About Gardenagility

Gardenagility is the combination of the words “garden” and “agility.” I created the term to combine ideas behind gardening practices with the principles of agile software development for a more structured and organized approach to gardening.

In the context of gardening, “gardenagility” refers to an approach that incorporates the agile methodology, typically used in project management and software engineering, into the gardening process. It includes applying agile principles such as adaptability, iterative planning, collaboration, and continuous improvement to the maintenance and development of a garden.

Agile Gardening

gardenability vs gardenagility

Agile gardening is a mindset that combines adaptability, collaboration, continuous learning, and iterative approaches to create a garden that thrives in an ever-changing environment. It allows gardeners to be more responsive, creative, and connected to nature while achieving their gardening goals.

In basic gardening, gardeners often follow a fixed set of steps — plant, water, fertilize, and repeat. If the plant dies, then it dies. Just replant something and keep going. We refer to this as gardenability, where a gardener has the ability to grow something successfully, but may not be focused on efficiency, effectiveness, experimentation with new techniques, or continuous improvement of gardening skills.

However, many gardeners more realistically follow agile gardening practices. Agile gardening embraces the idea that gardening is a dynamic and ever-changing process — changes in soil condition, weather, new plant varieties, personal preferences, etc. all influence decisions made about gardening.

Agile gardening emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, adaptation to sudden changes, and collaboration with other gardeners and the environment.

Principles of Agile Gardening

Iterative Approach

Agile gardening involves breaking down gardening tasks into small, manageable increments or iterations. Instead of planning the entire garden upfront, gardeners focus on short-term goals and adjust their plans based on ongoing feedback and observation.

Collaboration & Communication

Agile gardening encourages collaboration among gardeners and stakeholders (county extension offices, master gardeners, horticultural experts, etc.). This can involve seeking input from others, exchanging ideas, and sharing knowledge and experiences. Communication is vital to ensure everyone is aligned with the immediate plan, has similar expectations, and can adapt to changing circumstances.


Just as agile methodologies prioritize adaptability in project management, agile gardening embraces the same principle. Gardeners remain flexible and open to change, adjusting their plans based on factors like weather conditions, plant growth variability due to disease or insects, and evolving preferences for color, growth habit, etc.

Continuous Learning & Reflection

Agile gardening emphasizes continuous learning and improvement. Gardeners observe and gather data on plant growth, pest and disease patterns, soil conditions, and other relevant factors. They use this information to make informed decisions, optimize their practices, and refine their gardening techniques to become more successful gardeners. Agile gardeners reflect on their practices and outcomes, considering what worked well and what needs adjustment. This feedback/learning loop helps them refine their gardening approaches over time.

Embracing Experimentation

Agile gardening encourages experimentation and risk-taking. Gardeners may try different plant varieties, growing techniques, or innovative methods to see what works best in their specific gardens. Failures are seen as learning opportunities rather than setbacks.

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