How to Decide on the Layout of a Vegetable Garden

17If you’d like to have fresh vegetables this year, you most likely have been thinking about the layout of your vegetable garden. It’s true you could choose to go the traditional route with its tidy rows, but you don’t have to be limited to only this system.

Let your imagination go and be extremely creative. Some options are raised bed gardens and container gardens. You even could go all out and substitute vegetables in a flower style garden.

Some green thumbs have recently been putting vegetables in their flower gardens, and vice-versa. Roses, violets, and a variety of other flower blossoms are not only edible, but quite tasty too. It’s a good idea to mix flowers and vegetables for another reason: the mix is great for your soil. Since different plant varieties use and put back different nutrients in the soil, when you mix the plants up a bit it helps to maintain the general balance of your soil for the next growing season.

Standard Configuration

The more conventional vegetable garden plan starts with rows. Individual rows are devoted to specific vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to lay out the rows from north to south, if possible. This orientation assures that your plants get the most sunlight possible. It is a good idea to till the ground and make an area that is level so that you can reach in to care for the plants and weed as necessary. If your garden is going to be big you might want to think about putting in walkways. Walkways will help keep you from stepping on plants while you work in the garden. If your garden will be built on a slope, be sure to have the rows cross the slope rather than run up and down it. Your seeds will be protected from washing away and the plant root growth will be more stabilized.

A vital issue for conventional vegetable gardens is to look into the amount of space your seedlings need to grow. The damp spring weather can encourage many different molds, mildew, and fungus to grow. Plants that are too tightly clumped together have a greater chance of transferring diseases to each other. And bugs can easily infest and spread quickly in confined spaces.

Go Above Ground

You might think about setting up your vegetable garden rather than laying down your garden. A fantastic substitute to the conventional rows in the dirt is a raised bed vegetable garden. A raised bed garden is planted in blocks above the dirt. Planting up saves space, gives you better control over your plants, and saves your knees and back. You have the basic foundation for a raised bed with a couple of cinder blocks, or an old timber, or even some old bricks.

A four-square garden is an above ground garden that’s divided into 4 areas with a nice centerpiece like a statue or tree.

Soil depth of 12″ is ideal for a raised bed garden. The soil warms up quicker in a raised bed system, which will kick off your garden earlier.

Add Some Style

The Kitchen Garden is the perfect garden for those who want more visual appeal. A Kitchen Garden mixes herbs and vegetables in a small garden that usually sits close to the kitchen. What makes this type of garden more appealing to the eye is design. Usually they are laid out in geometric patterns with stone or brick paths running through them. Sometimes Kitchen Gardens will be surrounded by hedges that are very well maintained. Picture a backdrop of lattice covered with beans and peas. In front are some fancy lettuce with their bright red hues and maybe a little curly parsley. Maybe add a few flowers, marigolds to keep the bugs away. That is a unique eye appealing garden that doesn’t lose its functionality.

Even More Option

The beauty of laying out your vegetable garden is that there are numerous options. When you’re dreaming of your layout think about your lifestyle, the space you have available for your garden, how much time you can devote to putting in the garden and then maintaining it. It’s perfectly fine to have an asymmetrical garden that conforms to your space. The beauty of the asymmetrical garden is there are no rules.

Final Advice

Keep a gardeners journal, recording things like how you fixed pest problems and germinating schedules. Your garden diary will be a help for you every year, who knows it may become a memento for your family. Regardless of which type of vegetable garden you choose to build, keep a drawing or blueprint of it in your journal. It’s true that your perennials will be left in the same spot year after year, of course, but you should rotate your annuals to keep the soil healthy and recharge the nutrients in the ground. It’ll take some experience to learn everything you need to in order to care for your garden, so be patient.