6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Location for Your Vegetable Garden:
How big is your vegetable garden going to be? If you know the answer to that question you are off to a good start. If you have not answered this question, you will need to work backward. Ask yourself three things: ‘What do I want to grow in my garden?’ ‘How much do I want to grow?’ ‘What size does my garden need to be to produce that amount?’
Tip: Don’t start too large, if you have never grown a vegetable garden before, start small and work your way up, adding a little each year as you learn.
Rule of thumb: 25’x25′ garden space for a family of 4 to 6 is a good place to start.
Sunlight is a very important part of planning a vegetable garden. Most vegetable plants love the sun. To achieve the best results, choose a garden location that receives at least 6 hours of full sun exposure each day. This will make your plants very happy.
Water is another important part of growing a vegetable garden. Most vegetable plants need about an inch of water per week. Too much or too little rain can cause problems. Many diseases can be prevented by having just the right amount of water.
You will need a water source close to your garden for times when rain is scarce. Some good sources: a hose with a sprinkler, soaker hose, irrigation system, or rain barrels.
Plenty of drainage allows rain water to run away when you get too much.
Of course, you will need good soil, filled with lots of organic matter that absorbs just the right amounts of water (more on that later).
Your soil does not need to be perfect to produce vegetables in your garden. It needs to be tillable (dark, crumbly, nutrient-rich, and easy to dig), not full of roots and rocks, for a good start. Soils high in clay or sand are not usually good for growing a garden.
There are a lot of things you can add to your soil to improve the quality through the years. You may consider buying a soil test kit to help determine what you can do to improve your soil.
When you plan a vegetable garden location, the terrain and elevation of your land is important to consider. Your garden spot should be elevated slightly, if possible, for good drainage and to prevent flooding.
Try not to place your garden at the bottom of a slope or a low-lying area. These areas are more prone to frost in early spring and late fall. This allows you to have a longer growing season.
Proximity to Buildings-
You will be more likely to use produce from your garden if it is close to your kitchen. In some cases though, the best location for your vegetable garden, based on other factors, may not be near your kitchen. If that is the case, try to plant it as close to your house as you can.
Our vegetable garden is a little far from our house, because of some of the details of our property. We carry a lot of our vegetables to the house in baskets. A ‘garden barn,’ close to our garden location, houses all the tools and equipment we need to maintain our vegetable garden.
Draw a diagram of what you want your garden to look like, see if it works on paper.
Here is a handy garden planner to help with crop rotation and companion planting.
If you don’t have room on your property for a large garden, plant what you can, or plant a container vegetable garden.
Be sure to get your kids involved with planning the location of your vegetable garden so they will know how to when they are grown.