Want to create a vegetable garden layout to grow or improve an existing veggie patch? Whether you're a gardening beginner or working your way into becoming a certified green thumb, I'm sure this article will help. As you may already be aware, growing plants is quite simple. But growing a garden full of them can be quite tricky. Which is why I went ahead and look for ideas to better help me plan my vegetable garden design improvement. Help yourself to these smart vegetable garden layout tips and ideas and grow a successful vegetable patch.
A Basic Vegetable Garden Layout And Planning Guide
Growing vegetables for me started with just tomatoes and herbs in pots. But having enjoyed such tasty, healthy, and organic treats, I just wanted more. There's really quite nothing like growing your own food. Money-wise, taste-wise, and health-wise, there is no denying the benefits of growing your food. However, growing vegetables on a larger scale can be somewhat of a hassle. There are the cost, labor, and factors such as weather and pests. That's where planning becomes really essential. And tips and ideas from gardening experts will be appreciated. So let's roll off our sleeves and grow a garden together.
1. Consider Vegetable Garden Location
Most vegetables prefer the full sun to grow healthy and maximize growth. It is best to locate your vegetable bed in the sunniest part of the garden away from frost pockets. Find out the direction of the sun in relation to your garden for maximum sun exposure. You will find out more about maximizing sun exposure through smart plant layout as you read on.
2. Choose Method Of Growing Vegetables
Whether in raised vegetable beds or soil level vegetable garden, growing in allocated beds is ideal. Check the numerous advantages of growing in allocated beds for a vegetable garden:
- This allows you to work in just the right space to plant, cultivate, and harvest plants.
- It eliminates the need to step on the soil thus avoid from compacting it.
- Provides healthier root zone for your plants and high yields in return.
- Allows for a pleasing order to your vegetable garden.
- Will make protection of crop groups easier.
Raised Bed Gardens Pros And Cons
The raised bed offers a more permanent solution to edging since it clearly separates the growing area from the path. It also helps improve drainage and extend growing season since it stays warm in the fall and warms up faster in early spring. However, the cost of these structures will definitely be considered as well as the effort in building them.
Soil Level Vegetable Beds Pros And Cons
Soil level vegetable garden beds are very simple and easy to mark out. It's as easy as driving stakes to each corner of your bed layout then tie strings to define the edges. Over time, the soil level will rise with additional organic matter and the compaction of the soil around it. One of the downsides to this method is the lack of barrier to prevent bad insects and weeds from taking over.
What To Consider When Growing In Beds
There are three practical considerations in a vegetable garden layout which are the width, length, and shape. A bed width of 3 to 4 feet would be ideal so you can easily reach out to work.
Consider how far would you be willing to walk around a garden bed when deciding on the length. A maximum length of ten feet would be ideal but shorter if you prefer to grow in blocks. Garden blocks or square foot garden allows you to maximize your space and lessens weed problems.
Square or rectangular are the common shapes of garden beds but you can also opt for irregular vegetable bed shapes for a more relaxed and pleasing look. Check out more vegetable garden designs here.
3. Soil Bed Preparation Tips
Amend soil with organic materials like manure or compost. Make sure compost or manure will break down in the soil properly before planting. This will avoid burning your crops. To avoid compacting the soil in the bed, create access path around the beds from which you could work. A minimum of two feet wide will be ideal. You can either put cardboards or gravel for a more permanent pathway.
4. Plant Selection And Number
Selecting vegetable plants and the number to grow with what vegetables should be considered to avoid overcrowding plants. Base your selection and quantity on how much your family can consume and what you love. Consider companion planting in your plant selection as well to repel insects and avoid diseases naturally. There are convenient online garden planners you can use. The garden planner can automatically determine the number of crops to plant depending on the size of the bed.
5. Vegetable Garden Plant Layout
Plant varieties in their ideal place in the vegetable garden bed helps maximize plant growth, deter pests, and allows for your convenience.
Tender plants such as pepper and tomatoes will require the sunniest spot in your garden. So position them first in areas without anything to overshadow them. Sprawling plants such as squash should be placed in the edges of the beds so they don't envelop other plants.
Trellis or teepees where the climbing plants are grown will need to be located where they won't shade low growing plants. Place them in areas furthest from the sun so they don't cast a shadow. However, you may use the shade offered by the climbing plants to grow cool-season leafy crops like lettuce and spinach.
Watch the full details on designing and planning your vegetable garden layout in this video from Growveg:
Anyone can drop vegetable seeds in the soil and they will grow. But to grow a vegetable garden, a certified gardener's vegetable garden, will require more. Planning is important if you want to avoid gardening mistakes and trouble for cost and labor. Work your way to becoming a smart gardener, self-sufficient, and a certified green thumb with these vegetable garden layout and planning guide!
Planning your spring vegetable garden this winter? Good going! I'd be delighted to hear all about it in the comments section below.
Got inspired in setting up your spring vegetable garden this winter? Then check this vegetable garden design for a fall vegetable garden.
Feature image source via Cristina's Garden