Planning Your Veggie Garden: Design Your Plot
Photo by Melissa Caughey
This vegetable garden is edged with flowering annuals. This helps to attract pollinators. The Florida themed garden features the top yielding produce grown in Florida including sweet corn, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes and squash.
When you picture a vegetable garden, you probably envision neat rows of plants – but that might not be the best garden design for you.
Here are some options to consider when designing your vegetable garden:
This is the traditional garden planted in rows, with space between to allow the gardener access to the plants. Row gardening is a good choice for large gardens, as it can make weeding easier, but it can use up precious space in a small yard. Planting herbs among the vegetable rows is one way to make better use of space.
Intensive gardening allows you to get the most possible harvest from your garden. It’s popular among gardeners with small yards, and may include the use of trellises, raised beds and succession planting – replacing spent plants with new – to eke the most possible use out of your plot. Square-foot gardening is one extremely popular and simplified method of intensive gardening.
If you have a very small yard or no yard at all, growing vegetables in containers might be your best bet. Whether you build your garden in pots, boxes or a mix of the two, container garden offers tons of flexibility, a manageable space, and plenty of opportunities to get creative.
Some yards don’t offer enough space all in one place for a garden, but may boast several small areas where you can grow a vegetable or two. When you’re short on space, sometimes you have to take advantage of every sunny spot you’ve got! Consider intermingling flowers or decorative herbs among the veggies for a more intentional, complete look.
When deciding which plants to put next to one another, consider companion planting. Based on their harvest timetables and need for sunlight, nutrients and water, some veggies naturally “get along” as neighbors. Classic pairings include carrots and tomatoes and onions and cabbages.
Planning your garden design doesn’t have to be complicated – all it takes is a piece of graph paper and a pencil! If you want to get really nerdy, there are computer programs that can help. But the most important ingredient is knowledge – take a few minutes to research each veggie you’ll be planting to make sure you’re putting it in the best spot. The real fun is about to begin.