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 New Vegetable Garden Layout:
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. The corner beds will be 12 feet long on the outside edges and about 6 feet long along the straight edges of the pathway. Stepping stones will be placed inside each garden bed to allow easy access to the areas hard to reach from the pathway.
The Advantages of a Parterre Layout for the Vegetable Garden:
- It divides the garden into four main beds which is ideal for organizational purposes when you are considering crop rotation.
- The 4 ft. wide pathways give easy access to wheel barrows and equipment and make maneuvering around the garden a piece of cake.
- The stone edged beds won’t rot like my wooden beds have. They can also be stacked higher to make deeper raised beds. My plan is to begin with one layer and add more height over time as needed.
- Stone borders will also heat up faster and retain heat over the night hours which may improve the length of the growing season some. In the summer the stones will be shielded by the foliage and won’t absorb as much heat.
The Implementation of My Scheme (Scheme sounds a bit more dramatic than “plan” doesn’t it?):
Rome wasn’t built in a day neither will this garden be. Over time I can add the stone borders for the raised beds. The first step will be to make the circle bed in the middle and mulch the remaining grass area. That stone is already resting in the vegetable garden waiting for the gardener to get with it! Fortunately (for the garden but not our budget) we just had to replace our refrigerator and I saved the box for use as a weed blocker in the vegetable garden. I’ll lay the cardboard down and mulch over the top which should be all I need to get rid of the grass. The cardboard will last through this season and maybe some of 2012 before it completely disintegrates into the soil. I may sneak some newspapers underneath it for good measure and to recycle the newspaper – we sure have enough of it stored in the garage!
Step 1 – The Circular Raised Bed is now put together!