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Layout for Small Vegetable Garden

First of all, when planning a garden, throw out the old notion you have of what a garden should look like. Those gardens from childhood memories of long rows of vegtables and lots of tilling, hoeing and weeding are a thing of the past! At least they can be!

So what does the new garden in the city look like?

Raised beds:
This kind of garden sits on top of the existing dirt/yard/driveway, etc. and is contained by a border (usually made of wood) in which to hold the organic dirt mixture.


Advantages of raised beds:
They can be made to accomodate any side space you have for a garden

They don't rely on the existing dirt, so you can place them on top of driveways, patios, etc. as well as poor soil.

They can be made with a bottom below them and put up on legs (so that it looks like a table of sorts) so that you don't have to kneel to work in the garden.

The soil and organic material added to the garden enriches the plants and promotes better growth than if they were in most yards.

Containers on a deck
A beautiful container garden on a deck. Submitted by Mokihana in Oregon

Container gardens are mini-gardens planted in containers. These containers can be traditional flower pots, bricks (with holes in the center), burlap bags, plastic tubs, even laundry baskets!

Advantages of container gardening:
It takes less effort than other types of gardening

It's very inexpensive to do

It's a great way to 'get your feet wet' in the gardening scene without spending a ton of time, money and energy

It's perfect for filling up small spaces--decks, apartment balconies, etc. where larger gardens wouldn't fit.

It's an easy way to give living gifts--fill up an extra pot or two to give to someone else and keep the gardening going.

It's a perfect size for 'theme' gardening--planting a 'salad' garden with different kinds of greens and vegetables for salads, an 'Italian' garden with italian herbs and tomatoes, etc.

Imported Dirt (and other Organic Matter):
City gardening doesn't need great soil and a spacious backyard. Great gardens can be constructed over rocky, poor soil or even a driveway or other concrete structure because dirt can be 'made' by adding together composts, peat moss and other organic materials. You don't have to rely on what you have. You can create an Eden of your own with a little collecting.

Planting Closer Together:
If you don't have the wide open spaces for a garden, don't worry! More than you think can be grown in small spaces. One way around tight spaces is to plant vegetables that mature at different rates. For example, planting radishes and squash together. The radishes will be harvested and eaten before the squash get big enough to care!

Another way to conserve space is to companion plant. For example, planting beans with corn and allowing the beans to use the corn stalks as poles to grow up.

Square Foot Garden

Planting in Squares Instead of Rows:
The traditional garden is planted in low rows with walking space between. A city garden conscious of space might plant their seeds closer together, and in square configuration instead of rows. Not only does this help conserve spac, it aids in pollination, which in turn helps you yield a bigger harvest.

Deliberate Watering:
Some city farmers actually water their plants by hand. This is easy to do if you have container and small space gardens. This conserves water (which is better for our environment) and it also saves you money!

Ready for more information on starting vegetable gardens?

Other garden information:

City Gardening

Climate Zones

Equipment for Starting Seeds

Growing Container Potoatoes

Growing Potatoes in Straw

Growing Upside Down Tomatoes

Organic Slug Control

Preparing Your Soil

Salad Tower Garden

Starting a Vegetable Garden

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors

Starting Seeds with Peat Pellets

Staw Bale Garden

Kids Theme Garden























Beans in trough


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Tomatoes in wagon
(Photos submitted by Mokihana, Oregon)






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