By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Traditionally, vegetable gardens have taken the form of those all too familiar plots of rows that are found in large, open fields or nestled away in the backyard. While this vegetable garden layout design was once considered quite popular; times have changed. Large plots often require more attention, and some people don’t have the option of growing vegetables in large plots anymore. Keep reading for a few vegetable garden layout ideas.
Better Vegetable Garden Layouts
Many of us actually require something taking up less space and less time and we are looking for the best way how to layout a vegetable garden. There is an alternative to the big vegetable garden layouts, which can be just as effective with an additional bonus – a layout designed for small areas.
Small vegetable garden layouts, which fit the busy person’s lifestyle as well as accommodate those who have limited room for a traditional garden, comes in the form of small beds. These not only save on space but can be helpful to the plants themselves by allowing them to grow closer together, which essentially provides the soil with shade and results in more moisture for the crops and less weed growth for the gardener to deal with.
How to Layout a Vegetable Garden
For an optimal vegetable garden layout design, beds should not be more than 3 or 4 feet in width since your main objective is easy maintenance. Smaller beds allow you to maneuver around the area while watering, weeding, or harvesting.
Use paths with your vegetable garden layout design. Dividing beds with pathways will lesson the chances of harming crops by preventing yourself and others from trampling the plants and surrounding soil.
Placing plastic or some type of garden sheeting over the paths will also keep weeds out, and adding some type of mulching material or gravels will improve the appearance. You should mulch around crops as well to help them retain moisture.
Vegetable Garden Layout Ideas for Planting
In arranging the garden bed, plant the early crops in such a way that will allow for other crops to follow once these varieties have faded out. For instance, rather than wait for these earlier crops to die out completely, go ahead and plant the later crops in between beforehand. This technique will help keep the garden alive with continual growth while adding to its appearance.
Keep the taller plants, such as corn, towards the back of your beds or consider placing them in the center with other crops working downward in size. Instead of flat beds, you might consider raised ones that are edged with wood or stone.
Alternative Vegetable Garden Layout Ideas
You do not necessarily have to limit yourself to beds for a unique vegetable garden layout design. Browse through books, catalogs, or public gardens for new and interesting vegetable garden layouts. Family, friends, and neighbors are also a great source of vegetable garden layout ideas, and many of them are more than willing to share their successful secrets with others.
There is also the option of growing your vegetable garden strictly in containers. These can be arranged in a number of ways including hanging them from baskets on your porch. Containers can also be moved around with others added as needed. In fact, you could incorporate some containers into your beds for additional interest.