When you are first learning how to plant a vegetable garden, you will soon see it is pretty straightforward.
Once you understand the needs of various vegetables and what to do to improve the soil’s nutrients. It can come as second nature to grow plenty of vegetables which will feed your body and soul.
Non-starchy Vegetables, in particular, are the mainstay of obtaining a healthy and should equate to around about 50 percent of what you grow and eat.
Now let’s get started with how to plan a vegetable garden.
Planning Your Vegetable Garden
When you first start to plan your vegetable garden, it is more involved than marking out your vegetable plot. Here are some essential factors to plan your garden.
- Type of soil you have – need for adding manure or fertilizer.
- Projected location for your garden – not at the bottom of an incline – standing water
- How much sun and shade your garden will get
- Harsh elements and the amount of wind
- Competing plants – will include weeds
Planning Your Vegetable Garden
This can be one of the most crucial elements for your veggies. Not only can irrigation change, but you can have hot and cold areas around your garden. Vegetables need 6-8 hours of sun per day.
Gardens which have south-facing slopes are the warmest because they catch the most sun through all months.
The positioning of your house, outbuildings, fences, and hedges or trees can create shaded areas at some point during the day.
A garden which faces north faces away from the sun. It should not have much bearing on summer growing months, but earlier or later in the year, you might get more shade.
To put it simply. If you don’t have good soil, you’ll struggle to get the best out of your crops.
Soil types can come in many varieties, but regardless of what type you have, adding compost and any other ingredients to improve the soil are worth doing.
Clay soil will hold, water and will cause roots to rot because they are unable to breathe. You can grow some shallow rooting veggies such as lettuce, and any variety of chard or you can make use of this damp soil and grow squash or pumpkins. This will require some compost being dug into it initially thought.
Sandy soils are at the other end and drain too quickly. Adding compost can help it to retain water to a level which is sufficient.
Again there are crops which like this type of soil such as asparagus, but it takes a few years for this to grow edible plants. Blackberries and raspberries also do well in this light soil and will return every year without much tending to apart from trimming.
Space and Time
Planting a garden which is larger takes more time, and when you’re starting it can be easy to become overwhelmed and try to do too much.
Sixteen feet by ten feet is ideal for a regular earth based plot, but if you are limited to space, you would have to just grow what are your favourite or opt to construct some raised beds. These are fantastic in smaller areas and can actually produce more crops than a regular veggie patch for a few reasons.
What to Grow
Once you have your space, you then need to decide what to grow. You should make a list and split them into groups of six:
- Onions, scallions, garlic, etc.
- Cucumbers, squash, gourds
- Spinach, lettuce, shallots, leeks
- Root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, parsnips
- Legumes which include peas, beans, and tomatoes
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and sprouts
Some of these are climbers and require support. Plants of this type should sit at the back of your plot where they don’t cast shadows over smaller vegetables.
A Path to Your Garden
Once you have all the above information, you are ready to go without little more preparation apart from planting from seeds or from cultivated shoots. Any good garden centre will provide this type of plant along with detailed information.
Watering is best done on a regular basis, and the best way to monitor it is if you see the topmost inch of soil is dry, then this is time to get out the hose. The best times for watering are early evening, so the plants have a chance to get water before it evaporates.
Pathways are one overlooked feature. If you have a 16 x 10 plot allow a path either side, so you have good access for yourself and your wheelbarrow.
Staring a garden might appear to be overwhelming, but the effort is well worth it when you start eating healthy and fresh which you have grown yourself. If you need some professional help there is always plenty available.