Tips for Planning Your Vegetable Garden

Vegetable garden with scarecrow.

Growing vegetables can be a great way to save money, improve your diet, get exercise, and enjoy the outdoors. And the best part about vegetable gardening is that you can do as much or as little as you want – from one happy tomato plant to a row of squash that will have you sneaking baskets onto neighbors’ porches in the dead of night.

Location, Location, Location

The first and most important step to planting a vegetable garden is choosing a location that will allow the plants to flourish. Fruiting plants must have adequate light, water, and nutrients in order to produce fruits and vegetables. Here are a few tips to help you plan and prepare the perfect site for your vegetable garden.


Choose a sunny, well-drained area for your vegetable garden.

Light

Most vegetables need about 8 hours of sunlight a day. That usually requires an open, relatively flat area that is not shaded by buildings or trees. Since summer vegetables require heat as well as sunlight, south-facing slopes work well. Sunny patios and balconies can make great locations for raised beds or containers.


A young broccoli plant soaking up the sunshine.

Water

As a general rule, your vegetable garden requires about 1″ of water a week (containers may need a drink every day or two), so unless your area has plenty of rainfall, you’ll need a convenient water supply nearby. Consider installing drip irrigation or soaker hoses to target water to the roots and reduce waste. The time spent on installation will pay off when all you have to do is turn on a faucet!


Drip irrigation is an efficient way to water a vegetable garden.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, I noticed you linked to an article we have about planning a potager. We’ve just launched a new interacted tool called the Kitchen Garden Planner and it’s basically a drag and drop interface for laying out a raised bed veggie garden. It’s an updated and more complete resource.

    http://www.gardeners.com/kitchen-garden-planner/kgp_home,default,pg.html

    Thanks, Joe

  2. I have a 30×30 garden need to know what veg. to plant in rows next to each other. How long rows should be for each veggie? I’m planting tom,green beans,zuc. banana ,green bell peppers,

  3. I have clay soil and am wanting to start a garden – what kind of product is the best to get to add to the clay so that I have good soil that will also drain well? Thx

  4. For the fall crop vegetable garden how would the seeds or plants in the garden what orders best to have a happy health garden

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