Vegetable Garden Layout
The size of your yard will determine your final vegetable garden layout. What can be fun is the planning of the garden and the decisions surrounding the kind of garden you want. One of the very first decisions is whether it will be a ground level or raised bed garden.
The ground level garden is the cheapest form of vegetable garden layout. Why? Because all you need to do is plow up the area that you have elected to turn into a vegetable garden and remove the grass. Well, it's never as easy as it sounds, of course. You will have to get the soil out of the clumps of grass and then churn up a good 2 feet deep in this plot to loosen up the compacted earth. We'll talk later about adding soil and conditioning amendments.
The second type of vegetable garden layout uses a raised bed. The advantages of a raised bed are that it generally warms up quicker in the spring, has excellent drainage and you can tend to the weeds sitting on a stool! The disadvantages lie in the cost of constructing the sides of the bed initially, including the additional dirt necessary to fill the upraised plot.
There are companies that have created an entire business around selling you vegetable garden layout kits. You can study the plans they provide and use these ideas to build your own layout or you can buy one of their kits.
The advantage of the kit is that a good quality cedar is used for the sides. Western red cedar withstands infestations and lasts a good long while even when wet. It also comes pre-drilled and all necessary hardware is provided in packages, so your thinking is done for you. Your only decision is the relative costs associated with doing your own materiel buying versus the cost of the vegetable garden layout kit.
Regardless of which kind of garden you choose, you will want to line the edges of your selected vegetable garden layout area with a grass barrier. The battle with encroaching grass will be eternal if you don't just give in and buy one of the products on the market that are impenetrable to the most invasive grass, which is bermuda. Line the edges of your selected area to a depth of 8 inches and all should be well.
One word of caution: make sure that however you plan your vegetable garden layout that you leave a pathway all around it. Like an aisle, a path will enable you to pick your vegetables without tromping all through the garden. Not that tromping can't be fun, it can; but it compacts the soil around your plants and will make nutrients more inaccessible to growing roots.
Now to the soil amendments. It is likely that your converted grass patch needs additional nutrients before it produces great vegetables. Regardless of the vegetable garden layout, you'll need help.
You can take a sample of your soil to your nearest Soil Conservation office and have it tested for about $15. Or, the cheapskate method: head for your largest garden center and ask them what to add to your lawn soil to convert it to a super-productive vegetable garden layout.
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