You might have a ‘green thumb’ and can grow anything in your vegetable garden. But to a large extent, any success in this endeavor starts with a well-thought out vegetable garden design. As they often say, begin with the end in mind. Gone are the days of just straight rows of veggies here and there. Gardening has become an art as well as a science. Aesthetics and design do matter for some gardeners. They take pleasure in creating works of art in their garden at the same time enjoying a bountiful harvest. After all, a pleasant looking garden is a beauty to behold to the owner and onlookers as well.
Start with Design
It might interest you to create a vegetable garden that doesn’t only look nice but gives you the harvest you want. If you do, then banish the idea of the traditional ways of making gardens and let your creative side take charge. Embrace the idea of creating and growing a vegetable garden with decorative planting concepts like multi-patterns, or raised bed plots within confined or fenced areas. Maybe a garden depicting the natural landscape in your area would be a good idea too. You have now started a more pleasurable and interesting way to do things that stands out from the rest. Create a place you enjoy, where work becomes fun.
The first thing to do as you move towards your goal is to remove traditional thinking. Try to visualize a vegetable garden design that is out of the ordinary and make your mind wander to other geometric possibilities. To start, it would be wise to put a pen to paper in designing the plan. This is how artists begin, a sketch plan detailing what masterpiece to create. Would an octagonal shape garden with circular raised-beds work? How about putting in crescent-shaped beds or pie-shaped beds to contrast the rectangular? The ideas are limitless, bounded only by your preferences and imagination. What is important is that you can execute as planned. The idea therefore of making a sound vegetable garden design must include as much as possible all the minuscule detail you want to achieve. As you design, bear in mind what crops to plant, their placement and orientation, the existing soil conditions, weather requirements, convenience in moving around your garden, availability of composting materials, nutrient sources, water sources, etc.
Many gardeners consider the dual concepts of raised-bed garden plots and multiple bedding systems in their vegetable garden design. Experience has shown that these types of plots do well. Even a slight elevation of six inches above ground level provides superior drainage compared to direct tillage. You also have the advantage of easier heating of the soil during spring. This adds up to extra planting time or growing season. If your soil is not ideal, this system makes it easier to amend as you only have to put soil in the beds giving nutrient concentration where it is needed. If beds are built 12 to 18 inches high and 4 to 5 feet across, this makes harvesting easier and with less strain in the back. Putting pathways between beds eliminate the problem of soil compaction and trampling on plants that may affect their growth. It also makes weeding chores and nutrient application easier. If the vegetable garden design includes herbs, maybe circular raised-beds add contrast as well as beauty. Beds can be constructed with materials such as stone or wooden frames. When you want to include climbing plants in the vegetable garden design, A-frame trellises can be constructed in 4 to 5 feet wide garden plots. This also allows row covers to be easily fit when drastic weather conditions threaten your artistic creation.
Gardens are naturally beautiful by themselves. A well-designed garden however does more. It not only enhances the overall look of your garden, it also optimizes the use of space. So, if you are thinking of starting your own garden or if you want to improve your existing garden, think of a creative vegetable garden design.