You’ve finally got some space. . .and some time to plan your veggie garden. But where to put it?
Right up against the fence? In the middle of the yard? Or maybe under your big old maple tree?. . .
It really depends what you want to grow, but generally speaking, you will want to look at these 4 things when you are deciding where to put that garden.
Most vegetables require fertile, well drained soil to prosper- in other words, they don’t like wet feet. So when you are choosing the location for your garden, keep an eye out for any areas that tend to stay muddy or collect water in puddles. If possible, don’t locate your garden in these areas. However, poor drainage can be dealt with by building raised beds- or installing drainage tiles if you are able to.
Many herbs, flowers, and vegetables also need full or partial sun for abundant yields. While some plants can grow in full shade, if you’re planning on growing a wide variety of things, it’s best to choose an area for your garden that gets at least partial sun.
Full sun= at least 6 hours of direct, full sunlight each day
Partial sun=3-6 hours of direct, full sunlight each day
Partial shade=3-6 hours of direct, full sunlight with shade protection the rest of the time (direct sunlight in the morning, but shade the rest of the day)
Wind can wreak havoc in the garden- row covers get ripped in half, taller plants could get blown over, transplants dry out into hay, and all your greens grow thicker, tougher leaves. If there is enough wind, your plants could even be stunted because of it. As a result, it is a good idea to look for an area that is protected from wind for your veggie garden. If that’s not possible, you could install windbreaks (or plant trees) to help protect your plants.
If you plan on growing food, it’s important to keep in mind that in some places the soil has been polluted with toxic chemicals- examples could be near the vicinity of a wrecking yard, the site of a factory, or in what at one time was a commercial apple orchard. If you only have access to land where the soil is not safe to grow food in, bringing garden soil in to make raised beds (with a barrier between the new soil and the polluted soil) is an option that is used by urban gardeners.
Another thing to avoid are areas where the ground is very compacted (such as parking lots and driveways) . If the soil is too compacted, the plants’ roots struggle to penetrate it and aerobic soil microorganisms will not be able to survive.