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Vegetable Garden Planner – Preparation

Monday, October 10th, 2011 | Author:

As with any project the first step with your vegetable garden planner requires careful thought and planning. In this post we will give you some tips on how best to plan your vegetable garden to get the best out of it and to grow the best selection and variety of vegetables. We will also pose a number of questions which you need to answer before continuing.

Raised Vegetable Garden Beds

Number one on the list for your vegetable garden planner is to select the position of the “plot”. This needs to be an open, fairly flat area with good sunlight, access to water and with good drainage. The soil is not so important now as this can be improved as you go along and we will tell you how to do this in a later post. Actually you can also sort out drainage problems as you go but sunlight, that you cannot adjust!

Once you have a position for the plot, how big should it be? Well that depends on a number of factors including: 1) how many people are you going to feed from the plot? 2) Do you want to be self-sufficient or just supplement shop-bought vegetables?

Lastly, what sort of beds are you going to use: normal flat ones; raised, no borders; raised with border,s no-dig, etc? Other considerations are the type of garden such as whether you want an organic or permaculture garden.

Now you are down to the actual vegetable garden planning and layout. The best layout I believe is to split the block into rectangles with access pathways in-between. This gives easy access to all of the garden areas and the vegetables you grow. You can then separate vegetables according to various criteria. I use rectangles of about 1-1.5m x 3-4m. The actual size will be controlled by the total area you have available. I like rectangles as you can easily reach across the whole bed that way. Also, it is best to try and align the long-side on a north-South axis to maximise sun exposure.

Also consider whether you will need to cover the beds with bird-netting or something similar and account for this in the planning. Do you also need to protect it from animals such as rabbits, deer, etc?

Well now you are on your way to a plan! Once you have answered all of these questions you will need to start measuring and laying out your plot according to your plan. Don’t forget you can be creative as you like, it does not have to be symmetrical, or even square or rectangular. Some gardeners use circular gardens and some follow the fence line.
And don’t forget to allow in the plan for a compost bin/heap somewhere in the plan, it is the best way to improve the soil condition by using your own compost. A good compost will contain plenty of worms which are critical for health of the soil.

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