Whether you have plans for a small kitchen garden or a large plot with enough vegetables to run your own produce stand, you’ll want to properly prepare the location before you plant. Choosing the best place for a garden isn’t complicated, but making the right choice will help you grow the best veggies in your neighborhood! Here are some things to consider:
- Sunlight Vegetables need lots of sunshine! Most prefer 6-8 hours per day of direct sunlight, though some, like leafy greens, can grow in the shade of taller plants. You’ll want to find a location that gets plenty of sun for your garden.
- Access In addition to lots of sun, make sure your garden is close to a source of water. If you live in an area that doesn’t get enough rain to keep your plants green, you’ll need to give them water on a regular basis. Also, you’ll probably want to situate your garden as close to your house as you can, so you can easily check on the plants and harvest your delicious produce!
- Soil Content Sometimes the soil in your chosen location will be perfect for growing vegetables, but often you’ll need to make some additions before you can plant. Very sandy soil will drain too quickly, causing your plants to dry out. Heavy clay soil will have the opposite problem, making it hard for water to soak deeply enough to reach the roots. Working plenty of compost and organic material into the soil will help with both soil types. If this all sounds too complicated, just take a look around at what’s already growing in the area you want to use for your garden. If there’s tall healthy-looking weeds or lush grass, there’s a good chance you’re ready to grow anything!
- Fencing Depending on your area, you may need to keep deer or other critters from eating all your produce before you do. Some places with a lot of burrowing rodents may need to use raised beds with wire mesh at the base to protect the crops. Fencing can be simple or elaborate, but can save you from staring in disbelief at an entire row of veggies that’s been chewed to the ground by a night-time invader!
Once you choose the ideal location, you’ll want to start planning what to grow. Not sure how many plants you’ll need? Use this handy list to figure out how many vegetables to grow per person.
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