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Monday, February 13, 2012

Vegetable Garden Layout for 2012

Every year I tweak the vegetable garden layout a little.  I new get ideas, want to try different arrangements, and theorize about what might work better.  This could mean one of these days I'll strike the right balance of form and function, but until then it just means a whole lot of tinkering, moving, shoveling, mulching, and probably quite a bit of muscle soreness!  Whenever I do change the layout of my raised bed vegetable garden I aim to do four things:
  1. Make a better (more functional) arrangement for planting and harvesting vegetables.
  2. Plan for good access for equipment like wheelbarrows or tillers.
  3. Arrange the beds so that the insides of the raised beds can be reached easily.
  4. And try to make the garden so it looks great!
Those four things are part of a larger list I put together a while back in this post called Designing a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden: 12 Things to Think About

Last year I began the adaptation to a parterre style garden layout. This year I'm simply continuing the idea but I am making a few changes.  The biggest change is the creation of the border bed.  It's about 2 feet wide and will completely cover the perimeter of the vegetable garden when it's finally completed.  For now the lower right quadrant and the circle are the only areas in progress.  Everything else will probably remain as it was last year due to time and, of course, money.  If money grew on trees we gardeners would be rich, very rich!  My old raised beds have deteriorated and I'm trying to replace them with stone but stone costs more and takes time to install (and a fair amount of effort). 




In the outer right perimeter beds I'll be transplanting my strawberries. Along with the strawberries I'm considering adding a companion planting of sunflowers and pole beans.  The sunflowers will entice the bees to the garden and the beans will fix valuable nitrogen into the soil that the strawberries may need. The circle bed is already planted with sugar snap peas and spinach seeds.  The snap peas will do fine but I may have jumped the gun on the spinach.  We'll see how this latest cold snap shakes things out.  The left hand perimeter bed may be used for tomatoes or peppers.  Since the bed is on the edge of the garden maybe I'll just plant the hot peppers to give those pesky deer something very interesting to taste! 

If you would like to see last year's vegetable garden layout here's the link. 

How often do you adjust the arrangement of your garden?

9 comments :

  1. I love your garden design. I find the planning stage of gardening fun.. although often my plan doesn't end up being what really gets planted because I'll have more than I planned of some things and less than others. I also would love to replace my raised beds with stones or bricks.. its on the dreaming list for when I have lots of time and money!

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    1. Thanks Julie.:) The planning stage is pretty fun since you can imagine anything you want, implementation is where it becomes tricky! If it weren't for that time and money thing, just imagine what gardeners could do!

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  2. This is the greatest site! Thank you!
    I plan to make 2 foot boarder beds around my raised bed plan, similar to yours here. I will put weed cloth and bark chips under the fence. Can I take the bed all the way to the fence? or should I leave a path between the fence and the boarder bed?
    Trying to do it right the 1st time!!
    Thanks :-)

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    1. Thanks Eileen! My fence will be right up against the raised beds. As long as the soil does not make contact with a wooden fence the positioning should be fine. What I noticed about my previous layout was that I had wasted space between the raised beds and the fence. The perimeter raised beds are only going to be 2 feet wide and will allow easy access to the inside of each bed. Err on the side of smaller beds to make it easy to work in each bed.

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  3. Oh ya, every year for sure. Mostly for crop rotation but even just for aesthetics it's fun to move things around.

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  4. Gorgeous design!! I always tell gardeners to make their edible spaces pretty as well as productive! I love to just sit in our veggie garden and enjoy the surrounding plants, bees, insects, etc. It's a lively place! Very inspiring!!

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  5. Tiffany @ No Ordinary HomesteadFebruary 21, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Great lay-out and perfect plant arrangement! I am wondering how beautiful it looks like when all the plants are growing. It certainly saves the small area you have for a fruitful gardening.

    I actually host a weekly gardening link up every Friday on my blog. I'd love for you to drop by and join in.

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  6. Love your design. How big is the overall design? Still 24x24?

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  7. How do you build curves and circles most efficiently in the beautiful 2011 or 2012 layouts. We have alot of space and are looking for a herb garden which we use and store for the year and since it is infront of the house it needs to have aesthetics for sure.

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