Choosing the Right Vegetable Garden Location and the Right Layout Are Important First Steps in Successfully Growing Vegetables.
Some Helpful Tips on Location
Just like choosing the right location for your chicken coop is important, you’ll also want to pick the best available site for your garden.
The space available will play a dominant role in where you place your garden and how big it can be.
And whether you plant directly in the soil or use garden boxes to grow your vegetables.
If you’re able to plant directly in the soil, you’ll want a fairly flat and level space with good drainage.
You don’t want to have low spots since these can lead to puddling.
You also don't want extreme slopes since these can lead to uneven watering of your crops or excess run off damaging the surrounding soil (erosion).
You’ll also want to position your garden so that it gets southern exposure just as you would your coop.
Vegetables need plenty of sunlight to grow big and healthy. The right orientation ensures that you’ll get the most consistent amount of sunlight.
With 6 hours of sunlight you should be able to successfully grow most crops. There are lots of vegetables that will grow with less and still be fine; they may just grow a little slower.
Tips on the Layout of your Garden
Once you've chosen a vegetable garden location that will work for you, it’s time to consider the size and layout of your plot.
For example, a 10’ x 20’ plot will give you 200 sq. ft. of growing space. This is a nice amount for a small backyard garden and will provide a nice variety to supplement to your family’s vegetable supply.
A bed of about 4’ wide is a good size since your vegetables are easily accessible from either side when you’re ready for planting, harvesting, or weeding them.
A distance of about 2’ between beds (rows) is good because you can get between your crops with a wheelbarrow if needed and you have less chance of damaging the crops on either side when tending them.
Using mulch as an addition to your garden is a good idea. It makes the beds look nicer and better tended, increases water retention, and cuts back on weeds by blocking the sunlight from hitting the soil.
When it comes to backyard vegetable gardens, there is a lot you can learn to make your gardening experience more enjoyable and successful.
There is also a lot of information out there about vegetable gardening. In fact, there’s enough to write a book on.
And many good books about vegetable gardening have been written that go into great detail on things like different bed set-ups, soil preparation, fertilization, and composting.
We highly recommend going to your local library or bookstore to see what's available and maybe even getting a couple of books specific to your area and choice of crops just to learn a little more.
Having your own backyard garden is a great addition to any home and another step toward greater self-sufficiency. Congratulations!