5 Tips to Organize a Vegetable Garden Layout

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?  Tomato harvest!…

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5 Vegetable Garden Design Tips

For several years now I've written about the value of planting in raised beds.  One of the most viewed posts on Growing The Home Garden is my post Designing a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden: 11 Things to Think About.  It has 11 design tips that will help your vegetable garden layout achieve its maximum potential.  Hopefully you'll find them useful!  I've been thinking lately that it may be a time for an update on these design tips.  Whether you use raised beds or not the concepts are easily applied to every vegetable garden!  5 Vegetable Garden Design Tips Before you start your garden plan what you want to plant, how much you want to plant, and how much garden you have time to maintain.  It's very easy to go overboard on garden in the spring time when the plants are small.  You think to yourself "Oh, I can squeeze in…

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Vegetable Garden Layout for 2012

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…

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The Border Garden – with a Border!

This summer heat, humidity, and assorted family issues have kept me behind in most of my goals.  One of which was expanding the side border garden so that the caryopteris wasn't completely absorbing the whole area. I tend to take a more conservative approach to pruning my caryopteris and consequently I didn't prune them back enough this spring. They responded by getting large and stretching their limbs beyond the previous stone border edging. I like their current size - large enough for an awesome impact once the flowers begin to bloom.  I had to compensate for the extra growth somehow which meant reclaiming the hidden border and adding mulch. I decided to use some pine straw mulch. I've spread pine straw mulch before but generally lean toward the hardwood mulches.  My decision was based on a couple factors: 1) ease of spreading - pine straw mulch goes on fast and…

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The Long View

Have you ever stood back and tried to observe your garden at a different angle? Maybe from up high on a slope? Or down low from the ground looking up at the flowers and trees? Sometimes it's helpful to take a different perspective in order to plan out your garden better.  Here's an example. I took this picture the other day from our side garden.  The side garden is on the eastern side of our house and includes the corner shade garden as well as the border garden. Along the border I have a row of crape myrtles with a hedge of caryopteris planted underneath. This would be an awesome location for some hydrangeas but since more shade isn't present my caryopteris works just fine.  It will begin blooming later this month and should continue to bloom through September. What else do you see in the photo? Way back off…

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Cool Combos: Achillea and Asiatic Lily

Sometimes I plan really well and gardens come together perfectly, sometimes I don't, --- and sometimes I get lucky! Luck is the case with the combination of Achillea and Asiatic Lily that I'm about to show you. Maybe I was thinking that because both plants started with the letter 'A' that they would go well together...I don't think so. It was more likely I was going through the discount plant shove in any open spot strategy (DPSIAOSS for short). Whatever the case this happy combination of pink achillea and red Asiatic lilies seem to make an attractive and somewhat bold companion planting! Asiatic Lilies and Achillea The soft pink and deep red work well together.  Asiatic Lilies and Achillea The glossy foliage of the lilies is a contrast to the feathery foliage of the achillea. Asiatic Lilies and Achillea These are the first Asiatic lilies to bloom in our yard…

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The Circular Raised Bed

As you might know if you followed me on Facebook we had a fantastic weather weekend! Which of course meant what? TIME IN THE GARDEN!  After being cooped up all winter my daughters and I hightailed it to the backyard and spent the day outdoors digging in the dirt. We accomplished many of the chores I mentioned on Friday (wait they weren't chores because I enjoyed doing them!). One of those tasks was a rearrangement of the vegetable garden. I wanted to move four small raised beds out of the center and install a retaining wall stone raised bed. The obvious advantage to stone for raised beds is that it won't rot like my old wooden beds have done. In fact I noticed that the small raised beds I put together last year have some significant rotting along the bottom (see my last picture in this post). They might make…

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Vegetable Garden Layout – Parterre Style!

The other day I posted about the next evolution of my garden on its way to becoming a more formalized vegetable garden. Today I'll show you the layout of what I hope the vegetable garden will eventually become. There are some distinct advantages to the layout changes that I am planning on making that I'll share with you below the diagram of the vegetable garden layout. First a Short Description of the Vegetable Garden: I want to divide the garden into 4 main sections that curve around a center circle bed. Each bed will be lined with retaining wall blocks (most likely cast concrete) to define the beds and keep the soil inside. The central path and circle path in the middle will be approximately 4 feet wide. The pathways to the left and right will end with a couple of large pots filled with herbs as an edible exhibit.…

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Vegetable Garden Layout with Raised Beds for 2011

Another year comes and guess what - I make more changes to my vegetable garden layout! I haven't done anything yet but below you'll see what I intend to change from last year's vegetable garden design. This is step one in altering my garden into what will eventually become an awesome parterre layout. I can envision it now - brick lined paving stone paths, elegant raised beds, integrated companion plantings with flowers spilling over the edges of the stone lined raised beds. Can you see it? For now the changes will be small. According to the 2010 Vegetable Garden Layout I had four raised beds flanking either side of the central path. For 2011 I'll be moving those out and replacing the worn out raised bed in the lower right corner with the four smaller beds to make one large bed. In the center of the garden will be a…

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A Sitting Garden in Summer

A few years ago I drew a rough drawing of a garden area for my in-laws.  They had just built their new house and were excited to fill the landscaping in with something they would enjoy. What I came up with was a sitting garden. Essentially an area where they could go outside and relax while watching the garden or just enjoying the outdoors. I put two elements into the plan that I think are necessary in every garden: an observation point (in this case a spot to sit) and a pathway. I think when you have those elements in mind you can build the garden around it. In the beginning what they had as an aggregate sidewalk that stretched form the driveway to their front steps which subdivided this are from the rest of the yard and made for a perfect region for a garden. The site had a…

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