So, you love the idea of growing your own vegetables, but you don’t know where to start, right? Maybe you’re intrigued by the satisfaction of eating food you’ve grown, or creating meals for your family that are nutritious, or maybe even saving money on your grocery bill. Whatever the reason is, we’re here to help!
Whether you have a large yard with plenty of room to grow a backyard garden, or you live in an apartment / condo with very little room for containers or window boxes, not to worry … you can still grow your vegetables, you just need the right design.
First of all, you need to think about where your backyard garden is going to go. You need somewhere that gets a decent amount of sunlight (hopefully you’re aware that plants need sun!) . You also need to consider drainage as well. If you have such an area available, you also need to make sure you can get to all the plants. Have paths in between the different vegetable patches or stepping stones so you can reach everywhere and easily do all the required maintenance and harvesting.
Rows or Raised Beds?
In a traditional backyard garden, vegetables are planted in rows, which is particularly suitable for foods like beans or corn … but you don’t have to stick with this. Traditional rows mean you can reach the produce easier, and also grab those naughty weeds, but another option that gives you easy access are raised beds.
Raised beds have better drainage, and they can keep the plants looking more compact and neat and organized. Something like a three foot wide raised bed would work; putting the soil between eight to twelve inches above ground level. To raise the beds use something like bricks or lumber blocks.
When choosing which vegetables to grow, you need to be aware that some combinations help the growth of the plants, and some combinations do the opposite. For example, don’t plant potatoes or broccoli with tomatoes, or onions with beans. You might also decide to combine your vegetables with flowers, especially if you're working with raised beds. This way you get the visual aspect of the flowers as well as the practical and of course delicious produce of the vegetables. How about using flowers like azaleas or lavender as a border for your lettuce or cabbage? Or maybe put a fence around your garden and plant climbing roses.
Living With Little Space
If you don't have a suitable space in your backyard for your garden, consider designing a vegetable garden in containers on your balcony, in window boxes or even on your window sill. Make sure it's somewhere that gets the maximum amount of sunlight possible, and choose vegetables that can do well in small places such as cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, or even vertical-growing vegetables like beans or snow peas. Heck, you can even grow a herb garden! Make sure if you use containers, you put holes in the bottom that allow for drainage.
Here are some great ideas for renovating your backyard. We'll cover general landscaping, furniture, garden design, and some quick words on outdoor storage.
There’s so much to do with your backyard landscaping projects. There are flowers, terrain, trees and bushes, and pools to consider. Have you heard of landscaping software for your computer? There’s a bunch of these programs that aren’t very expensive, and the capabilities and design ideas are insane! The design combos are endless, even down to the fine details of selecting from 1000's of flower varieties.
Here’s some popular applications:
They’re so detailed and provide so much user-friendly content that you’ll find yourself having more fun sitting at your computer creating landscaping ideas than the actual landscaping itself ;)
If you have plans for a big garden, consider decorating it with shadings such as umbrellas or sail shades. Grab a few chairs and a table at your local garden store and guess what … it's tea (or wine) time in this beautiful setting! When winter comes, you can quickly whisk away your furniture into a shed or garage.
If you have ample trees, a hammock can look very appealing and add that relaxed look to your garden or yard. Using trees for your hammock looks more natural than relying on steel stands to support the hammock. So keep your garden area as natural-looking as possible by using wood furniture and avoiding too many man-made elements. One exception to this rule is you can add garden statues to give your garden area a very elegant and peaceful look.
No Yard or Balcony?
If you're an apartment dweller that doesn't have a balcony, or maybe you're renting a house and the owner won't allow you to grow a garden, you should sign up for YardYum and search for available plots in your neighborhood. Nothing should prevent you from gardening!
Got any favorite landscaping or backyard gardening designs? Please share them in the comments below :)