Creating a sensible vegetable garden design should be done before you even lift the shovel. A good vegetable garden design should provide the essentials: sunlight, space, and ease of maintenance.

In a sensible vegetable garden design, all the plants are exposed to at least five hours of sunlight every day. There should be no crowding so that each plant has room to grow.

a sensible veggie garden design

Finally, a good vegetable garden design makes it easier to maintain the growing area in tiptop shape. I’ll give you some pointers on creating a sensible vegetable garden design.

Vegetable Garden Design Tips

  1. Measure out the space allotted for your vegetable garden. Know the growing conditions required by the crops you intend to plant. Researching about the planting season and the best growing conditions for each plant is crucial to your vegetable garden design.
  2. Group your crops according to the height they grow into. The lowest growing crops should be placed at the south end of the garden, which has the best exposure to sunlight. Lowest growing vegetables include onions, lettuce, beets, carrots and radishes.
  3. The medium-growing vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, squash and broccoli should be planted in the middle of the garden.
  4. Pole beans, corn and peas, all of which grow very tall, should be planted in the north end of the garden. That way, they will not shade the other vegetable plants.

Aside from planning your vegetable garden design to ensure the correct distribution of sunlight, you should also make the best use of your space, especially if you only have a small area to work with. Upright trellises should be installed for plants that could climb, like gourds.  This would free up a lot of space on the ground for the other vegetables.

If you would be planting crops in beds, do not make the beds so large that you would have to stretch a lot just to be able to reach the plants in the middle. Planting beds that are just three to four feet across would be best, so that you can reach across the middle quite easily from both sides.

Also, be aware of how much time it would take before your vegetables would be ready for harvest.  That way, you can plant them at the correct intervals.  For example, if your goal is to have all the makings of a green salad, you can plant the vegetables which take the longest to grow first, such as carrots.

By giving them a lead, they would be ready to harvest at the same time as your lettuce. On the other hand, planting crops with vegetable garden design which would bear fruit at different times all at once would make sure that you always have something available to harvest.

How to Build a Vegetable Garden Bed

A vegetable garden bed is a great way to not only add beauty to your outdoor landscaping but they are also cost effective and beneficial for your health. Organic fruits and vegetables are a great way to rid your body of pesticides and other harmful chemicals that are found in the produce in a grocery store.

Plus, if you grow your own vegetables you only need to come up with the money for the seeds rather than spending hundreds of dollars on your fresh food. Building a vegetable garden bed is extremely easy and it is a fun project that the whole family can be involved in.

When you are looking to build your own vegetable bed you will want to find a plan to assist you through the building process. There are hundreds of vegetable garden bed plans online that you can find that can fit your every need.

Generally you will want to ensure that you choose the perfect size bed for the area that you have delegated. There isn’t a specific way for you to create your garden, it’s all up to personal preference but there are general details that you may want to follow.

General Instructions for Constructing the Bed

  1. Cut and assemble your frame.
  2. Square up your frame to ensure that the frame maintains its shape.
  3. Brace the corners to hold the frame into position.
  4. Mark the perimeter where you want the bed to be; generally you should be putting it in a sunny spot to maximize sun exposure.
  5. Prepare the soil.
  6. Level the frame once the soil has been placed inside.
  7. Stake the frame to help the bed to maintain its structure.
  8. Fill the bed with more soil and compost until they are at least 2-3 inches away from the top of the frame.
  9. Plant the vegetables.
  10. Water and mulch the vegetable garden bed.

Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds are the vegetable gardens of choice that are used to grow small plots of vegetables. They help to keep weeds from invading your garden and producing unnecessary plant life.

One major benefit of raised garden beds is that they help to promote drainage. One common failure of beginner gardeners is that they over water their plants which causes them to inevitably die.

Raised bed gardens are the best option when determining which type of vegetable garden bed you want to go with. Gardening is an extremely popular hobby that has been picked up by people all over the world. With the ample health benefits and profit margin, you will be able to make your family healthier and to keep a lot more money into the bank.

Imagine being able to cut hundreds of dollars out of your weekly grocery budget just because you spent a couple of extra hours tending to a garden. If you have some spare time and are looking for a fun activity that the whole family can be a part of. Creating a raised garden bed may be the thing for you!

How to Prepare Raised Garden Beds for Planting Summer Vegetables

raised garden beds for summer veggie planting

Raised garden beds are perfect for planting your summer vegetables. Spring is the right time to start preparing raised garden beds if you plan to raise vegetables in the summer. Let me tell you how to prepare your raised garden beds in time for summer planting.

Raised Garden Beds Tips

If you are starting a raised garden beds from scratch, you have some digging ahead of you. Mark out the desired size of your garden bed on the dirt.

While the size of your raised garden bed depends on your preferences, a plot that is eight feet by four inches will allow you easy access from all sides. If you are making preparing more than one, allow for at least 2 feet between each one.

Divide each raised garden bed into half and start digging at one end first before tackling the second half. Dig down to at least 18 inches of depth.

As you dig out the first section, collect the dirt at one end of the bed. After the entire bed has been dug up, you will be putting this dirt back in after you make sure that it is well broken up and aerated.

Use a pH test kit to determine your soil’s acidity. Vegetable grow best in a neutral pH so depending on your soil’s condition, you will need to adjust.

Soil that is too sandy will need some compost, peat, or humus. If your soil turns out to have high clay content, balance it out by adding some rough grade sand and organic matter such as mature compost.

Established Raised Garden Beds

Meanwhile, if your raised garden beds are already established, you have a far simpler set of tasks to prepare them for summer planting. Start by turning down the soil and aerating it well. Make sure that you work the garden dirt loose at least 18 inches down from the surface.

Mix in some mature compost or peat moss to improve the quality of your soil. Generally, an eight foot bed will require six cubic feet of peat moss.  If you are using mature compost, you only need three cubic feet.

At this point, your raised garden bed is ready for planting. In the meantime, you can keep weeds from growing in an unplanted raised garden bed by covering it with a double layer of newspaper.

Weigh down the paper with some wood chips or rocks to keep it from blowing away. Once you are ready to plant, simply soak the newspaper to soften it and poke holes so that the seeds can be planted below the newspaper layer.

Making Your Own Raised Garden Soil Mix

Raised garden beds are a superior base for growing vegetables and flowers. These are especially important if the existing soil in your garden is not well-suited to gardening.  Raised beds allow you to amend and improve soil quality; they also have better draining capabilities, which is very important in a garden built on soil that has high-clay content.

Also, raised bed gardening allows you to plant earlier, since a raised bed warms sooner than a ground-level plot. The key to getting all the benefits of raised bed gardening is to obtain the perfect raised garden soil mix to ensure healthy plants.

Your local gardening supplies store carries pre-made raised garden soil mix.  If you would rather skip making your own, you can simply buy some raised garden soil mix and use it for your beds.

  1. You will need to dig about eight to ten inches down your existing raised beds and remove the topsoil. Place these on a tap near one side of your raised bed. After the ten inches of the topsoil has been removed, loosen the exposed layer with shovel or a hoe.
  2. Replace the topsoil you have set aside on the tarp. Put in a five-inch layer of mature compost on top.  If your garden soil is heavy clay, add an additional three-inch layer of peat moss.
  3. Use a shovel or a hoe to mix all of the layers together.
  4. Mix in some 10-10-10 complete fertilizer; use 1 pound for every 100 square feet of raised bed. If you need to amend your raised garden soil mix for additional nutrition, add an additional layer of mature compost about two to three inches deep.

After a year or two, the soil in your raised garden bed will need little tilling or turning, so that your spring garden preparations is bound to be easier. However, take note that raised garden soil mix tend to dry out faster than ground-level beds, so make sure that you apply some mulch after planting to preserve the moisture in the soil.

If you will be tilling the soil in your garden beds, make sure that you always mix the soil layers afterwards. Unmixed soil layers can impede water drainage.

Experienced gardeners also warn against tilling any weeds back into the garden soil.  You need to pull weeds up, roots included.

If you take the lazy route and simply till them back into your raised beds, you will find yourself with thick weed growth. As you are also putting back the seeds in the weed plant back into the bed, especially with raised garden soil mix.

veggies grown with raised garden soil mix

How to Get Rid of Ants in Vegetable Garden

The variety of ants called leaf cutters can be very destructive to a flower or vegetable garden. As the name implies, leaf cutter ants cut off sections of plant leaves using their powerful jaws.

Because cutter ants live in large colonies, they can easily destroy your garden in a short time. Those who suffer from cutter ant infestations may wonder how to get rid of ants in vegetable garden.

There are several methods that you can use if you were concerned about getting rid of pesky ants in vegetable garden. You can use pesticides and sprays to poison the cutter ant population, or resort to organic methods such as using vinegar or mint.

Your choice of method in how to get rid of ants in vegetable garden is rather important, since your harvest could be duly affected by the use of chemicals. In this section, we discuss organic methods that show you how to get rid of ants in vegetables garden.

Because leaf cutter ants consume plant leaves instead of human food morsels, using poisoned ant bait won’t really be effective. The key to getting rid of cutter ants in your vegetable garden is to demolish their hills and kill off most of the colony so that they would go off and move somewhere else.

You can destroy an ant hill by pouring boiling hot water all over it. Since ant colonies can go as deep as 6 to 8 feet down into the ground, you need to use enough boiling water to fully saturate an ant hill. Use about 4 gallons of hot water for each ant hill.

Prepare an organic ant repellent by throwing in some orange peels in a blender and adding some water to make a thin liquid. Ants hate citrus, so soaking an ant mound with this orange peel liquid once or twice a day should get rid of any ants that still remain in the mound.

You can also use organic white vinegar for this purpose. Put some undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle and soak all exposed surfaces.

Take some uncooked hot cereal grains or dried grits. Sprinkle these over the ant hill. As the ants grab and eat these, the uncooked grits will swell up inside their stomach and kill them. The results of this method could be observed in about 2 to 3 days.

You could also try planting some mint in your garden to discourage future infestations. While mint has a smell that appeals to humans, the distinct and pungent odor of mint drives ants away. Just make sure that you keep your mint plants well- trimmed, since it could easily overtake other plants in your garden.