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Planning a vegetable garden

For a good vegetable garden we do not need a lot: a suitable space with plenty of sunlight and good quality garden soil.

Location for a vegetable garden

For good growth of vegetables a good growing conditions are needed. Location on the plot, where we will arrange a vegetable garden, should be on full sun, with fertile soil, enough moist and without standing water. Soil should be fertile.

Ideal is flat surface. Vegetable gardens on the slopes are difficult to maintain due to soil erosion and overheating in strong summer sun. To prevent this, we can make vegetable beds on the terraces. If we have a garden at higher altitudes where temperatures are lower, southern slopes are very suitable for vegetables as soil gets warmer earlier in the spring.

When choosing location for a vegetable garden we need to be very careful how the wind blows. Wind has significant impact on yield. A gentle wind can reduce the amount of yield up to 30 %. At seaside additional problem is salty water which is carried by strong winds blowing form the sea. Wind can cause problems also in narrow gardens between houses, where it gets stronger.

Vegetables can be protected with windbreakers. The best windbreakers are shrubs and trees, which can be used only on the north side. They drop too much shadow on vegetable garden on the southern side to be useful. Shrubs and trees also compete with vegetables for water and nutrients. As windbreakers we can use regularly cut edges or windbreakers made out of wood, concrete or stones. Wooden fence is very good windbreaker. It is very important to have windbreakers that allow some wind to go through. If wind is stopped completely, turbulences occur that can damage plants. Any windbreaker protect plants at a distance of up to 5 times its height.

Planning vegetable beds

Vegetable beds can be of different sizes and different shapes. The most common are rectangular beds as they are easy to create, but they can also be round, triangular, semicircular or in various irregular shapes. It is important that the vegetables in the middle of the bed are easily accessible without stepping on the beds. This means that vegetable beds should not be wider than 1,5 m.

Make a path around the vegetable beds. These may be from the trampled soil, grass, stone, concrete, bricks, sand, wood or other suitable material. The most practical way is to place wooden planks between the beds. They can be easy removed when we have to turn the soil over.