A vegetable garden can be beautiful as well as a useful item for your landscaping. Not only will you get fresh vegetables that you can grow, but you’ll also get a wide array of plants that might attract birds or even put out some beautiful flowers in the spring.
However, choosing a vegetable garden layout can be a bit difficult as there are numerous garden layout options available. Before opting for a particular design, it is necessary to educate yourself about them. Here are some options listed below:
Traditional or Flat Bed Planting
As the name indicates, it is a traditional vegetable garden layout plan that involves planting vegetables in rows where each row is growing a different vegetable. To take complete advantage of the morning as well as afternoon sun, each row should be grown from north to south.
Make sure to use stakes and strings to keep the rows straight as seeds sown in single rows. To enable people to walk and collect their produce, enough space should be left between the rows. In the case of a slope, the rows should run across the slope rather than up and down. This way, the coil won’t be washed away you water the garden or when it rains.
One of the main advantages of this layout is that distinguishing between weed seedlings and vegetables becomes easier. Watering is also easier and water can reach the base of the plant as it runs alongside each row. Circulation of air is good in this layout which restricts mildew and fungus. However, pest attacks are common in this layout and it is not suitable for small gardens.
Raised Bed Planting
As per the name, the vegetables are planted on a raised mound of soil which is nearly 12 inches in depth, and concrete or wooden planks can be used to Border it. As compared to the traditional style of garden, rows are planted much closer which makes it suitable if you have less space. To ensure that you do not tread on the beds to plant, the beds should be made narrow enough to reach at least halfway across.
A suitable width ranges from 3 to 4 feet. You will be able to plant earlier in the season as the raised bed enables the soil to warm quicker. Drainage will also be improved and you will have a bountiful harvest even if you have very poor soil in the rest of the yard. The problem of tree roots and grass fighting with the vegetables for water and nutrients is also eliminated.
A potager-style garden is often referred to as the French kitchen garden and it is a beautifully styled one. This is because it is a combination of flowers, fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables. This garden is mostly made up of repeated or symmetrical patterns of small square, triangular or rectangular plots that are separated by stone or brick paths. A clipped hedge is used to border the garden. This type of planting aids in repelling pests naturally as it is a combination of different items.
If you don’t have a lot of space and don’t want a large portion of your yard eaten up by a garden, container gardening might be for you. This involves the planting of vegetables in containers. There are several varieties of vegetable plants available that are bred for containers. It is very easy to manage and less costly. It can also add beauty to your garden differently and uniquely.
Four Square Garden
This is a very simple layout that involves the division of the garden into four rectangular or square garden beds. Two perpendicular paths run between the garden beds resembling the plus sign. Paving stones, gravel, wood shavings, etc can be used on the path, and a focal point like a statue, etc could be made at the intersection of the two paths. Traditionally, an enclosure was made around the garden but people should be careful not to shade the vegetables as they require sunlight.
Formal Asymmetrical Garden
People, who prefer a sense of order but are not too rigid, will find this layout custom-made for them. For both the path and garden beds, people can experiment with different geometrical shapes. Casual furniture, curved lines, and modern materials will make this design less rigid. People can make all kinds of experiments in it such as adding a pond or a border etc.
There are many other types of layout structures as well which are available to people. However, different factors can influence the choice of a structure such as the space and the type of vegetables they wish to plant. The requirements for sunlight and space by every vegetable differ and people can select a style accordingly. Some additional layout structures for a vegetable garden include vertical planting, cottage vegetable garden, winter vegetable garden, pizza garden layout, and a kid’s vegetable garden. The key component is choosing a vegetable garden layout that will work with the plants that you want in your garden.
Vegetable Garden Layout & Design
Planting a vegetable garden that offers beauty and productivity
Traditional vegetable garden design has its roots in agriculture. But while those long, straight rows may be easier for farmers to harvest, they’re not necessary for smaller urban gardens. Nor does vegetable gardening require a strict focus on usefulness rather than beauty. If you’re planting a vegetable garden for the first time, here are some tips on selecting a vegetable garden layout that’s both practical and modern.
Rows vs. Raised Garden Beds
Vegetable gardening with raised beds rather than rows in open soil offers many advantages:
Most plants require well-drained soil, and a vegetable garden with raised beds is a guaranteed way to provide it. Plants with more particular soil needs can also be accommodated.
Vegetable gardening with raised beds allows you to distribute compost with minimal waste. And because you’re not walking between rows as you work, the integrity of the soil structure is maintained, resulting in better yields.
Raised beds make maximum use of a vegetable garden’s space by eliminating the need for wide rows. Raised beds also reduce cleaning and maintenance.
Before planting a vegetable garden with raised beds, determine the bed size that would be easiest to work. The soil should be eight to 12 inches above the ground. The bed width must be small enough for you to work comfortably, but not so small that you’re wasting space. A typical raised bed is between two feet and four feet wide, though 20 to 30 inches is a common distance.
Materials commonly used for constructing raised beds include lumber, logs, brick, and concrete blocks. If using pressure-treated lumber for your vegetable garden, line the bed with plastic before adding soil. Also, cement tends to gradually raise soil pH.
Location, location, location
When planting a vegetable garden, an easy way to pick its location is to find the spot in your yard where you’d get the best suntan. That’s where your vegetable garden should be. Of course, if that’s on a lawn chair next to the pool, you’ll have to adopt a bit. But the key here is sunshine and light.
If space is limited, you can always transform your vegetable garden into an earth-bound flotilla. Many vegetables grow well in individual containers, including lettuce, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers, which means you can have a vegetable garden anywhere, including your patio or deck.
Whether you’re vegetable gardening with raised beds or rows, your garden design should permit north to south orientation rather than east to west. This will give your vegetable garden maximum sunlight.
Which Vegetables Where?
Your vegetable garden should be as neighborly as possible. If you plan on rotating crops, you’ll need to do a little research into vegetable families (to make it fun, you can pretend you’re Marlon Brando talking to the heads of the seven families).
Some vegetables just don’t get along. Tomatoes don’t grow well next to broccoli, onions don’t grow well next to beans, and so on. So try to avoid putting rivals together.
You shouldn’t have to worry about overshadowing too much unless your vegetable garden is fairly compact. If it is, try to confine taller crops to the north (these include beans, corn, and peas) and low crops to the south (beets, carrots, lettuce).
A potager is an old French word with a great deal of historical meaning, but in the U.S. it’s come to mean ornamental vegetable gardening. It’s a lovely concept and one that’s gaining in popularity. Potager vegetable gardening can incorporate decorative vegetables such as red cabbage, ruby chard, or French beans, or a mix of vegetables, annuals, perennials, and flowers.
Use the Internet to download the perfect garden layout for your vegetable gardening and ensure you can weed, feed, and water your plants easily!
Use the Internet to download the perfect garden layout for your vegetable gardening and ensure you can weed, feed, and water your plants easily!
Your vegetable garden layout is extremely important for managing and growing your garden. Depending on the types of vegetables you grow, some will need shade, some sun, some more water than other vegetables, and so on. You want your garden to be organized so the crops get what they need and so you can get in between the rows to pull weeds, water, feed, etc.
If you have an idea of what you want but are not sure the layout that would be best for your property, you will find some excellent websites that provide options for you to download. You can choose the types of vegetables you like and that will be hardy enough for your region based on the hardiness zone. Next, you can play with the vegetable garden layouts to determine one that will work best for your space. Since you are working off a download, you can take your time to create the perfect design.
As a part of your vegetable garden layout, you can choose various types of perennial plants, herbs, learn how to sow seeds, work with bulbs, and so on. You might even check to see if there is a larger nursery in your area, as sometimes, they have their download option. You will have a great time planning our garden layout and even more fun when you get to enjoy the wonderful vegetables that you grew.
Planning A Vegetable Garden
Planning a vegetable garden requires considerable thought! Here is a step-by-step plan of valuable advice on starting a vegetable garden, including a vegetable list and tips on veggies.
Choosing the Best Location
Location is one of the most important aspects of having a successful vegetable garden. Position your vegetable garden, whether raised, container, or on the ground level, so that it receives at least six to eight hours of sun. Ideally, you should observe your garden during the winter and take notes on where the heavily shaded and sunny areas are situated.
In doing so, you will no doubt have a well-placed vegetable garden all year round. Your site should ideally be level and sheltered from excessive winds. Do not underestimate the damage that winds can do to your vegetable crop – adequate shelter has been shown to increase vegetable yields.
Vegetables require well-drained soil with quite a substantial amount of organic material such as well-rotted manure or compost, incorporated into it. Good soil equates to good healthy vegetables! If purchasing your soil from a gardening outlet, be sure to select soil with a balanced ph and it must be nutrient-rich. If you wish to mix your soil, follow these guidelines:
- 1/3 topsoil/garden soil
- 1/3 compost
- 1/3 coarse sand (e.g. river sand)
If you already have well-drained, fertile soil but are not sure if it’s ph levels, rather purchase a soil testing kit to make sure that your soil has balanced ph levels. Do this before investing your money in numerous layout vegetable seedlings – it could save you from a costly and disappointing mistake.
Styles For Your Vegetable Garden
There are two main styles that you can choose from when planning a vegetable garden. Namely formal and informal layouts. A formal style is brought about by incorporating straight lines throughout the garden with the occasional circle placed in an orderly fashion. Plantings are also formally laid out. Informal style is displayed by curving lines with a more natural flowing style. Plantings are informal and do not adhere to any particular order.
Choosing your Vegetables
Before you race down to your local nursery, make a list of vegetables that you would like to have in your garden. By not planning, you could end up buying the ‘nice to have’s, vegetables that you would never normally eat, and you could spend ages wandering around trying to plan in your head, what you should have written down while planning your vegetable garden.
Are you going to buy seeds or are you going to purchase seedlings? You need to take into account which vegetables you consume more than others, and buy more of these. Another pointer to take into consideration is the seasons. Some vegetables are frost tender and would be better planted within their correct season.
|Selection of Vegetables|
|bean (French)||eggplant (aubergine)||rhubarb|
|bean (runner)||garden cress||salad rocket|
|Brussels sprouts||leeks||sweet corn|
Choose your Veggies?
Great! But you cannot go to the nursery yet! We need to work on your vegetable garden layout first. This involves measuring up your potential site and choosing a layout that will suit your small space.
Before we choose your vegetable garden layout, we first need to measure up your site and draw up a site plan. Most people tend to cringe at the thought, thinking that it is a difficult task, but it is a simple process.
Vegetable Garden Layouts
Once your vegetable garden layout is complete, grab the veggie list that you made earlier, and start marking in your vegetables. You may wish to use a new piece of tracing paper for your planting scheme, as I am sure you will reposition your veggies when sorting out what goes where.
Equipment Required for Surveying Site
If you do not already have the following equipment to realize your garden vegetable layout, it is best to equip yourself with these items – they will make your life a lot easier!
A twenty Metre (20m) tape is recommended, all depending on the size of your site. Try and purchase one with a hook or loop on the end! While measuring up my first garden layout, you can imagine my frustration every time I tried to measure and the tape kept on collapsing itself.
A spike or Two:
This is intended to assist you in the measuring process (especially if only you are doing the measuring). They come in handy if there is no other point to secure the measuring tape too. Use what you can from home if possible – anything that will help you secure the measuring tape.
You will need pencils, an eraser/rubber, a large pad of paper, graph paper, and tracing paper (for drawing up your scale drawing).
Preliminary Sketch of the Site Plan
Armed with your survey equipment, head for your site. Most people would wonder if they needed to survey a small site. The answer would be yes! Avoid costly mistakes! And although you may not realize it, there might be an existing feature where you want to place your vegetable garden layout. So, if for nothing else, this survey will help make you more aware of what you can and cannot do.
Draw up the boundaries of where you intend to layout your vegetable garden, including gates. Next, sketch in all the permanent structures that will remain on your site plan (if it is not a clear site already). You may wish to consider the following, all depending on your site:
- house, along with windows, doors, steps, and pathways
- existing features that cannot be removed, eg manhole covers, drains, drain pipes, compost bin, sheds, etc
- existing trees, shrubs, plants, and grass
- changes in the level of your site (if it is a sloping site)
If you have not already made a note
of where your sunniest position is, and where excessive winds might
affect your vegetable garden layout, then do so now on this
Once you have finished marking out your boundaries and existing features, start measuring. Boundary walls should be measured first, then your house (if applicable) and all the existing features with one another. Why? This will help you place your vegetable garden layout in the correct place.
Once you have completed all the measurements on your sketch, you can pack up your survey equipment and head indoors to start your scale drawing.
You may want to use
graph paper for your vegetable garden layout – it might help you to
gain a better aspect of your scale drawing. On the subject of
scales, you may wish to use 1:20 or 1:50, especially with small
gardens. This will also help you with your detailed planting plan.
Start by drawing in your boundaries (including your house, if
applicable), and from there start adding in your existing features
according to the measurements you have made.
Once this is complete and you are satisfied that your scale drawing accurately reflects your site, you may start planning your new vegetable garden layout! This is where the fun starts!
You may wish to use tracing paper at this stage so that if you make any errors you can crumple up your existing idea and start again. Lay the tracing paper over your scale drawing, and start contemplating your new vegetable garden layout. You may already have a layout in mind. If so, start sketching!
If not, we have some vegetable garden layouts for you to work from. If you don’t see one that you like, make a template of shapes, cut them out, and use them to plan your new vegetable garden. Get creative!