In periods of financial difficulty, vegetable garden planting becomes a viable option that achieves two things: it helps the family reduce expenses related to buying food, and it offers the opportunity to sell the surplus to friends and neighbors. Starting a vegetable garden is not particularly difficult, as long as you put enough time, thought and effort into it.
The first decision you have to make is the location of the vegetable garden itself. You must place it in an area where it will be exposed to at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. The location must also be accessible to the water source. It must be near enough for short trips if you are carrying heavy pails of water, or it must be close enough to a hose connection either inside or outside your home.
Also, check if the area has soil conducive for growing plants. It must have good drainage, and must be free of silt, stones, and other hard objects. Last, the location of your vegetable garden must be somewhere accessible, so that you can frequently check for pests and weeds when you walk by.
Included in your vegetable garden layout should be the type of plants and how many of each you intend to grow. This will help determine the size of the plot you will actually need. Afterwards, make a list of all the plants you want to grow. This decision cannot be completely random, especially since the yield of the garden will be what you consume as a family. Make sure to plant vegetables that your family would love to eat, or vegetables that you often use for cooking. This way, you are ensured of a direct benefit from your vegetable garden planting.
Make a plan for the arrangement of the vegetable plants in the garden as well. Remember, you must think about rotating vegetable crops. The first consideration is the frequency of yield. Perennial plants, or those that yield vegetables constantly throughout the season, must be placed at the back where they will be undisturbed by whatever gardening activities you have set for the rest of the garden. Put the crops that produce early together. These crops include radishes, spinach, carrots, beets, and the like. Make some space for replanting successively. Once these crops have seen their yield, you can then rotate your crops and plant the vegetables that are able to produce late into the season.
The last consideration for your vegetable garden layout is the reality that there are plants that cannot grow beside other plants. They are known as companion vegetables. For instance, there are plants that enhance the growth of others when planted together; there are those that inhibit the growth of others as well. It is important to take into consideration which crops inhibit the growth of others. For instance, potatoes are capable of inhibiting the growth of both squash and tomato plants. Broccoli inhibits tomato growth. Beans, on the other hand, inhibit the growth of onions. Carrots also inhibit the growth of dill plants. This does not stop you from planting all these plants in the garden. This only serves as a reminder of which plants you should separate from the others when making your vegetable garden plans.
Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! There you will find one of 12 free bonus books on Starting a Vegetable Garden….with instructions and pictures to help! Find out more about Herbs!
Other Articles of Interest: