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Vegetable garden planner

Last Updated Sep 13, 2017 · Written by Richard Kempthorne


Table contents

Vegetable Garden Planner

Choosing Your Vegetables

Garden Maintenance 

Summertime: Vegetable Garden Planner

The Perfect Vegetable Garden Planner

Choosing Your Vegetables

Starting a Vegetable Garden

Time to Plant

Garden Maintenance

Vegetable Garden Planner

  1. Loads of sun.
  2. Access to water.
  3. Good soil.

    a. Almost all soils will need some kind of additives to supply vital nutrients to your veggies. The most common additives are a mix of compost, a vegetable soil mix, manure, a slow-release fertiliser, and seaweed pellets.

    b. Be sure to prepare your soil Loads of sun. Most veggies need 6-10 hours of full or dappled sunlight a day. Make sure the plants you want to grow are exposed to the sunlight in your yard.

  4. Access to water.

Choosing your vegetables

It’s far too easy for an enthusiastic gardener to get carried away in the planning phase, but some careful thought will ensure your time, budget, and space are well spent.

  1. Think about the vegetables your household actually eats. Start with those.
  2. Consider plants that provide high yields or multiple crops. For example, peas, beans, and lettuce can get a large crop in a very small space, while pumpkins, broccoli and cauliflower sprawl considerably and can take 3-4 months for only one or two harvests.
  3. Choose plants for the correct season and region.
  4. Decide between seeds and seedlings. While seeds are nicer on the budget and only cost a dollar or two for an entire packet, they’re riskier to place straight in the garden garden. If you have the time, start seeds indoors 6-10 weeks before your average last frost date.
  5. Perhaps a surer alternative for a new gardener is to buy seedlings from your local garden store. These can be placed directly in your garden. To offset the shock of going straight from a store to your soil, try bringing your seedlings outside during the day for a few hours at a time and inside at night for a few days before you plant.
  6. Finally, map out your vegetable garden before you start planting. Every vegetable needs different amounts of space and sunlight. Try planting taller plants on the backside of your garden to maximize sun exposure for each vegetable.

a. Good soil. This is the magic ingredient for a successful vegetable garden. If it’s in the budget, you can buy a high-quality veggie soil mix from a landscape supplier. But most soils can be amended to fit your gardening needs.

  1. Good planting soil should be workable with your bare hands to about 15-30 centimetres. Dry, hard, sandy, gravelly, or clay soil will need some improvements.
  2. Almost all soils will need some kind of additives to supply vital nutrients to your veggies. The most common additives are a mix of compost, a vegetable soil mix, manure, a slow-release fertiliser, and seaweed pellets.
  3. Be sure to prepare your soil

Garden Maintenance

  1. Weeding. Weeds will compete for nutrients, water and space.
  2. Watering. Once established, give your plants a long, deep soak 2-3 times a week rather than a short daily watering.
  3. Pest control. Keep an eye out for pests on your veggies.
  4. Fertiliser. Most vegetable gardens will need a supply of fertiliser every couple of weeks.

 

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Summertime: Vegetable garden planner

It’s time for dinner and your pantry has a lone box of pasta. There might be some leftover chicken rattling around in your fridge.

Not much to go on.

Now picture walking out your door to a thriving vegetable garden and gathering your favourite veggies and fresh herbs. Throw that together with your leftover chicken and pasta, and you have yourself a dinner that’s fresh, local, sustainable, easy and (as long as you’re not a horrible cook) absolutely delicious.

Sounds idyllic? Quite.

Sounds impossible? Not at all.

Planning, building and planting your own vegetable garden doesn’t have to be difficult. Like everything else, if you follow the right steps and put in the prep work, you can have that picture-perfect vegetable garden you always dreamed of.

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The perfect vegetable garden planner

Don’t rush out and start digging up your yard just yet. Do your research first and form a vegetable garden planner.

First, examine your space. How many vegetables you can grow is dependent on the space you have. Be realistic about how much of that space you can dedicate to your new vegetable garden.

Next, examine your schedule. If you want to start big, you’ll pay for it in time up front, time caring for your garden, and time harvesting all those delicious veggies. Or, perhaps you just want to potter about on the weekends and show off a tomato or two. Again, be realistic.

Now, you can really start planning.

No matter the size of the vegetable garden you’re building, all successful home gardens have a few things in common.

  1. Loads of sun. Most veggies need 6-10 hours of full or dappled sunlight a day. Make sure the plants you want to grow are exposed to the sunlight in your yard.
  2. Access to water. Every vegetable you grow will rely in some part on extra water. Drip irrigation—water supplied directly to the root of each plant—is ideal for a vegetable garden, but some veggies will make do with sprinklers or old-fashioned hand watering. No matter how your water is supplied, be sure to research the specific veggies you choose. In the heat of summer, it’s approximately 6 litres of water per square metre per day.
  3. Good soil. This is the magic ingredient for a successful vegetable garden. If it’s in the budget, you can buy a high-quality veggie soil mix from a landscape supplier. But most soils can be amended to fit your gardening needs.
  • Good planting soil should be workable with your bare hands to about 15-30 centimetres. Dry, hard, sandy, gravelly, or clay soil will need some improvements.
  • Almost all soils will need some kind of additives to supply vital nutrients to your veggies. The most common additives are a mix of compost, a vegetable soil mix, manure, a slow-release fertiliser, and seaweed pellets.
  • Be sure to prepare your soil 1-2 weeks before you start planting. This will ensure your seeds or seedlings will find a healthy place to put down their roots.

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Choosing your vegetables

It’s far too easy for an enthusiastic gardener to get carried away in the planning phase, but some careful thought will ensure your time, budget, and space are well spent.

  • Think about the vegetables your household actually eats. Start with those.
  • Consider plants that provide high yields or multiple crops. For example, peas, beans, and lettuce can get a large crop in a very small space, while pumpkins, broccoli and cauliflower sprawl considerably and can take 3-4 months for only one or two harvests.
  • Choose plants for the correct season and region.
  • Decide between seeds and seedlings. While seeds are nicer on the budget and only cost a dollar or two for an entire packet, they’re riskier to place straight in the garden garden. If you have the time, start seeds indoors 6-10 weeks before your average last frost date.
  • Perhaps a surer alternative for a new gardener is to buy seedlings from your local garden store. These can be placed directly in your garden. To offset the shock of going straight from a store to your soil, try bringing your seedlings outside during the day for a few hours at a time and inside at night for a few days before you plant.
  • Finally, map out your vegetable garden before you start planting. Every vegetable needs different amounts of space and sunlight. Try planting taller plants on the backside of your garden to maximize sun exposure for each vegetable.

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Starting a vegetable garden

After reading the above sections, you know exactly what your plants need to thrive.

Now, let’s give it to them.

No matter where you decide to plant, whether in pots, a raised bed, or on the ground, you’ll need good access and protection for your garden.

You never want to walk on your carefully prepared soil. If you can access your vegetables from both sides of your garden, keep it to about 1.5 metres wide. If you can only reach it from one side, half that size.

If you build your vegetable garden on the ground, you’ll still need to edge it with something like store-bought edging material or lumber to keep grass and other weeds from invading.

Popular choices for a raised garden bed are lumber, cinder blocks, and straw bales. If you aren’t handy with a hammer or saw, consider hiring a tradie to help with this step. Your garden will thank you in the long run.

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Time to Plant Your Veg

You’ve planned, bought materials, prepared your soil, edged or built your vegetable garden, and prepared your watering method.

Now, let’s get planting!

  1. Break up your soil (again!) with shovels or spades to at least 15cms deep. Be sure your garden is entirely weed-free before you start to plant.
  2. Place your seeds or seedlings in your garden bed taking into account your space, sun, and particular vegetables. Be sure to allow enough space between your plants for them to grow to their full potential.
  3. Give your vegetable garden a deep soak directly after planting. Continue to water daily for the first week or two until the seeds have sprouted or the seedlings have taken root.
  4. Mulch your vegetable garden. Mulching keeps weeds to a minimum and protects the roots from temperature extremes. Store bought mulch or a combination of newspaper and straw are popular choices. Leave a small mulch-free circle around the base of each plant.

Growing your food can be immensely satisfying, on a number of levels.

It’s good for your wallet, your budget, your waistline, and you can’t get any more local that plucking food straight out of your own yard.

And anyone who’s ever picked weeds knows it can be a great stress reliever!

But if you don’t have the time or a green thumb, consider hiring a professional gardener to help you with one or all of the steps above.

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