It’s that time again: gardening season! Growing vegetables is a great way to connect with Mother Earth and bring the whole family together in a fun and productive way. One of the best things about vegetable gardening is the flexibility: you can grow one or two veggies or mix it up and grow a variety of different things. You can start with a tiny herb garden or a giant vegetable patch. It can all work, and it’s up to you!
However, choosing the right location for your garden does require some thought. If you only have one space available, it’s an easy decision. But if you have a choice of locations, then deciding where to put your garden should be based on a few important factors. Let’s look at some factors you should consider before choosing a final location for your garden.
Out of the Way, Out of the Play
Do the kids already have a primary play area? If so, is it located near where you want to place your garden? A swing set, football field, or other play areas too close to your vegetable garden doesn’t make for a good neighbor. There may be too much traffic to accommodate both. It’s best to work with the established traffic patterns rather than try to stuff the garden in the middle, or close to any play area. Assuming the garden won’t come into play might to too much to ask, or expect, from the kids. So don’t fight it. If possible, look for a more out-of-the-way, out-of-the-play location.
Consider Your Pets
Pets are another consideration to account for when planning your garden location. You don’t want them using your vegetable garden as a bathroom or play area. Cats especially love freshly turned and planted soil. And dogs love to dig up loose soil in search of treasure, or to bury their own treasure. So, consider choosing an area that can accommodate a small fence or wire mesh to keep pets and any other unwanted critters out of your garden.
Consider Your Neighbors
If you have a fenced-in yard and you’re planning to place your vegetable garden close to the fenced area, consider the type of plants and vegetables you want to grow. Some plants and vegetables don’t pay much attention to man-made barriers. Vine crops like zucchini can grow under your fence and create a potential problem for your neighbor.
One great way to handle this issue is to build a raised garden bed using wood, stone, or brick. It takes a little work to create, but over time a raised bed offers many advantages, including an easier working height, soil aeration, and improved drainage. Plus, the raised design adds a nice-looking feature to your home.
Optimize Plant Growth
Growing plants need amply amounts of water and sunshine to flourish. Placing your garden relatively close to a water source can make your life a little easier, as you don’t have to worry about transporting water to nourish your growing vegetables.
Also, make sure your vegetable garden is located in an area that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight per day—especially during the growing season. Full sun usually works best for most vegetables, while dappled sunlight and fewer than six hours of sunlight could impact plant growth and decrease your yields.
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Choosing Your Veggies
Popular garden vegetables include root crops like carrots, potatoes, onions, and beets. You can learn more about growing root vegetables here, and discover a few more options to consider. Root crops are a great choice for first-time gardens because they tend to be tough, reliable, and tasty! They’re also versatile—delicious as a simple side dish or in a variety of recipes.
Also popular are greens such as lettuce, arugula, and spinach, which happen to grow well in cooler temperatures. Broccoli and cauliflower, both usually listed among the healthiest things you can eat, are also relatively easy to grow. And who could resist a delicious homegrown tomato?
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Reaping the Rewards
Starting and maintaining your own vegetable garden can be a very rewarding experience. It’s a project the whole family can participate in. You can all help plant it, grow it, and enjoy it! But it all starts with choosing the right location.
If you need help or more advice on how to start your garden, call the professionals at The Ground Guys. They’re experts when it comes to keeping your grounds, and your garden looking great!