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Planning a Vegetable Garden

Planning a vegetable garden Planning a vegetable garden

Planning a Vegetable Garden

The most important part in planning a vegetable garden is selecting the proper garden location.

You need to choose a site that is not completely shaded because all vegetables require sunlight. Some plants require more sunlight, some less sunlight but they all need sunlight. You may want to keep your garden away from trees, as they may shade your garden and compete with your vegetables for water and nutrients.

Choose a location with good drainage so that when you water your plants, or when it rains, you do not have standing water. Standing water can flood your plants and also wash your seeds and seedlings away.

Once you’ve selected your garden location you need to decide what vegetables you want to grow in your garden. Here are some pointers that guide me when I plant vegetables:

This is a simple suggestion that many people forget - grow only what you like to eat!! There is really no point in growing spinach if you’re not going to eat it.

Grow those vegetables that are most expensive in the supermarket – If you’re going to put in the time and the effort, it’d be nice if it’s also financially worth your while.

Select vegetable varieties that you don’t normally see in the supermarket – it’s very exciting to grow varieties that are not often seen, and it’s also fun to compare the flavors of those different varieties to the ones you see in the supermarket.

Now that you have a list of the vegetables and the varieties you want to grow, you need to make sure that the plants you have on your list can grow when you want to plant them. Use to find out researched optimal planting dates for your plants.

Once you’ve selected the vegetables you want to grow and checked that you are within the recommended optimal time, it’s time to see if you can fit them all in your garden.

Some vegetables take up more space than others, and require more space between seeds and rows, so you need to know the exact size and dimensions of your garden. I recommend you plan on a piece of paper where you want to plant each of the plants. Be sure to place the tallest growing plants on the northern side of your garden so they don’t shade the smaller plants.

You can also use this free tool by Gardener’s Supply Company to plan your garden

When selecting your seeds you have a number of factors to keep in mind, organic or non-organic, hybrids or heirlooms, disease resistant or not. If you are just beginning and this is your first time starting a vegetable garden I’d simply select any organic type. Once you build more expertise you can venture towards the different heirloom varieties.

To make things easier many gardeners buy seedlings or plants. It will be more expensive but it will reduce your time to harvest and require less work.

One final tip: If you know there are animals where you live you may consider putting a fence around your vegetable plot. Animals are great, but you need a fence to make sure you have harvest to pick.

Happy growing!