Introduction to Vegetable Garden Designs:
Finding garden designs that you can take a duplicate in your own backyard is not always an easy task. For the most part vegetable gardens are laid out much the same way, but there are several different techniques that you could employ that, depending on your available growing area, could prove invaluable to you and your veggies. Over the years I've really become a fan of raised bed vegetable gardens. There are just so many benefits that you get from using raised beds over more traditional garden designs. Probably the biggest benefit is the ability to mix your own soil.
When you start vegetable garden designs directly in the ground, you are more or less forced to use what mother nature has made available to you. Many times that soil is less than adequate and you have to mix in various amendments to get the desired growing conditions anyway. You are also stuck with whatever natural drainage your growing area has.
Determining the Size of Your Vegetable Garden Designs:
In raised vegetable gardens, the condition of the underlying soil is really irrelevant as you can build your raised beds to any specification you want. The design of raised beds also pretty much guarantees that you are going to have the proper drainage for the plants.
Small or Large Vegetable Garden Designs?: This is another discussion that is commonly had with most vegetable gardens. Do you go big or go small? Many people subscribe to the notion of "go big or go home", but there is also a popular saying that "less is more!". Only you can decide which is the right answer for you as there are pros and cons to both.
I tend to be an advocate of smaller, more controlled vegetable gardens. This is more than likely a result of working alone in the garden most of the time. If you have several people working with you on your project, a large garden may be the way to go. You can create a community vegetable garden with each of you tending your own sections, or you could each take responsibility for specific vegetables around the garden, if there is any experience amongst your group. Community vegetable gardens are always a popular exercise.
Small Vegetable Garden Designs:
If you are gardening alone however, a large garden many times just becomes too much to handle and maintain. Forget the veggies, you will find just keeping up with the weeds in the larger vegetable gardens will be a full time job by itself! Small vegetable gardens are much easier to manage for one person, and if laid out properly, you will find the weeding is extremely easy to keep up with.
Square Foot Vegetable Garden Designs: Square foot garden designs are based on the concept of using raised beds, but in a much more specific and controlled practice. We have another article explaining square foot gardening in detail, and you can find that using our search bar at the top of this page. Here I will just make a brief mention of it and let you decide if you would like to read more later on.
As I said square foot gardening uses raised vegetable beds for planting, but instead of being large, expansive planting beds of vegetables, the garden is broken down into a grid with each section measuring 1 square foot. Hence the name, square foot gardening! Now this might seem an odd way to garden to some of you, but there are numerous benefits to this method.
Square Foot Vegetable Garden Designs:
The first thing you might say is "how many veggies can you really plant in these vegetable gardens?" The answer is surprisingly a lot. Because the growing area is broken down into deliberately smaller plots, you are actually maximizing the available growing space because there is very little wasted area.
Each square foot grid is assigned a specific type of vegetable, as well as the quantity that can be properly grown within that space. The grids next to that one are then assigned a different type of vegetable, generally one that compliments its neighbors rather than crowds them out, and so on for each grid in the garden.
These vegetable garden designs are typically built 4 foot by 4 foot, which means you can access then entire gardening area from outside the box, and you will never have to step inside and risk damaging the plants or compacting the soil.
Some of the many benefits to this method are less wasted surface area, less wasted water and fertilizers; since the beds are raised off the ground they are much easier to tend; and since there is very little surface area wasted in these vegetable gardens, you will find weeds will not grow as profusely and they are very easy to keep under control.
Container Vegetable Garden Designs:
This is an area that is often overlooked by many gardeners as impractical, but in urban environments, container gardening is becoming increasingly popular. Not everyone has access to sprawling landscape in which to start a vegetable garden, but that shouldn't deter them from trying.
All you need to grow successful vegetable garden designs is the right amount of sunlight, proper soil and water, and the ambition to get started. There are many gardeners out there who have perfected the technique of container growing, and it's really not that hard. The biggest concern, beyond the normal growing conditions of course, is choosing the proper size container for your vegetables.
The wrong size container will give you poor results just as surely as anything else. If you are going to try your hand at growing vegetables in containers, you will do yourself a tremendous favor by taking the time to research each and every vegetable that you want to grow, making sure to find out how big the plant will get at full maturity. This is especially true for common container vegetables such as tomatoes and pepper, who will simply not produce adequately if they are not planted into a proper container.
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