Planning Your Vegetable Garden: Mapping the Garden Beds

Planning Your Vegetable Garden: Mapping the Garden Beds

Mapping your vegetable backyard earlier than planting helps you see what number of seedlings you want, the place they are going to be planted, and how one can maintain every mattress producing all by means of the rising season.

image of a raised bed vegetable garden

You're reading: how to plan vegetable garden

Late winter is the right time to plan your vegetable backyard. After enduring snowstorms and chilly temperatures for months, I start questioning whether or not spring will ever come in any respect.

Ideas of hotter days and contemporary backyard harvests encourage me to the following step in planning a vegetable backyard: Mapping the Backyard Beds.

After organizing your seed field, paging by means of the catalogs excited about what to develop, and making a seed want record, the next step is to determine how the whole lot will match into the backyard.

Issues to think about when planning the backyard beds

Earlier than sowing a single seed, it’s useful to sketch a map of the backyard so you understand how many seedlings you will have, the place they are going to be planted, and how one can maintain every mattress producing all by means of the rising season.

Plant Spacing

Don’t be tempted to overcrowd your backyard. Every plant requires a certain quantity of area to develop wholesome and produce an plentiful harvest. Crops which might be too shut collectively will compete for vitamins, moisture, and airflow.

Overcrowded vegetation will really produce much less and grow to be extra prone to pests and illnesses. Observe the beneficial plant spacing specified on the seed packages.

Crop Rotation

It’s helpful to rotate plant households from one backyard mattress to a different every rising season. Greens which might be in the identical household use comparable vitamins and are weak to the identical pests and illnesses. Planting completely different crop households from yr to yr helps to keep away from depleting the soil and prevents crop particular pests and illnesses from increase from one season to the following. In my backyard, I deal with 5 vegetable plant households for rotation planning functions:

  1. Allium Household: chive, garlic, leeks, onions, and shallots.
  2. Solanaceae Household: eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatillo and tomatoes.
  3. Brassica Household: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga, spinach, and turnip.
  4. Cucurbit Household: cucumbers, gourds, melons, pumpkin, and squash.
  5. Legume Household: beans and peas.

The vegetation in every household are grouped collectively and planted in the identical beds, so I can simply transfer them to a special mattress the next yr. Different greens similar to lettuce, corn, carrots, and herbs are labored in the place there’s room, however I strive to not plant them in the identical spots two years in a row.

  • Be taught Extra: Advantages of Crop Rotation for Your Vegetable Backyard

Rising Vertical

Tall trellised vegetation similar to peas, pole beans, and indeterminate tomatoes are restricted to the north finish of the backyard beds, so that they don’t shade different vegetation.

  • Be taught Extra: 9 Inventive DIY Trellis Concepts

Succession Planting

Even in my Maine Zone 5 backyard, I can develop as much as three crops in the identical backyard area if schedule fastidiously. Fast rising crops similar to spinach, lettuce, and different varied greens will be planted in spring. As soon as the hotter climate arrives, spring greens often flip bitter and bolt. These will be eliminated, fed to the chickens, and the area used to develop bush beans. As soon as the bush beans are completed producing, a fall crop of spinach, lettuce, and different cool-season crops are planted.

  • Be taught Extra: 3 Succession Planting Tricks to Maximize Your Harvest

Winter Storage Stock

Read more: Installation Guides

The stock of the preserved backyard bounty from the earlier yr additionally elements into the quantity of vegetation within the plan. I don’t weigh my harvests, however do maintain notes on the variety of vegetation grown from yr to yr. On the finish of winter, I stock what’s left in storage and resolve if I would like to extend or lower the variety of vegetation grown to offer us with sufficient preserved meals till the next years backyard begins to provide.

  • Be taught Extra: 9 Crops to Develop for Winter Meals Storage

Easy methods to Map the Vegetable Backyard Beds

Planning begins with a clean backyard diagram and the record of vegetation that you simply wish to develop.

Earlier than you start plotting out your backyard format, evaluation the record of crops you wish to develop, determined roughly what number of vegetation of every vegetable you want to elevate, and evaluation the seed bundle to see how a lot space every plant will want.

The best way you method mapping out your backyard beds will rely in your priorities.

  • Be taught Extra: Selecting What to Develop within the Backyard

For instance, we rely closely on canned tomato sauce, canned salsa, and frozen tomatoes to make use of in soups and stews. So tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic are thought of requirements within the backyard and take precedence on the backyard area.

I start with these crops and plot out the place they are going to be planted for the brand new season. Then I transfer on to different crops that can want trellis helps and additional area to develop. Lastly, I fill in with brief seasoned spring crops together with what will probably be planted as soon as these crops are completed.

image of a garden map layout

Step 1: Sketch the Backyard Space

First, make a sketch of the backyard space exhibiting the scale of your backyard beds. This may be finished on a pc program or just drawn out on graph paper.

Step 2: Plot the Crops on the Map

Consult with your seed record and start arranging the crops within the backyard map. Use sq. foot backyard spacing or the beneficial area between vegetation indicated on the again of your seed bundle to estimate what number of vegetation you’ll be able to develop in an space.

Step 3: Begin with Excessive Worth Crops

Begin plotting your backyard with the crops you contemplate essential. For instance, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic are very excessive worth in our backyard. These are plotted first on my backyard map to make sure there’s loads of room to develop sufficient of those crops for preserving.

Keep in mind to account for crop rotation and keep away from planting the identical plant households within the space they grew final yr.

Step 4: Resolve Which Greens to Develop Vertically

Transfer on to crops that want trellis helps to develop. Keep in mind tall crops ought to develop on the north aspect of your beds, so that they don’t shade different vegetation.

Find out: how to stop foxes digging up your garden

Plan out the place you’ll develop your indeterminate tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans, peas, and different crops that can profit rising with helps.

Step 5: Give Vining Crops Loads of Room

Vining crops, similar to squash, pumpkins, and melons will want loads of room to sprawl. You should definitely find these vegetation in an space the place they’ll develop lengthy vines with out smothering different vegetation. I wish to plant these alongside the perimeters of my backyard beds and let the vines path out into the paths if they should.

Step 6: Fill in With Different Crops

Lastly, fill in with brief seasoned spring crops together with what will probably be succession planted in summer time and fall as soon as these crops are completed. For instance, spinach, lettuce, and salad greens will develop in spring, after which replant the beds with bush beans when the spring crops are completed rising, adopted by cool season crops once more in fall.

Tuck in a couple of herbs and flowers the place area permits, however keep away from overcrowding your vegetation so that they have loads of area to develop robust.

There you may have it! A common concept of how your vegetable backyard will probably be planted within the spring. This plan might change come planting time and because the season progresses, however that is nice place to begin.

Mapping the backyard beds every year will assist offer you a plan to comply with, making it simple to determine the quantity of seeds and seedlings you will have to fill the area.

As well as, mapping the backyard beds offers a report of what was planted in every location from yr to yr to assist with crop rotation for subsequent yr.

The subsequent step in Planning Your Vegetable Backyard -> Easy methods to make a planting and seed-starting schedule so you understand when to sow your seeds.

You Could Additionally Like:

  • Easy methods to Construct Raised Beds
  • Greens to Develop in Shady Gardens
  • 10 Steps to Beginning Seedlings Indoors
  • Crops to Direct Sow within the Backyard

Good planning is vital to a profitable vegetable backyard

Whether or not you might be new to rising your individual meals or have been rising a vegetable backyard for years, you’ll profit from some planning every year. You’ll discover the whole lot you have to arrange and plan your vegetable backyard in my PDF eBook, Develop a Good Life Information to Planning Your Vegetable Backyard.

Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden

Read more: how to plan a small vegetable garden