Last Friday I mentioned 5 Vegetable Garden Design Tips for the Friday Fives post. Today we’ll look at some more vegetable garden design tips that relate to organization of a garden’s layout! I’ll have to own up and admit it that the organization part of gardening is a skill where I am somewhat deficient though I am striving to do better. We all know how valuable time is and by creating a garden that is organized efficiently we can maximize the effect our time in the garden has.
Here are 5 Tips to Organize a Vegetable Garden Layout!
- Organize your garden for convenience! This is very important. If you have to travel over an acre of your property to reach your vegetable garden to grab a couple tomatoes, a few squash, and maybe an eggplant for dinner how often do you think you are going to do that?
If you plant your garden within easy walking distance of the kitchen you can easily get fresh vegetables right from the garden for each meal without having to take a hike. By keeping the garden nearby you will notice problems and issues more easily and often which then enables you to do something about them! You may also be more inclined to keep the vegetable garden nicely weeded since you have to look at it.
Use cosmos for companion planting
Plant your garden with companion planting in mind. Companion planting uses the natural abilities of one plant to aid another by reducing pests, diseases, or improving flavor. If you companion plant you will spend less time have to deal with pest issues.
- Put your compost bin near your garden. My compost bin is as far away as humanly possible to be and still be in our yard. I fill it fairly regularly but often I resort to putting a few days of compost in a bucket near the house then dumping it when I happen to be going back there anyway! Often I have lots of weeds to dump in the bin from the vegetable garden. If it were closer I would spend more time weeding and less time running back and forth to dump the wheelbarrow load into the bin. If I kept the compost bin nearby I would probably turn it more often. The more often compost is turned the faster it breaks materials down which means more compost overall!
A garden layout with easy access to all raised beds.
Arrange your garden beds for an easy flow. I mentioned something similar in last Friday’s 5 Vegetable Garden Design Tips post when I referred to designing the vegetable garden for easy movement but the flow of the garden is a little different. Your garden should allow you to easily flow from one activity to another. People who design kitchens always talk about a three point system between the fridge, the sink, and the oven/stove. (At least I think that’s what they talk about, I am by no means a kitchen designer!) Designers and cooks want easy movement between the most common points in the kitchen. Think of your garden the same way and identify those most common points. First of all you have vegetable garden beds that need maintenance. Don’t put any beds in an out of reach location instead put them where you can walk to them without traveling around the world. The compost bin will be another location you want to keep in mind. Maybe you have a greenhouse or coldframes out by the garden that you use for hardening off or starting seedlings. You’ll want to keep the greenhouse or coldframe convenient so that your garden can be easily planted when it’s planting time. You may have other important elements in your garden that will contribute to the flow of your garden if so list them and plan how to organize them into a plan that suits your garden.
- Write your plan down! I don’t do write things down as much as I should. I’m lazy, or too busy, or both if that’s possible. I can usually remember where I planted my plants a year ago, but not two years or three years ago. When working a crop rotation plan it is very important to let the soil be vacant from the same types of plants for a couple seasons. Diseases can stay in the soil for several years and will return should you plant a plant that is susceptible in the same location. If you write down your crop rotation in a notebook you will be able to look back and arrange your garden properly so the diseases have plenty of time to clear out. Also you can notate which plant did well and which ones were total bummers.
Hopefully these 5 organization tips will help you plan your vegetable garden! Like I said before organization is an area where I usually fall short so if your garden isn’t perfect in your minds eye try not to stress about it. The garden can still turn out just fine. Now it’s time to take a hike to the compost bin!