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Designing a Vegetable Patch

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 19 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Vegetable Patch Vegetable Plot Garden

Designing a vegetable patch can be as simple as throwing some seeds in a corner of the garden. With sun and water something will almost certainly grow, but you hare more likely to have success if there's a properly designed vegetable patch ready to receive the seeds and plants.

In this article we will give some general guidelines about designing a vegetable patch and fitting it in with a garden landscape plan that might also include recreational and visually attractive elements.

Best Positions for Vegetable Growth

The most important thing is to make sure that the patch will get the best sun throughout the year. South facing gardens are best for this but if you aren't that lucky pick an area of the garden that faces either completely or partially to the south.

If you have a wall or fence at the back of the proposed vegetable patch then so much the better. A wall can provide shelter and will warm up in the sun, radiating that heat back out during the evening. It will provide some protection from wind and rain and also provide a structure to which plant ties, supports and sticks can be fixed.

Although positioning according to the sun is important you also need to think about how the plot is going to fit in with your other gardening and your use of the garden as a whole. If you have young children, for example, you'll probably want to put the vegetable patch at the end of the garden, perhaps fenced off, to stop accidental (or deliberate!) damage to the crops. This might not be the best place for sun and shelter, so you may have to be enterprising in your choice of crops.

Consider Pathways and Access

Equally you might have, or plan to have, a potting shed or perhaps a shed or garage where your tools are stored. It's pointless having this on the other side of a lawn, for example, from your vegetable patch as you'll quickly wear away the grass between the two. So think about the paths that you'll need to create when siting the individual components of your landscape.

You need to be able to access all areas of the plot too, so design pathways within it, or plan to place stepping stones, so that you can weed and tender plants without accidentally treading their neighbours. You will need to consider these paths when you're determining the size of the plot too.

Deciding the Size of the Vegetable Patch

Once you have a general area picked out you need to decide how much space to give over to the vegetable patch. Of course this will depend on the size of your garden and what else you want to do with it and, to be honest, it can be whatever size you like. If it’s very small you will simply be limited in what and how much you can grow, but it may well be better than nothing.

The generally accepted wisdom is that a 2 metre by 2 metre vegetable patch can, if planned correctly and with sequential plantings throughout the year, provide produce all year round for a small family. But you do need to be diligent and work regularly at it and this may be too big for you if you cannot commit that time. It's worth starting with a smaller patch because you can always make it bigger the following year if you find you are able to keep up with the work.

Ring the Changes

In fact, that's true of virtually everything with growing vegetables. You can plan and implement your vegetable patch and if you want to change something the following year, you can just do it.

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