Designing Your Garden

Designing Your Garden

At the onset, some reading up may be required to investigate what plants you most desire to grow. Now, this planning is not to be confused with Landscape Design Planning, another subject for another time. Just the same, there are variations in the many different possibilities one can grow in a garden, and I refer here to food gardening and flower or herb gardening. The plan I am referring to now relates strictly to the garden itself, in any case. Different plants have different eventual heights and different growth patterns. Vines for example, of squashes or watermelons, take up enormous space along the ground. I typically try and advise people to place these around the outer edges of a garden where this unruly and rampant growth can be allowed to roam free.

Meanwhile, corn, for example, grows in a high, narrow space, straight up. Sunflowers are very similar to corn, except they can get up to 12 feet high! Tomatoes take up a pretty good amount of space themselves, having both girth where they begin and height – often requiring staking. A good analysis of what you want to grow, then, is the best method of planning. It can tell you what you can expect; based on the size of the plot you are intending to develop.

Cacti and succulents typically take up smaller space and can be put into sections within circles or squares when you grow cactus from seeds Herbs and flowers can be expected to fill in and produce interesting levels and geometry. Nor do they need to be the sole occupants of a garden. A combination of all – flowers, herbs and edible vegetables can all co-exist nicely and are even recommended. In fact marigolds, for example, can ward off slugs and snails – their smell repulses them. Garlic’s are famous for keeping some critters away, including deer. These little factoids make great reading during the off-season and can help immeasurably later down the road. There are oodles of contributing ecologies for all gardening needs and it is a virtual science of its own.

Designing Your Garden

Make sure you know the size plot you are working with. Try and stick to the plan, if possible. Arrange your seedlings or your planning “starts” with space to grow borne foremost in mind. Sun and shade are as important. Is your garden in a position to maximize its sunshine? If not, plan on plants that can tolerate and thrive in the situation you face. There are many plants that appreciate semi-shade. There are not so many edible plants that require “little” sunshine. A few, perhaps, but if sun is an issue, you might consider sticking with a floral or herbal garden. There are scads of great plants that love shade, just not so many that are tasty.

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