As applicable to any project, “Planning” is the most important activity of creating your dream tropical organic garden. Some of us take planning as light step and hope to evolve as we go planting but later regret as we end up realizing that it has not optimally done.
Why planning is so important
In most of our urban gardens most scarce resource is land, so optimum usage of land extent is most important in creating your garden
You can grow trees such as coconut or mango which takes years to grow therefore once they are planted it is very difficult to move them later if you wish to change your layout.
To prepare your budget, you need a proper plan of your garden.
And finally, it should look good at the end of the day.
How to plan a garden
There are several ways to plan a perfect garden. Easiest is to use online planning tools, some of them are free but tools with better options generally come with a cost. As most of the us gardners are DIY folks, I would present a simple plan for Do It Yourself. .
First step of planning is to sketch a layout of your land. It should clearly indicate gardenable areas as per your agreement with relevant stakeholders such as landlords, local government authorities etc.
Then you can mark your borders, pathways clearly as pathways are key to access each part of garden easily. Needless to say, more you access garden, more you enjoy every part of it. Borders should also marked as they should should act as our gardening itself would make it ultimate border ofour garden.
Next is to consider what you want, you can think of trees, shrubs, vegetable garden, fruits, palms etc as your liking. If you are in tropics, you should consider special tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapples, oranges etc.
Having thought of what you want, next is to put all them together. First place bigger trees in your sketch considering their growth. If you like shades in some part of then place larger trees and consider their growth level in 5 years,same goes for shrubs as well. If you need to cover a circle of 3-4 meters of diameter for 1 or 2 years, then select a banana variety. Vegetable garden should be in a sunny plot, so is some varieties of fruits. Plan carefully what vegetables are to be laid in ground beds and what to be placed in pots, over hanging pots etc. Some veggies are colourful so make them more visible, Shouldn’t there be flowers ? yes you are in tropics, select plants which bloom flowers year around and seasonal plants to be placed around them. Flower gardens are the most enjoyable part of garden and you are likely spend more time there. Some flowers prefer sun while some like orchids, anthuriums prefer shades. Therefore it is advisable to read bit about every plant if you are not certain where to place them.
Native plants should be introduced to your garden. Specially if you are planning a planning tool, it is unlikely that tools will propose a native plants and herbs. Native plants are sensitive to your environment and they are cost effective. If you foresee hard environmental conditions such as severe drought, native plants can survive those rough weather.
As we are going organic, there should be your own compost making facility. Depending on space and ingredient quantity, decide on a method. Most gardeners prefer barrel methods than pit methods.
Finally introduce hard landscape features such as wind breaks, patios, swings, garden tables etc.
Having a perfect design for a garden, now is the time to get your hands dirty with soil, compost, seeds etc. Before taking up tools and start digging your land, you may use bit of project management practices to make your life easy. Break your project into small work packages, calculate budget for each and have a rough time plan. I would suggest you to start small and gradually take to whole garden. Make sure all the weeds are removed at first and lawn can be laid out. Prepare soil using lots of compost and you are ready to go with your gardening journey.