Creating a layout for your vegetable garden is the last step involved in planning your organic vegetable garden. This step will bring together all the small decisions you’ve made so far.
To create your vegetable garden layout, you will need to have:
- Decided on the type of vegetable garden that you will be growing: Will you be growing an in-ground, raised bed, or container vegetable garden?
- Chosen the best location to place your vegetable garden
- Identified the microclimates in your (future) vegetable garden
- Chosen the types of vegetables that you will be growing this season
- Decided if you will be starting from seeds or seedlings
- Decided on the number of plants of each types that you will need to grow
- In addition, it’s recommended that you would have decided on how you will keep a record of your vegetable garden.
If you have all these details thought out, then it’s time to plan the layout of your vegetable garden.
Creating your vegetable garden layout
Draw the outline of the area in which you intend to start your vegetable garden. You can draw this to scale to be precise or quickly sketch the shape of the area allocated if you are short on time.
Mark any microclimates that you have identified in your vegetable garden.This includes areas that get a lot of shade or get a lot of sunlight, areas that are very windy and areas with sandy or clay soil.
Add plants that you have chosen for any particular microclimates in your garden. Remember to allocate an appropriate sized area in your garden to these vegetable plants based on the number of plants that you will be growing and the minimum spacing requirements.
Next, add the other plants that you have chosen to grow and mark the total area that you will have to allocate for each plant.
Make sure your plants have been allocated to the best possible place for them.
Here are a few tips to help you make sure that you’ve created the best possible layout:
- Place plants that will eventually grow the tallest the furthest away from the direction of sunlight. This is so that these plants will not eventually cover any shorter plants behind them.
- Make sure that you have enough room to place supports for vines and creepers.
- Keep room for foot paths so that you will be able to access the base of each plant without stepping on or damaging any other plants.
- Group beneficial companion plants that you have on your list together, while keeping plants that negatively affect each other as far apart as possible.
- Group plants that need supports installed and plants that will need netting cover from pests or covering for protection from the cold or frost together so that you can easily install the structures needed.
- Group plants based on their watering. Plants such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant need a lot of watering but can be quite fussy about having wet roots and can easily be affected by root rot. Growing these types of plants together will help you supply them with the correct growing conditions that they need.
You may need to change your garden layout a few times until you create the best possible layout for your garden. You may need to create a first layout and then look at it again a couple of days later to make sure that you have not missed out on anything.
Once you are satisfied with the layout you have created, it’s now time to start preparing to create your vegetable garden. Before you get started, you will need to make sure that you have all the gardening tools and equipment you will need, raised beds or material to make your own, appropriate containers, material to fill raised beds or containers, and the correct type and variety of seeds or seedlings.