I shared in this recent post that one of our projects for 2021 was continuing to build out our garden area. We currently have one raised bed garden that we planted last year and we're expanding this year to build out a second bed plus add sections and beds of flowers around our current patio area.

I think at this point I can safety say this is one of my favorite hobbies. And, like with any good hobby, I have thrown myself into researching and exploring ideas, options, and best practices. Today's post I want to share how I've started to plan out my garden, tools I've used, and my favorite places to buy seeds and plants.

Gardening 5
Gardening 4
Gardening 3

Planning out My Raised Beds


  • Start with knowing your growing zone. Depending on where you live in the country you'll have a different growing zone that will determine when you're able to start planting and how well you'll be able to grow different plants. Not sure you're growing zone? Use this tool or this one to determine your zone and what that means for your planing season. I'm in Zone 7 which means I'm able to plant hardy veggies early to mid March and grow through the end of October. But someone in the Northeast, for example, has a much shorter growing time.
  • Track the sun to determine placement. If you're planting an in-ground garden or positioning raised beds, make sure you have an area in your yard that gets at least 6 hours of full sun every day. Most producing plants need full sun to produce well. We built a new raised bed next to our blueberry bushes and the position could not have been better. It gets the summer sun a full 6-8 hours during the day - perfect for growing.
  • Plan out your space. I didn't plan out my garden space last year. Everything grew really well but some of the raised bed wasn't utilized well and in researching I found I could have doubled my planting in the space I had. This year I've been reading a lot on companion planting ( planting flowers and veggies around each other that are mutually beneficial) and also used this tool to digitally lay out my beds before even planting. *see photos below for the print out of my planned raised beds*
Gardening 13
Gardening 12

Garden Tools to Look Into Before You Start Planting


I'm always one to be prepared and last year I was not. There are a few things on my list yet to get that's going to make gardening a little easier. If there's one garden tool to purchase it would definitely be a trowel, but items like well-fitting gloves, a watering can, a hose that reaches your beds are so useful to keep up good habits of tending and care for your garden in the middle of summer.

  • Trowel
  • Gloves
  • Buckets
  • Hose
  • Watering Can
  • Planting Stakes
  • Trellis
  • Twine
  • Snips

I put all my Amazon favorites for gardening into this list if you want to get it fast!

Shop on Amazon



Gardening 11
Gardening 8
Gardening 6

Where I Buy My Seeds & What I'm Planting


This year I did a fair bit of research and found what I hope will be good some good seeds. I shopped on True Leaf Market, Floret Flowers, Row 7 Seeds, and Baker Creek Heirloom.

Starting mid-March I'll be planting Basil, Beets, Carrots, Cosmos, Cucumber, Lettuce, Green Onions, Peas, and Cherry Tomatoes

In mid-April my second bed will be filled with Zucchini, Potatoes, Borage, Chamomile, Marigolds, Garlic, and Peppers

You can find me on Instagram at
Emily Lewandowski @emilyjlewandowski