Garden Planner – New Features that Make it Easy to Plan a Productive Garden

[Music] In this video, I’m going to give a quick overview of
the new features in our online Garden Planner for Spring 2013. The biggest addition is a set of over
130 ‘Garden Objects’ that you can add to your plans. To see these, just change the selection bar to show
Garden Objects. You can then browse them in the same
way you would choose plants by using the arrows at each end, or by clicking
a letter in the alphabetical index at the top. Each object has its own Information box, giving essential advice about the
things to consider when placing it in your garden. For example, let’s add one of the new raised beds
to our plan. You now have a choice of wood, brick,
plastic or wicker, and they look beautifully realistic even when
zoomed in. Click to pick one up then move to where you want it, and click or drag it out to place it. Just like everything else in the Garden Planner, you can resize or rotate them on your plan using the handles. For container gardens, there are now many shapes and materials to choose from, and all are resizable. Essential items such as compost bins and
rain barrels can also easily be included in your designs, and you can add a compass rose to mark
which direction north is, which helps when considering where tall
plants will cast their shade. There are also a range of plant supports
available. For example, we can easily add a bamboo wigwam for climbing peas or beans. Your garden boundaries can be marked
with a wide variety of fences. Because these are lines, they behave in a slightly different way. You click once to select the fence you
want (notice how the mouse pointer now changes
to a line pointer) then move to where you want to start the
fence, and drag out a line of it. As you build up your plan you’ll
probably want to make changes to plants or objects you’ve already placed. To help with this, we’ve added a new Layer system. If you want to adjust your plants, but don’t want to alter the plant supports or beds, just select the Plants layer. Now the plants are all brought to the top, and other objects are dimmed and sent ‘behind’ them. With this layer selected, only plants can be changed until you return to the All Layers selection. As well as Layout, Text and Plants, there’s now an Irrigation layer which you can use if you want to
plan out drip irrigation for your garden. Choosing any Layer changes the selection
bar to only show objects that can be added to that layer. With the drip irrigation parts now
showing, it’s simple to plan out everything from water filters and timers to tubing. Each section you add can be curved using
its middle handle, and by curving several sections you can
create any kind of shape you need. Once you’ve added the garden objects, just click the Parts List and a summary will be generated making it easy to check what is required for your design and to purchase the items you need. Above the Plants layer is the Structures layer, and it’s here that lots of useful
objects which help protect your crops can be added. For example, we can drag out a cover over this row
crops to protect them from frost, netting can be added over soft fruit to
prevent birds from stealing the ripe berries, and larger objects such as greenhouses
can be added to help raise young plants and provide earlier harvests. For any of the season-extending objects
such as greenhouses and tunnels adding them over your plants automatically
adjusts the dates the system calculates for those plants
in your area. Just switch to the Plant List and you’ll see them labeled with the
recommended dates for planting and harvesting changed to take account of the extra
protection from frost. If you want to adjust this, you can set how many weeks earlier you can plant, and how many weeks later you can harvest at the bottom of the Information
box for that type of object. This is a very powerful feature, and it can help you plan a variety of measures to extend your season and grow more in the space you have. If you need to alter the plants
underneath one of these objects, just switch to the Plants layer, and then switch back when you’re done. It’s not just Garden Objects that are new
when drawing your plan. We’ve also extended the regular drawing
capabilities, adding a new Triangle tool, improving the Text tool, and greatly extending the range of colors available to choose from. As well as the standard section, there’s now a beautiful range of heritage colours which blend into any garden color scheme. Solid shapes can also be filled with a
variety of textures, so you can easily add a grassed area of lawn, or a paved patio area. These textures only apply to filled
shapes, not to the Background Fill tool, which ensures that you can change the
size and location easily after you’ve placed them. If you prefer to plan using precise
measurements, all objects on your plan can now be
double-clicked to reveal a Properties box where you can
specify exact sizes or positioning to make changes to any shape’s color or
texture after it’s been added. Here’s another great time saver when adding crops to your plans: You’ve always been able to double-click
plants once they’ve been placed to set their label, choose the variety you’re growing, or specify the months they’ll be in the ground. However, if you had a lot of individual plants
or rows, this could take some time. That’s why now you can select defaults for each plant
before adding it to the plan by double-clicking it on the Selection bar. For example, here I’m going to select the variety of
sweet corn I’ll be growing this year. Now any sweet corn plant I add to my plan will have that variety set automatically, which can save a lot of time. This also makes it easy to add unusual plants you are growing that arent yet in our database. First, choose one of the generic icons
such as Other, Fruit Bush, Flower or Herb. Then create a new variety, giving it the name of your plant and specifying the spacing and times of when to plant and harvest it in your area. Now, when you add it to your plan, it will already have those characteristics, and on the Plant List it will show up labeled as a separate line. Once your plan is complete, you can publish it to our web servers and then share your designs with friends and
family by email, Facebook, Twitter, or on Pinterest. If you’re looking for inspiration, just
look for the Garden Plans Gallery link on the login page to browse through designs from other
gardeners in your area. There’s plenty more to come, too. New Garden Objects, plants and features
will continue to be added in the coming months, further extending the capabilities, and giving you the best planning tools available for
your garden. [Music]

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Reader Comments

  1. Kim Graves

    We'd really like you to add a calendar function where we can make notes and track sow, transplant, harvest, etc dates year to year. We're adding that info to the notes, but it would be useful to have a visual. We're doing this on an Outlook calendar, but we then have to switch back and forth between programs and there's duplication. We're finding the garden planner very helpful.

  2. Pure Barre Addict

    Could not have planned my large veggie garden without you! I am encouraging all my friends to us Veggie Garden Planner!

  3. GrowVeg

    Yes, the notes being the same for a plant/variety is a deliberate thing. We thought long and hard about this and came to the conclusion that people often move plants out of greenhouses or remove the row covers, so we didn't want the notes disappearing when that was done. If you want to split the notes into separate instances, you can do that by creating a new 'variety' for each instance, then it will save the notes separately. e.g. you could create a variety of carrots called 'Early sowing'.

  4. waynesurbangarden

    Looks great. Haven't used the planner properly yet but think it'll be great to track my urban gardening experiment which I'm filming 🙂

  5. Ashlea Harnden

    this is the most comprehensive gardening tool out there! I began my spring plans before discovering this gem and definitely wasted a lot of time coming up with my own solution. It does everything I was pulling from multiple sources and stores it online in one place with the ease of use for future reminders, not just the task I'm currently on. I've found my new garden partner in crime!

  6. GrowVeg

    Hi, yes there are two ways to design a winter garden after a spring/summer one: 1. You can use the Succession Planting feature which enables you to label which months each plant is in the ground and then view the plan for any month of the year. 2. You can create a 'follow-on' plan for the same year which clears out plants (except perennials) and retains the layout. See our other videos on 'Succesion Planting' and 'Next Year's Plan and Crop Rotation' for details.

  7. Kim Doyle Wille

    Holy COW! What a GREAT tool the Kitchen Gardeners International Garden Planner is and excellent instructional videos too! I can't believe how many features and components there are. Thanks much – this will help our program a lot!

  8. Ashani Rajapaksha

    Nice Video! Excuse me for butting in, I would appreciate your opinion. Have you thought about – Saankramer Breathtaking Design System (should be on google have a look)? It is an awesome exclusive product for learning how to design an amazing dream landscape minus the headache. Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my close friend Aubrey finally got great success with it.

  9. Dale Decker

    I just purchased this two weeks ago and it resembles nothing like this?? Certainly not all that its cracked up to be, its very unfriendly to use.

  10. Glenn Maxfield

    I have just bought your program after the trial period and love it. However, what would be helpful to me if I could write the date I plant into the planner so I could get a better idea when to harvest.

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