Planning a Vegetable Garden
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated December 13, 2021)
Planning a vegetable garden is amazingly simple. All you really need to do is keep in mind a few simple things, and you will be able to have an amazingly successful vegetable garden. The things that you need to consider are the growing zone you live in, the location of your garden, and the overall design that your garden will take. While this may seem overly simplistic, if you consider and plan for each of these things you will have properly planned your vegetable garden.
- Zone. Every part of the world, and the country, has been broken up into areas that are called "gardening zones" by the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA). This system, which was first developed in the United States, is designed to help you understand what the temperatures will be for that area throughout the year. Since each type of plant or vegetable will thrive best in different temperature zones, it is best to understand what zone you are in, as well as what zone your proposed crop will grow best in.
- Location. You need to consider where you will be planting your garden at. Most plants that you grow in a vegetable garden will require at least six hours of sunlight. This means that you will need to ensure that your garden will have that. In addition, you will need to know the type of soil that you have in the proposed location, as well as what its drainage qualities are. You can find out the soil type by taking a sample down to your local county extension office, and you can test the drainage by digging a hole and then filling it half way up with water. Time how long it takes to drain, and you have a rough idea of what the drainage capabilities are going to be for your garden.
- Layout. Take sometime to create a layout, or a rough sketch, of what your garden will look like. You should actually take measurements of the area that you will be using for your garden, and then sketch it out. This will allow you to figure out where you want each vegetable, and what you want to plant next to each other, as well as give you an idea of how much space you have to work with. Keep in mind that not all plants are going to get along well with each other, and plan accordingly.
- Design. After you have figured out what your layout will look like, take some time to also design an irrigation system. This should include how your plants will get water and how the water will drain away. Unless you are wanting to hand carry the water over to your plants everyday, you should think about installing an automatic watering system, or at the very least a hose.