The Best Vegetable Garden Planning Apps

garden planning notebook and seeds on a table

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Maybe you are an experienced gardener, and you have a neat binder full of garden plans and notes where you’ve carefully recorded your crop rotations, varieties and successes over the years. Or maybe you are starting a new garden in a new place, and want an easy way to plan and track your plantings. Or, maybe you’re a new gardener, and have no clue how to plan and organize your garden at all.

Whether your a garden sage or a total newbie, these online vegetable garden planning tools can make planning this year’s garden a real snap!

Creating a Garden Plan

When creating a garden plan, there are several variables to consider

  • the size of your garden
  • the amount of sun your garden gets throughout the year, and the length of your growing season
  • the number of people the garden will be feeding
  • what you all like to eat, and the space those plants take to grow
  • what you would like to can, preserve or freeze
  • the needs of the plants you want to grow
  • the method of gardening you are using (raised beds, rows, Square Foot, biointensive, etc.)
  • what was successful in the garden last season, and where you planted it

Most gardeners start with a piece of graph paper and some pencils, and sketch out a plan of their yard. (Sometimes, it’s even to scale!)

Then, if you are a novice gardener, you will probably spend a lot of time looking at charts in gardening books or the instructions on the back of your seed packets to determine when to plant, how much space each plant needs to grow, and roughly when you will harvest.

Then, through nearly superhuman feats of logic, mathematics and geometry, you calculate a plan for your garden that will give you all the food you want while also considering seasonality, crop rotations, companion planting, and phases of the moon.

Or you give your brain a Charley horse with the effort, and just end up sticking some seeds and plants in the ground to map out later. (Maybe.)

While gardening should be at least as much a joy as it is an effort, if you want to have a garden that can provide a good portion of your food (if not all of it), you’ll need to have a plan. (Moon phases optional.)

Fortunately, some of those people overwhelmed (or perhaps bored) by hand-drawn, garden planning logic puzzles happened to be computer programmers. And they made the perfect apps for people new to, intimidated by, or tired of “old-school” pencil-and-paper garden planning.

Thanks to these online vegetable garden planning apps, garden planning has never been faster or easier!



The GrowVeg garden planning app is the Cadillac of online garden planning software. It is $29 for an annual subscription, but you can try it free for 7 days.

GrowVeg is also available for your smartphone and tablet.

GrowVeg determines the best times to plant, based on your zip code, and finds the average first and last frost dates for your area, based on records from over 5,000 weather stations across the United States and Canada.

If your experience in your microclimate points you toward different dates, you have the option of setting the frost dates yourself. Then GrowVeg will use these dates to tell you the best planting times for dozens of garden crops.

The GrowVeg Garden Planner software shows how much space your plants require and how to group them for maximum success, removing the need to look up planting distances and crop families. Most vegetables and herbs have already been coded with space requirements, so you can quickly see how many will fit in a given bed or row.

You can quickly find companion plants for each type of vegetable you are planting, plan succession plantings for later in the season, and even plot out your drip irrigation lines.

Once your plan is complete, the software compiles a chart showing how many of each plant you need to buy or raise from seed, the correct spacing and recommended planting dates for your area. You can print both the plan and plant list as a handy reference to take into your garden.

GrowVeg will even send you twice-monthly reminders about what crops to sow and plant from your plans, enabling you to keep track of succession plantings very easily. It really couldn’t get much more convenient!

If your garden beds are already in place, simply set up your garden’s template in the application and start plugging in plants. Or, use the app to design new beds for any garden. GrowVeg even has space calculations for the Square Foot Gardening method!

One really neat feature is that GrowVeg will help you rotate your crops next year, plan for cover crops, leave notes about when to add compost and fertilizer and more. For a well-organized and timely planted garden, this app covers just about everything, and is well worth the annual subscription fee.

Check out GrowVeg

Kitchen Garden Planner by Gardener’s Supply Company


The Kitchen Garden Planner is a free, basic vegetable garden planner created by Gardener’s Supply Company, one of the better mail order gardening retailers. (They also have a very useful raised bed soil calculator, too!)

The Kitchen Garden Planner offers users two very convenient options: Selecting a pre-planned garden or creating your own garden plan.

For newbie gardeners, a pre-made garden plan can really make planning and planting your first garden very easy. Even experienced gardeners will find the pre-made plans unique and inspiring! The pre-designed bed templates are one of the best features of this planning app.

The Kitchen Garden planner is incredibly easy to use; you simply put in the dimensions of your garden beds and then drag and drop the plants you want to grow onto the grid. Beneath the plan, you will find planting instructions for every plant you have selected. You can neatly save your plan and print it out, or browse the rest of the site for tons of outstanding organic gardening advice.

Unlike GrowVeg, this planner doesn’t calculate frost dates to tell you when to plant, nor can it plan for successions of crops throughout the year. And it doesn’t give you plant lists or send you reminders to keep you on track. You have to figure all that out yourself.

But for a free planner, the Kitchen Garden Planner is a really nice, high-quality, user-friendly app.

Check out the Kitchen Garden Planner


VegPlotter logo

VegPlotter is a browser-based garden planning tool designed by a U.K. developer and it’s one of the only garden apps that lets you easily change your units of measurement (meters to feet, for example), making it a perfect planner for anyone gardening outside of the U.S. It is entirely free, once you register, which enables you to save your plans and receive notifications about when to plant and harvest.

VegPlotter works on a month by month basis to tell you when is the right time to sow, harvest, or complete other gardening tasks. The app initially asks you for your location and the date so it can recommend which vegetables, herbs or fruits are timely and appropriate to plant in your region.

VegPlotter then allows you to create your garden design to scale using it’s user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. In fact, the tool is so easy to use that even middle-schoolers use it to design their classroom vegetable gardens. You can create flat or raised beds in rectangular, round, or irregular shapes, and the app even accommodates Square Foot Gardening beds.

Once your garden beds are laid out, VegPlotter has a very large database of vegetables, herbs and fruits, and well-researched “GrowGuides” for each type of plant. The planting function provides basic planting distances and harvest times for each plant, but you can adjust these with the specific data from your variety’s seed package. And as a nice bonus feature, once you designate an area for a certain crop, VegPlotter will recommend good companion crops to plant nearby, and help you with crop rotation by warning you if you are putting similar plants in the same spot.

The app works well on mobile, and for a totally free garden planner, VegPlotter has just about everything you need.

Check out VegPlotter


SmartGardener is an affordable garden planning app that has some pretty robust tools. ($10/season, $30/year) Their plant database maintains over 3,000 varieties of seeds (which are sold on the site). They also have a nice little library of gardening tips and videos, and a forum, too.

After setting your location and answering a few questions, SmartGardener calculates your planting zone and gives you suggestions on what to plant and when. Then, very conveniently, you can have SmartGardener email you with garden tasks for the week, telling you when to plant and harvest each variety you select to plant in your garden.

The planner itself is pretty intuitive, and lets you set a square-foot grid any size you like. It gives you a variety of shapes and sizes for your garden beds that you can adjust in square-foot increments to fit your plot. The designs are simple and attractive, and you can share your garden plans with other members of the SmartGardener community.

From there, you will need to choose and place your particular plant varieties from their database. The only plants offered for the planner are those offered by their seed vendors, which means that if you plant a type of melon or carrot that isn’t offered by their vendors, it cannot calculate the harvest times for that variety.

You can work around this to a degree by finding a variety in the app that is similar to the one you want to plant, but the full functionality of the program is limited by the vendor-based plant database, since it is these vendors who sponsor this planner.

While this is one of the nicest planners out there, unfortunately, the mobile version of this website leaves a lot to be desired, and is very buggy. Hopefully, they will fix this soon, because many people like to take their plans out to the garden with them.

Check out SmartGardener

I hope you’ll try one of these online vegetable garden planning tools to create a beautiful and productive garden this year.

Do you have any garden planning tips? Please share them in the comments!

45 thoughts on “The Best Vegetable Garden Planning Apps”

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  1. George Koulomzin

    Dawn –
    You’ve presented a great list of great apps which will help people plan their gardens!
    I would like to suggest that you take a look at one more app called “Sun And Shade Analyzer” (SASHA). SASHA quickly and easily tells you how much direct sunlight any point in your garden will get during any part of the year, taking into consideration any trees, buildings, etc., which might cast shade!
    To learn more visit or

  2. Thank you so much for the informative article, we live in a small beach community where space is at a premium and the suggestions you provide for planning will go a long way here in maximizing our smaller lots. “Can we reference back to the creating a garden plan”? We will give proper credit to your blog.

    Thank you

  3. George Koulomzin

    To help you evaluate how much sunlight will be available where you want to plant in your garden, there is a new app in the Google Play Store which tells you how much sun or shade any point in your garden has. Low introductory price. Try it out at: Sun And Shade Analyzer (Sasha)
    You can even use it in the winter by turning on the “simulate foliage” mode. Have Fun!

  4. Ms. Gifford,
    I am a Texas Master Gardener who occasionally writes articles on horticulture for publication in my local newspaper, The Huntsville Item. I’d like your permission to paraphrase or, in places, quote WITH ATTRIBUTION parts of this article of yours for my next article in The Item. My article’s theme is Technology and Horticulture. I’m most attracted to the and segments of your article for use in my article. I can send you the text of my article before its publication and even send a print copy cut from the newspaper itself after my article’s publication. Thanks for your attention to this query-of-sorts. ~RB

    1. That’s fine, but please use standard MLA citation attribution to the URL of the original article. Thank you.

  5. I used to use GrowVeg until I discovered that if you unsubscribe from their newsletter they’ll disable your paid account! They say that if you mark their spam as spam then it affects if other users will get spam?? I wont support a company with shady email practices.

    1. Actually, if you mark their emails as spam, their email delivery service could possibly discontinue their account, and keep them from corresponding with paid members, which would severely harm their business. This is not shady, it is the way email delivery services work to protect you from genuine spammers. A lot of spam reports can actually shut a business down, whether or not they are actually spamming. Please don’t mark emails that you actually signed up to receive as spam, just unsubscribe.

  6. Constance Sue Krestian

    i want a garden app that lets you put in your garden size pick the plants you want to plant and it will tell you where and when to harvest

    1. The farmers almanac garden planner does all of this but buyer beware if you have an android device or most tablets. Those devices don’t support flash player which you MUST HAVE to use the garden planner.
      They should let the buyer know this up front ?

  7. Belinda Christensen

    I use Excel spreadsheets for my garden layout, seed inventory (got tired of duplicates!) and planting quantities. It takes a little effort to set up initially but it’s easy to update every year after that.
    I’m also working on a pantry list that keeps track of what I want to have preserved and what I actually have on the shelf.
    For some very practical and time tested ideas for garden and pantry planning check out Granny Miller’s Blog site: Definitely something to aspire to!

    1. I am working with a school for the handicapped. A group has been doing gardens there for awhile.
      They need an ap to help with guiding , tracking and documenting each of the 15 beds 20x 4 ft beds.
      I am volunteering to help put a program in place.

      Which ap would be the best to use?

      We want to plan, each season rotate,


      Thank you

  8. Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!!! Can’t wait to see what you share this coming Thursday 🙂 Here’s the super easy link to the next hop!

    If you haven’t checked out Wildcrafing Wednesday yet, please do! 🙂 It’s a hop I co-host for herbal remedies, natural living, real food recipes, and self sufficient living. Here’s the link for tomorrow’s hop:

  9. Guessing my “winging it” isn’t the most effective! lol Good stuff! Thanks for sharing this with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope to see you again today!

  10. I just found via Pinterest, and it’s pretty neat! I have a little trouble with the interface, as far as finding the planting timeline info again after I’ve set up the garden, but it will actually do a LOT of what Kathy was looking for!

  11. Sara@AJoyfulMother

    This is really neat information!
    I hope you’ll consider entering it in the Saturday Round-Up, the new blog hop over at A Joyful Mother! I’d love it!

  12. April @ The 21st Century Housewife

    I have a large flower garden, and two large raised beds for vegetables. I tend to grow the same things every year, depending on what crops I have had success with. (The UK has a very tricky growing season.) The tools you have suggested sound wonderful. I love the idea of planning this way. They sound very reasonable in price considering everything that they do, and it’s great that the Kitchen Garden planner is free if you are on a tight budget.

  13. Anne-Marie Bilela

    Wow I am going to try some of these tools this year with my gardening! I always start the year with “what did I plant here last time?” 🙂

  14. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)

    I have a few containers I grow herbs and lettuce in… probably time to start some spinach. Thanks for sharing at Healthy 2Day Wednesday!

  15. My goal is to be organized this growing season – and I think these tools will help! I also fly by the seat of my pants, and just start planting. Maybe if I make a plan I will start to see better results 🙂

  16. Kathy @ Mind Body and Sole

    This is great! 🙂 GrowVeg sounds like the one for me. I wonder though…the ideal program for me would be one that I could say this:

    I want to feed my family of 4 for: the summer, the summer plus can/freeze a few (and I can say which fruits and vegetables I want to can/freeze), or the year; and these are the fruits and vegetables I want to grow.

    Then I want the program to provide me with plant (or seed) quantitites; planting guidelines (including succession planting); required garden size to achieve my goal of feeding my family of 4 for the summer, the summer plus, etc.; and recommendations of heritage, open-polination seeds/plant varieties.

    If the required garden size is larger than my garden, I want to be able to tell the program that my garden size is smaller and have it tell me which plants to plant in my space to get me as close to my desired outcome (feed my family of 4 for the summer, summer plus, etc) and then tell me which fruits/vegetables I would need to purchase to supplement my garden in order to achieve my goal.

    So, what do you think? Is there an app or program out there like this or is this just wishful thinking? 🙂

    (Oh, thank you for sharing this on Wildcrafting Wednesday! I’m thinking about gardening again!) 🙂

    1. I don’t think anyone has come up with THAT software, but how nice if they did! However GrowVeg comes pretty close.

      You could also figure this out by researching in advance how many plants you would need per person. If you knew, say, that you needed 10 beet plants per person per year (Would you eat 10 whole beets a year?), and you were trying to feed 4 people, then you could plug 40 beet plants into your garden plan. Do that for each vegetable you want to eat, and with a little math and space jiggering on your part, any of the planners would work for you.

      It’s a little tricky to program how much you need to plant into software because people like different foods in different amounts. My family of three would NOT eat 10 whole beets in a year combined, for example, but we could eat a whole bush full of green beens every week. So I use GrowVeg with our unique personal consumption rates in mind. Hope that might work for you!

  17. I would love to have you share this on The HomeAcre Hop tonight!

  18. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesday.

    Thanks for sharing these resources! I posted recently about my need to start planning better. This is exactly what I needed.

  19. I’m laughing because I just posted about my WAY low tech graph paper garden planning and this post is making me feel VERY old, but WOW what a great collection of resources. I’ll be sure to check them out. Perhaps I can join modern civilization. 😉

  20. Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen

    The Garden Planner sounds like a great program! I would love something I could access on my iPhone while in the garden for reminders. That would be the life!

    Do you use any of these or stick to pencil and paper?

    1. I was old school for a long time, and kept my garden plans on an Excel spreadsheet and a piece of graph paper. But since I moved to a new state, became a mom and got sick all at once, I’ve been a big fan of GrowVeg. Really takes the headache out of planning succession crops, which my foggy brain doesn’t like to do anymore. 🙂

    2. Barb – you’ll be pleased to know that the Garden Planner has a Publish Plan to Web feature that does just that – enables you to view it on your iPhone. Plus, we have a compatible iPhone app coming out soon to complement our iPad one (Garden Plan Pro).
      (I’m one of the designers).
      Dawn – thanks for the great review! We have some great new features coming soon too…

      1. No problem. I love what your doing with GrowVeg! Saves me hours of figuring things out manually, especially for a new garden. Can’t wait to see the new features! There are some good ideas about what gardeners need in these comments!

  21. My husband and I were just talking about our need to start planning the garden…which we don’t usually plan like we should. Thanks for these resources.

  22. Kari @ The Micro Farm Project

    Thank you for posting this on the Homestead Barnhop. These are some great resources and just what I was looking for to better plan my garden. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, with pretty good results. With a little planning and organization, I am hoping to maximize the productivity of my little patch of ground. Thanks!



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