the orange gardener

1 minute read

Before focusing on the details, take a few minutes to consider your overall goals, needs and philosophy. A priority in one area often dictates adjustments in another. For instance, if a deer fence is critical, the size and layout of the garden may need to change.

Size

Over-ambitious spring-time gardeners curse themselves in the heat of the summer. Will the garden be used only for fresh eating or to grow enough to preserve or share? For fresh eating, a 4′ × 8′ plot is sufficient for spring and fall salad greens plus a few tomato, pepper and cucumber plants in the summer. If a larger area is planned for the future, consider growing a cover crop there first to help build the soil.

Special needs

Gardeners with knee or back problems will appreciate an 18″ high raised bed. Similarly, children can have a dedicated garden adjusted to their size and abilities.

Organic

Vegetable species that are pest- and disease-resistant and have modest nutrient needs are always a good idea, but are particularly well-suited to an organic garden.

Protection

A deer fence or other barrier may be needed either around the whole garden or around individual beds. Groundhogs and/or rabbits will require additional measures of protection.

Beauty

An attractive garden will receive more attention. Or do you want to forego a conventional garden and integrate a few vegetables and herbs into your landscaping?