Every year I tweak the vegetable garden layout a little. I new get ideas, want to try different arrangements, and theorize about what might work better. This could mean one of these days I’ll strike the right balance of form and function, but until then it just means a whole lot of tinkering, moving, shoveling, mulching, and probably quite a bit of muscle soreness! Whenever I do change the layout of my raised bed vegetable garden I aim to do four things:
- Make a better (more functional) arrangement for planting and harvesting vegetables.
- Plan for good access for equipment like wheelbarrows or tillers.
- Arrange the beds so that the insides of the raised beds can be reached easily.
- And try to make the garden so it looks great!
Those four things are part of a larger list I put together a while back in this post called Designing a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden: 12 Things to Think About.
Last year I began the adaptation to a parterre style garden layout. This year I’m simply continuing the idea but I am making a few changes. The biggest change is the creation of the border bed. It’s about 2 feet wide and will completely cover the perimeter of the vegetable garden when it’s finally completed. For now the lower right quadrant and the circle are the only areas in progress. Everything else will probably remain as it was last year due to time and, of course, money. If money grew on trees we gardeners would be rich, very rich! My old raised beds have deteriorated and I’m trying to replace them with stone but stone costs more and takes time to install (and a fair amount of effort).
In the outer right perimeter beds I’ll be transplanting my strawberries. Along with the strawberries I’m considering adding a companion planting of sunflowers and pole beans. The sunflowers will entice the bees to the garden and the beans will fix valuable nitrogen into the soil that the strawberries may need. The circle bed is already planted with sugar snap peas and spinach seeds. The snap peas will do fine but I may have jumped the gun on the spinach. We’ll see how this latest cold snap shakes things out. The left hand perimeter bed may be used for tomatoes or peppers. Since the bed is on the edge of the garden maybe I’ll just plant the hot peppers to give those pesky deer something very interesting to taste!
If you would like to see last year’s vegetable garden layout here’s the link.