Vegetable Garden Plans
Vegetable Garden Plans come in all shapes & sizes, and this one is different! Now I know you've heard that one before, but it's true. This garden plan was inspired by Rosalind Creasy and her beautiful ornamental edible gardens.
This vegetable garden plan was actually designed for a small plot (6'x23') at my own home beside my driveway. I needed it to look good, because it is visible from the street and because my wife looks right at it from her kitchen window.
But I also wanted a productive vegetable garden to provide fresh produce for my family through our long growing season here in Southern California.
This small vegetable garden plan has enough land to provide produce for a whole season. The plant count is as follows: (4) Tomatoes; Early Girl, Better Boy, Yellow Pear, Sweet 100, (2) Zucchini Squash, (2) Yellow Crookneck Squash, (2) California Wonder Peppers, (2) Red Pepper, (2) Yellow Pepper, (1) Orange Pepper, (8) Green Oak Leaf Lettuce, (8) Romaine Lettuce, (6) 'Freckles' Heirloom Lettuce, (6) Red Streaked Mizuna,(2) Arugula, (2) Sweet Basil, (2) Variegated Basil 'Pesto Perpetuo', (12) Bunching Onions, (12) Marigold.
I decided to add a couple of pots to change the levels up a little. I had some herbs left over from last year's garden so I thought they would look great in the pots. I bought some new ones and a few odds & ends to add color.
Here is what I ended up with in the pots: Chives, Oregano, Lemon Thyme, Mint, Parsley, Dill, Cilantro, Chard, Italian Parsley, Strawberries & Mixed Alyssum.
Enough of the plants trail over the sides of the pots with varied colors of foliage and flowers to make them interesting and attractive. As soon as these pots mature, I will post photos of them for you to see.
To download this plan, just place your cursor over the plan and right-click, then when the dalog box opens, click on "print" and then go to your printer settings and find the "enlarge" section.
Choose to enlarge by 150% to print at the original size, 8 1/2 x 11. Then you can measure with a 1/4"=1' scale to figure out all the dimensions and apply them in your own yard.
Vegetable Garden Plan Basics
I've been dying to try out the design techniques I learned about combining edibles with ornamentals and this was the perfect opportunity. I will post photos of the project as I am actually in the process of installing this vegetable garden at my own home as I write this.
As I said above, I have a few herbs left in the ground from last season and I will be transplanting them into 2 pots I purchased at the local Home Depot and add more new plants.
When choosing a site for your garden, be sure it gets at least 6 hours of full sun or your crops will perform poorly. Good drainage is just as important. Make sure the soil drains well or you will almost surely fail.
Proper soil preparation is essential and needs to be done before every growing season.I also purchased 4 bails of compost and 1 bail of peat moss for my soil prep because we have very alkaline soil here . I will spread these evenly across the surface of the soil along with organic vegetable food so that my soil is ready to support the demands these plants will put upon it. You will need to do the same for your garden.
If you're not sure what your soil will need, the best thing to do is go to the local county extension or soil lab & have them run tests on your soil and give you recommendations based on the results. You will be amazed at the difference in your garden if you have had problems growing plants in the past.
I will use a small garden rototiller to till the amendments into the soil to a depth of about 12" then rake the surface smooth. Let the soil lay still & water it in for at least a week before planting.
Design Elements Give Structure
I have used a few elements to create structure in this garden, it is very important to create structure, to give your garden a backbone that is a permanent as you harvest & re-plant your vegetables.
In my vegetable garden plan, I have chosen to place a walkway down the center that divides the space in half. On either side of the walk, I have laid a trellis down that I have cut and pieced together to create an L-shaped structure. I then painted it with a moss green spray paint. I have one of these on both sides of the walkway.
I will be planting different types of lettuce in the spaces left in the trellis to further give boundaries to the area. I have to confess, I took this idea from a photo I saw of one of Rosalind Creasy's gardens. I just tweaked her idea and came up with my own version. Both the walkway and the trellis' form structure for the garden.
Make This Vegetable Garden Plan Your Own
You can download this Vegetable Garden Plan and use it for your own space in your yard. Modify it to fit your space and make it your own by changing up the plant list to reflect the vegetables that grow in your area.
Just try to keep the concept of the garden intact by using tall plants where the tomatoes and other tall vegies are and the same with the low plants, etc. to download, just right-click on the plan and save to your own file. Then you can print the plan on your own printer.
Feel free to change up the flowers also, just remember to think your choices out. How will the colors look together, how will the colors look with the vegetables you decided on.
To create a more cohesive looking garden, stick to a cool color pallette or hot colors. The plan I present here is mainly cool colors with the exception of the marigolds which are yellow. I use them to create a little excitement in the middle of all the calm, cool colors.
I will have photos of my garden right after planting to show how my garden looks. I will download photos when the garden hits it's prime in July-Aug so you can see how it matures and evolves into a really great looking vegetable garden.
Putting It All Together
I hope you'll try your hand at this Vegetable Garden Plan. If you will follow a few important basics, I think you will really enjoy it and make it an annual ritual.
Here is a re-cap for you; be realistic about the size of the garden you plant, so you don't end up with more work than you can take on. Choose your site carefully for sun exposure. Do your soil prep thoroughly, choose your plant material carefully for vegies that will adapt to your site conditions, water your garden well and you will have a vegetable garden that not only looks great but will give you loads of fresh produce to spoil you and your family with wonderful flavor and nutrition.