grow it

Design a Vegetable Garden

So you want to build a vegetable garden? Find out how to get started from determining the size of your garden to choosing the right vegetables, locating the optimal site, getting guidelines for building, and learning how to prepare the beds for planting. With instructions for best practices, including weeding, irrigating, and composting, VEGOUT! can help you maintain your garden. The fun part — harvesting the garden’s bounty — is up to you.

Garden Primer

The basic ingredients for a successful vegetable garden are adequate sun, rich, balanced soil (organic composted topsoil), and sufficient water.  Knowledge of suitable vegetable choices for your zone (6a/b), orientation of the garden, drainage, proper planting, and maintenance all contribute to a bountiful harvest.

Vegetables

You have several options when starting your vegetable garden, ranging in time commitment and cost.  Most time-consuming, but often the most rewarding, is to begin with growing your seeds indoors in the winter. In the spring, some seeds can be sown directly into the soil, and, of course, you can buy small seedlings and plant them when the conditions are right.  Planting times and length of germination are specific to each vegetable.

Construction

A perimeter fence is recommended to keep out animals and provide structure for growing vertically.  Raised beds provide various advantages: avoiding compaction, providing better drainage, increasing control over soil quality, and requiring less maintenance.  A compost bin enables organic material to be recycled and used to feed future plants.

Here you’ll find local purveyors for construction materials, some of which are more organic and environmentally sensitive.

Irrigation

Watering your vegetable garden requires some basic knowledge about the requirements of each vegetable.  Some gardeners prefer hand-watering and sprinklers, but many install irrigation systems with soaker hoses and/or overhead sprinklers.

Using a rain barrel and gravity-feed system is another alternative that is environmentally friendly. Some useful resources for helping you to decide which method works best for your needs follow:

Irrigation companies

Suppliers