realistic 3D setting, drag and drop each item where you’d like it to go, and check out the plan from a bird’s eye view.
This program has pre-made templates to help you get started, such as houses, fences, benches, and scenery. Customize your layout and add stones or brick paths as you see fit (and plants of course). There are hundreds of objects and types of trees, flowers, or shrubbery to choose from, and you can adjust the size of each or define the climate to find recommendations.
Save your progress online or export the list of plants to take to the store. This landscape design planner is totally free of charge, all you have to do is register.
3. Smart Gardener
Although this desktop planner comes with a few upgrade costs, you don’t need to pay anything to benefit from the program. It’s the easiest tool to plan and harvest your own vegetables indoors or out, and everything is entirely based on your personalized needs.
This program will ask you how many people are in your family to find the right number of veggies to grow, and allows you to choose the plants you enjoy most. It then calculates the amount of space you need to feed your family accurately.
From raised beds to various shapes and sizes, Smart Gardener has everything you need to create your perfect garden. Keep track of seed start dates, learn the best times to plant, create to-do lists to stay on track, join a community of gardeners, and buy plants from vendors like Baker Creek, Renee’s Garden, or Peaceful Valley.
The only thing you can’t do is add porches or pools into the mix.
4. BBC Virtual Garden Planner
Landscape your garden or plan out its contents, from fruits and vegetables to flowers and trees. The BBC Virtual Garden Planner has it all, and you can quickly design and visualize your space before you plant. Group your greenery harmoniously, explore the plant finder, plan out walkways, or allot pieces of your garden to specific purposes.
The best part about this free option is that you can experiment with various planting schemes and explore unique plans developed by some of the top garden designers in the nation.
5. Burpee Garden Time Planner
This option allows you to customize your garden based on specific information such as your location—complete with weather forecast conditions and average frost dates based on your zip code. Simply select the plants you want to grow the most, and the planner will show you the best dates to plant or sow seeds.
Plus, beginners will adore the how-to tutorials and videos with growing tips. The only downside is that you can’t differentiate between vegetable varieties. You can’t, for example, choose a type of tomato for your plan. The free version is also only available in tablet or mobile versions, and doesn’t allow you to plan individual garden beds.
6. Garden Planner Online
Visualize and plan where each seedling will go well before you plant with this free tool, which offers planting schemes, visions for future growth patterns, and planting schedules so your garden has the best advantage.
Customize various designs and layouts, whether your garden in indoors, out, or even window box designs. Place fencing and bricks, experiment with trees and perennials, or create stunning walkways. The choice is yours with this free tool!
7. Vegetable Gardening Online
Perfect for beginners, Vegetable Gardening Online is a website that offers everything you need to plan your first garden. Zone charts and planting worksheets guide you through placing each plant with care, while a diary and growing information will show you how to keep your vegetables growing strong (even berries).
Additionally, you can find printable worksheets and fun coloring pages to keep your kids busy while you design your garden.
8. Marshalls Garden Visualizer
Because the real world is 3D, this free software offers a 3D interface, so you can configure everything your garden will need. You can virtually move around your space from all possible angles, and it’s easy for beginners to use.
This design software offers tons of ways to customize your garden and build your dream, from benches and gravel to any other element you can think up.
9. Gardena’s My Garden
This virtual planner is more of a sketch-like bird’s eye view of your yard. With this web-based application, you can drag and drop plants and any other garden element exactly where you want it. Add in ponds or design taps to water your plants, and print your design to implement it in real life.
You can even use the pre-designed gardens if you’re not sure where to start. Just modify them to fit your requirements.
10. Kitchen Garden Planner
If your garden is confined to your kitchen counter, this Kitchen Garden Planner is designed to create personal and commercial indoor garden plans. There’s a paid premium version, but the free option is perfect if your growing a small home garden for your own needs.
Check out your garden in a final 3D view before you print it out or email it to share with friends and family. This garden planner is available online and it comes with over 26 options you can choose from.
There’s no doubt that a free online planner can help you create your perfect garden. The only question is which one is right for your needs.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
I'm a gardening enthusiast with a deep understanding of garden planning and design. I've spent years exploring various types of gardens, plants, and layout options, and I've used multiple garden planners to create stunning and thriving gardens. My expertise in this area comes from hands-on experience, as well as extensive research and exploration of the best practices in garden planning.
Garden Planner Concepts
Types of Gardens
Garden planners are essential tools for planning various types of gardens, from vegetable gardens to ornamental landscapes. They help in organizing and visualizing the layout of the garden, whether it's a traditional outdoor garden or an indoor kitchen garden.
Benefits of Garden Planners
- Organization: Garden planners help in staying organized and remembering the types of plants you've tried and when.
- Growing Tips: They offer growing tips to yield a better harvest year after year, regardless of the type of garden you tend.
Features of Garden Planners
- Layout Planning: They assist in planning the layout of the garden, including the placement of plants and other features.
- Planting and Harvesting Times: They provide guidance on perfect harvest and planting times for various plants.
- Space Optimization: They help in making the most out of every inch of the garden space available.
- Cataloging and Notes: Some garden planners allow cataloging and processing photos with descriptions of each plant, as well as keeping a shopping list or notes for the next year.
Web-Based Garden Planners
- Zoom and Move: Web-based garden planners allow users to zoom in and move the virtual garden around to place each feature where they want them, or rearrange as they see fit.
- Templates and Customization: They offer templates for those who are not sure where to start, as well as the option to plan out a dream garden from scratch.
Free Online Garden Planners
- Gardener’s Supply Company: Offers a free garden planner for designing productive vegetable gardens based on the square footage of the space.
- Better Homes and Gardens Plan-A-Garden: Provides an easy-to-use, free tool with a realistic 3D setting for garden layout planning.
- Smart Gardener: A desktop planner that helps in planning and harvesting vegetables indoors or out, based on personalized needs.
- BBC Virtual Garden Planner: Allows users to landscape and plan out garden contents, from fruits and vegetables to flowers and trees.
- Burpee Garden Time Planner: Customizes garden plans based on specific information such as location and provides how-to tutorials and videos with growing tips.
- Garden Planner Online: Visualizes and plans where each seedling will go well before planting, offering various designs and layouts for indoor, outdoor, or window box gardens.
- Vegetable Gardening Online: Ideal for beginners, offering zone charts, planting worksheets, and growing information for planning the first garden.
- Marshalls Garden Visualizer: Provides a 3D interface for configuring garden elements and customizing the garden design.
- Gardena’s My Garden: Offers a sketch-like bird’s eye view of the yard, allowing users to drag and drop plants and other garden elements.
- Kitchen Garden Planner: Designed for creating personal and commercial indoor garden plans, available online with over 26 options to choose from.
These garden planners are entirely free to use and offer different ways to help gardeners build their best green spaces. Users can try out a few different options to find the one that works best for their specific needs.