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How To Plan Your Garden Layout

Plan Your Garden Space
With a little imagination and a wee bit of space any can have a lush garden. Small gardens are less work and easier to maintain. They also require less plants to make a dramatic effect. Vegetable gardens do best in full sun. While many flowers thrive in shade and partial shade. Take a look at what possibilities your future garden has. No space is an excuse. I’m sure you can find some space on a balcony, a row raised bed along a fence or even suspended containers. If short on space, try using vertical space when planning your garden. Even a sunny windowsill can be used to grow micro greens, alpine strawberries, some chili peppers and more.

Orientation
Finding a flat spot for your garden, this will save digging time. You want your garden to be level. Observe the path of sun and shade in your yard. Your plants should face south and receive a minimum of 5 hours direct sunlight per day.

Ideally your bed should be within easy access to your water source. You should also be able to access your bed from all four sides unless your garden is only two feet wide. An adult can bend over and reach two feet in front of them. Anything wider than that makes it difficult to weed and harvest. Not to mention, the view you would be offering everyone when reaching in the back of the garden to get those last nasty weeds.

Sketch Your Yard
A map will help you plan out the design of your garden before you’ve actually begun work. It is important to use a scale drawing on graph paper, so that you can get precise measurements for each garden feature. Make copies and color in actual landscape and yard attributes. Then pencil in what you want to add, keeping in mind of your yard limitations. Compare your sketches and take actual photos of what you have to help visualize the finished effect.

What Are Your Garden Needs?
Before you go out any buy seeds and plants think about your family’s needs and eating habits. For example one or two cherry tomato plants is plenty for a family. If you’re thinking beans, take into account a bean plant produces a couple of beans per plant every few days. So you would need about three plants per person.

Use Vertical Space
Plan to use vertical space in a small garden. Choose climbing or vining varieties of fruit and vegetables. Train the vines up a trellis. Upside down planters are worth it when space is very limited. The top of the planter can house strawberries, lettuce, radishes and such while the bottom is used for upside down tomatoes, peppers and small squash.

Vertical wall gardens and green roof are gaining popularity. Think outside the box, be creative.

Not Too Much Sun
Most people imagine a garden basking in full sun all day. A good rule to remember is that if you grow a plant for the fruit or the root, it needs full sun. If you grow it for the leaves, stems, or buds, some shade will be just fine. Some shade tolerant vegetables are salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beets, Brussels sprouts, radishes, chard and leafy greens.

Choosing Plants For A Small Garden
When space for a garden is limited choose compact varieties of vegetables and plants like Tiny Tim cherry tomato and Tom Thumb mini butter head lettuce. Early maturing crops can also be used for successive harvests.

The best way to learn is to just get started. You’ll learn as you go. Just make sure that most of your plant choices fit of the criteria you have outlined and the growing conditions you have to offer. Try not to squeeze in too many plants and your small space garden should look and grow just fine.

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