How do you organize your vegetable garden? Do you have a plan for where to plant vegetables or are they just scattered about?
One of the biggest challenges that gardeners face is figuring out how to plan and plant their vegetable gardens. With so many different vegetables, it can be difficult to know which ones should go where. In this blog post, we will discuss some helpful tips for organizing your vegetable garden.
I will teach you how to build the perfect veggie garden and also what should never be planted next to each other.
How do I organize my vegetable garden? The plan!
There are a lot of different ways to organize your vegetable garden. It can be difficult to find the best way for you, but there are some “rules of thumb” that will help guide you in your decision-making process.
Is your garden a square, rectangle, or circle?
The first thing to consider when you are planning and planting your vegetable garden is its shape. If your garden is rectangular shaped then you will want vegetables that are long in nature such as green beans and peas.
Squares usually work best with crops like tomatoes and peppers which grow upright on their stems.
Circles look best with vines such as cucumbers but also other plants that require less space beneath them for support like radishes.
Now, what kind of soil do I need for my vegetables?
You’ll want to make sure that you have a healthy amount of compost mixed into the dirt if possible because this helps keep pests away from the roots while providing nutrients necessary for plant growth.
#1 Start with a plan
In general, every big project that you start needs a plan. A plan is a set of instructions to follow. If you are just starting your vegetable garden, then make sure to start with a plan that will work for space and conditions in which you live.
This does not need to be an elaborate or complicated process – it can simply be drawn on paper using graphite, pencils, or markers.
But this is really where everything begins so take some time at first and think about what would work best for you given the size of your plot/yard, amount of sun exposure, access to water as well as any other features unique to your property such as nearby buildings.
If there’s a tall nearby building, you may want taller plants.
If there’s a small patio, perhaps you’ll want to go with smaller vegetables that are easier to harvest and maintain.
Decide what your goals are for the garden – do you want fresh produce all year round? Do you just need some lettuce for sandwiches this week? How about an herb garden or compost pile?
Most people who have limited knowledge when it comes to gardening, usually go straight into planting their vegetables and herbs without considering the general layout, or soil type.
#2 Get the right tools
If you’re starting from scratch and need some tools, the first thing to get is a good pair of garden gloves. As with any type of work that requires heavy lifting or working in potentially wet conditions, there are hazards associated with gardening too – thorns on vines can be sharp enough to cut your hands.
There’s also an elevated risk for skin infections when using manure as fertilizer so it’s best to protect yourself against infection by wearing gloves.
Other things you might want include – shovels (for digging holes), hoes (to break up hard soil), and clippers/shears. Some people may prefer not to use pesticides at all so if this sounds like something you’d like to avoid, be sure and get a good pair of gloves.
The next step will be to organize your new tools kit. You need to think about a place that will be convenient to store them, but also be accessible.
Some people might opt to have a small shed/toolhouse on the property that they can keep their tools stored in and it will save you time from having to walk across your lawn every time you need something like a shovel or hoe.
#3 Choose your plants
Don’t forget to choose your plants. Be sure that you take into account the space and type of plant for what will work best with what you have in mind. Some things to consider are height, color, texture, leaf size/shape, etc.
Plants that release a lot of pollen (i.e., corn) shouldn’t be placed near flowers or herbs because it can cause them to wilt faster than they would otherwise do if pollinated by less allergenic species nearby such as spearmint instead).
This is the time that you need to invest in researching what types of vegetables, fruit, or flowers you want in your garden. These plants need to fit the space you have available.
If you are moving around a lot with your job and don’t know where this garden will be, then it’s probably best not to start one until you find out for sure what the situation is because of how long these projects take in order to come full circle.
You need to decide what is the purpose of your garden. Is it a food garden? Or, is the purpose for something else like decorating your house or just making it look nice and green.
The next decision you need to make is what type of plants you want in your garden. This includes deciding on vegetables, fruit, flowers, and other things that grow easily from seeds.
The best idea would be to do some research beforehand about each plant so that there are no surprises down the line when they don’t turn out as well as planned because of growing conditions not being suitable (too much shade for example).
You will also need to decide how many plants per area: One thing you can try doing this by dividing up your space into sections according to types of veggies/flowers etc.
#4 Know where to plant what veggies
You need to understand something very important – you can not put whatever you want, wherever you want.
Certain plants do not mix well with others.
There are plenty of exceptions to this rule, but it is always a good idea to know which ones don’t go together and then plant them accordingly. Just remember the rule of opposites: they should be as far away from each other in your garden as possible.
For example, if you have two rows – one for corn and one for beans – make sure that the row nearest the fence will have nothing planted between those rows when both plants mature; otherwise, their root systems can compete against each other.
I will cover this point in-depth later in the article.
In general, plants that like to grow in shade should be planted on the north side of your garden, while tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, love full sun.
#5 Planting and watering tips
Keep your garden moist but not soggy. When it comes to watering, less is more; water slowly and deeply for best results. Be careful not to over-water because this can lead to insects such as aphids or blights of various kinds which will suck the life out of plants in no time at all.
It also causes disease by promoting fungal growth on roots. Instead, only water when you think about it – make a habit of checking soil before every plant’s daily feeding.
The key thing is that vegetables need constant moisture so put down some mulch around them once they are established: straw and bark chips work well here because they add organic matter while suppressing weed growth and keeping moisture levels consistent throughout the day.
Each vegetable needs a different depth of soil depending on its root type. Some require more than others for growing, and some need to be planted deeper in the ground; potatoes are such a vegetable.
Make sure you have enough space between plants so they can grow without getting tangled with one another or blocking each other’s sunlight supply – not only will this help them thrive but it is also important as an aesthetic consideration: overcrowding will make your garden look messy and unkempt which defeats the purpose.
In addition to that, not all vegetables need the same amount of water. Some vegetables are more sensitive than others so it’s important to pay attention.
There is a lot of information online about gardening so it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel.
Avoid over-watering as much as possible because any time too much water gets into contact with leaves (most notably tomato) they will start turning black around their edges-a process called leaf scald.
#6 Harvesting tips
While you are planning the garden, you should also think about the harvesting process and plan it correctly.
Here are steps to follow for an easy way to harvest your vegetables:
- Plant everything in manageable but abundant rows that will be able to be picked and reached comfortably with a step or two.
- Leave the plants at least 3 feet apart, and dig up all weeds before planting. This is important for bringing in fresh soil and preventing competition between the vegetables and the weeds.
Start working on your garden
#1 Start off by cleaning up the area where you will be planting your seeds
This is the first step to organizing your vegetable garden. It’s important to work in an organized place so that you don’t destroy your garden.
Set up the area by clearing it of weeds and rocks, then make sure to moisten the soil before planting anything. There are many ways to do this; some vegetable plants need more water than others, so just be careful about what vegetables you plant close together.
Work with what you have available and plan out where the plants will be going before actually planting anything. This will make things easier later on.
Once you have done that, make sure to spread out your compost and fertilizers so the soil will be as healthy as possible for your plants.
#2 Create a grid of spaces with stakes and string, marking the rows and columns for your plants
You will also need to make sure that you have the necessary tools for the job. This includes stakes, string, garden gloves, and hand trowels. You can never be too careful when dealing with your vegetable plants.
Mark each vegetable’s name on a stake and then tie the string between the stakes to make your grid.
Measure out where each plant will go, digging up an appropriate-sized hole for it before actually planting. This is very important because you don’t want to be wasting any of your time or effort later on by having plants that are too small in their spaces.
Just use your best judgment when deciding how large the holes should be based on what vegetables you’re planting there.
The biggest thing is just being patient with your vegetables – they may not look like much right now but soon enough they will start producing more than you know what to do with.
These are ways in which I organize my own vegetable gardens; it takes a little elbow grease at first, but once everything starts coming together, there’s nothing better than doling out fresh cucumbers or tomatoes from our very own backyard farm.
Organizing any type of garden space requires patience – especially if it’s something large like a field or
#3 Plant seeds or seedlings in each space, taking care to keep them at least 12 inches apart from one another
After you have prepared your garden area, it’s time to start planting your seeds.
Make a shallow hole with a shovel or trowel for each seedling, then fill it in with soil from around the edges of the hole.
Each plant needs different amounts of sunlight so be careful about where you place them on your new garden map. You can find out what kind of sun exposure they need by looking up their type online.
Once all of your plants are planted, cover everything back up with dirt so that they look nice and neat now but can still grow properly once things get going. And water them well and keep an eye on how much light they get throughout the next few days.
#4 Water regularly to ensure that they don’t dry out
In the watering tips section of this blog, I talked about the importance of the research of the water amount for each vegetable.
A good rule of thumb is to water your garden plants every day or two.
Vegetable plants need well-drained soil where they can grow their roots. They are usually planted in rows, with the seeds spaced evenly and then thinned out to give each plant enough space for healthy growth.
#5 Keep weeds away by mulching around plant roots and adding an organic weed killer onto the soil near plants that are already established
The weed in your garden may not be the lawn type of weed that you might find in your front yard. In a garden, there are many different types of weeds which can make it difficult to keep them away without proper management techniques and vigilant care.
If weeding is not an option for you, try mulching around plant roots instead. Mulch will suppress any seeds from sprouting up next to plants already established as well as maintain moisture levels so they don’t dry out too fast. It also helps prevent soil erosion by preventing rainwater runoff.
Another organic way to control weeds (and other pests) in your vegetable garden is by adding an organic weed killer onto the surface near plants that are already established. This product contains natural ingredients like vinegar or soap.
#6 Harvest vegetables when they are ripe so as not to waste any produce
Harvesting your vegetables is the fun part! You’ll want to harvest vegetables when they are ripe and ready so as not to waste any produce.
The best way to tell if a vegetable is ripe enough for harvesting is by looking at the color of its skin, stem, or leaves; it should be vibrant in color and without blemishes.
What vegetables can be planted together?
Some vegetables are just meant to be planted together – they grow well in the same conditions and have similar needs.
#1 Tomatoes, basil, and oregano
Tomatoes love to be planted with basil and oregano, which help keep them pest-free by attracting wasps that eat the tomato hornworm moth.
The best thing about planting these three is you can harvest all of them at once for a great fresh salad or pasta dish.
Some other vegetables are also compatible – as long as they’re not in direct competition for sun, water, nutrients, etc.
#2 Beans, lettuce, and cucumbers
Lettuce and cucumbers are perfect for planting together because they love the same conditions. Just be sure to plant them in a place that gets full sun – beans don’t do well under trees, which often provide shade.
#3 Cabbage family vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower work well with onions or leeks
Broccoli and cauliflower, along with onions or leeks, are best planted in a sunny location to get the most out of their nutrients.
The plants should be spaced the same distance apart as they are in their pots to avoid overcrowding and allow for airflow.
#4 Peas are a good companion for carrots or potatoes
Peas and carrots or potatoes will do well together but must be planted at least three feet apart to avoid competition for nutrients.
Potatoes can also work well with lettuce and cucumbers because of their similar needs; however, this combination should not be placed under a tree where beans may struggle.
What vegetables should not be planted next to each other?
If you are planning to add to your garden one of the vegetables below, make sure to place it far enough away from the others so they have room to grow without fighting for sunlight, water, and nutrients.
#1 Tomatoes and potatoes
Tomatoes and potatoes should not be planted in the same row.
In a mixed bed, tomatoes can thrive with beans or cucumbers but they will do better if the lettuce is also present to shade them from direct sunlight.
Tomatoes need at least six hours of sun each day while potatoes only need two hours so it’s important that these plants are separated so that they receive adequate sun.
Potatoes need a lot of water, but tomato needs less; potatoes also like more acidic soil than tomatoes.
#2 Peas and carrots
Peas and carrots should not be planted next to each other.
Carrots are a heavy feeder so they will compete with peas for nutrients, water, and sunlight so make sure to plant them on alternating rows or in different beds entirely.
#3 Radishes and lettuce
Radishes and lettuce should not be planted next to each other.
Lettuce needs at least six hours of sun per day so it will compete with radishes for the same resources needed: water, nutrients, sunlight.
When planning a garden bed or rows keep these tips in mind!
#4 Beans and corn
Beans and corn should not be planted next to each other.
Corn needs a lot of water so beans will compete with the same resource, as well as sunlight; if you plant them side by side, it’s likely that one or both plants won’t survive because they’ll have too much competition for what they need to thrive.
#5 Cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins
Cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins should not be planted next to each other.
Squash and cucumber also need a lot of water – so they would compete with the same resources as beans and corn, but if you plant them together, they’ll have too much competition.
Pumpkins need lots of sun exposure in order to grow; cucumbers and squash need a lot of suns as well. If you plant more than one of these vegetables next to each other, they’ll shade out the others, which will result in them not getting enough light or water and dying because their needs weren’t met.
It’s not just about the vegetables. There are many factors to consider when planning your garden, and it can be overwhelming at first glance.
Planing your garden is a hard process that requires commitment, which will provide you amazing results in the future if you will do it correctly. I hope this guide was helpful for you, and I wish you luck with your garden planning!!