The first step to setting up your home vegetable garden is to plan. Planning is important to establishing the layout, the design, the size and you need to be realistic.
Start small, but plan big!
You need to consider what you would like to achieve, and most importantly you need to identify your limitations. These will include time you have to tend to it, the space restrictions, any water regulations and of course money. Let’s get planning.
Planning: Do A Site Analysis
The first thing you need to do is to take a good look around your garden, or the area in which you plan to set up your vegetable patch.
- Identify the garden’s sunny and shady spots. These can differ in winter and summer. Be aware that most produce performs best in full sun.
- Take note of any deciduous trees in your garden – and even your neighbour’s trees that may overhang your property.
- Take note of any areas that are water logged.
- Test the pH levels of the soil in your garden in random spots.
When you are choosing a location, make sure it is easy to access and its surroundings are clear.
- Do you want it close to the house or in a back corner?
- Does it need to be a raised garden to prevent your sore back from getting worse – saving you bending down all the time?
- If you have a worm farm or a rain water tank, does it need to be in close proximity?
- Do you need to keep it away from pets or children?
Planning: Be Realistic
The main aspect is to be realistic about your space. If you are limited consider mixing things up. Try using containers, pots and hanging baskets. You can incorporate vertical planting too such as climbers and vines and even use a trellis along a fence or wall.
Planning: What Is Your Style?
If you have been planning your garden for some time you may have spent time browsing through house and garden magazines where you would have come across many different styles of home harvesting gardens. A vegetable garden can be a lot of different things to a lot of different people so it needs to be right for you. Do you want a formal kitchen garden, a practical vegie patch with raised beds, a multi-level food ‘forest’, a variety of containers and pots or your own unique style?