Planning & Preparing our Vegetable Garden: Part 1

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Today I will begin sharing with you the process and steps we followed to ensure that we set ourselves up for gardening success! This is the first post in a series of four total, sharing our experience-From the planning stages through to the finished product, trouble-shooting throughout the season, and improvements we plan to make next year. So, make sure you continue to check back so you don’t miss any posts in this great gardening series!

This was the first summer that we planted a vegetable garden at our new house. Since we were starting from scratch, we had quite the undertaking in planning and preparing the garden. My husband and I have always enjoyed working on a vegetable garden together. We have had a garden every year since we got married in some form or another. We started out with pepper plants and tomato plants in pots on our porch. The following year, we invested in supplies to build a raised bed garden. The first bed measured 4 foot by 10 foot and the second, 2 foot by 4 foot. It may not have been much space, however, we fit a lot of vegetables in those little gardens!

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Planning the garden out was our first step. First things first-make sure that you think things through. There are quite a few factors that you need to take into consideration prior to jumping into action. You need to consider your environment. For example, we have a high volume of animals that frequent our yard. On a daily basis, we see deer, rabbits, and squirrels. On a less regular basis, we also have raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, and chipmunks. All of these little critters would love to have a little (or big) feast on our beautiful fresh produce, but I’m not interested in sharing 😉 So, we knew the first thing on our list would need to be a fence, and a fairly tall one to keep the deer away.

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The second thing to decide on is the location. The left side of our yard is very wet, especially in the spring. So we knew that wouldn’t be the best location for a garden. We also knew that we wanted it to be close to a source of water. We didn’t want to have to drag our hose a long distance to water the garden. We also knew that we wanted our garden to have some shade throughout the day.

We ended up choosing the far right hand corner of our property near our shed as our garden location. The first reason is, there is much better drainage on that side of yard. The second reason is that my hubby planned to run water lines out to our shed, so he would easily be able to add a hose connection as well. The third reason being, this part of the yard receives shade for a good portion of the morning and again in the evening. So it met all of our requirements for a great garden location.

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The next thing to consider is what supplies will you need to make your dream garden a reality. This is the overall list that we needed for our own garden. Yours will look much different than ours. You may need more or you may need less, depending on your current situation.

  • Supplies to run water out to the shed
  • Supplies to build the fence
  • Rototiller
  • Seeds and Vegetable plants

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So here is a recap of things to consider prior to starting your garden.

  1. Your Environment-animals especially
  2. The Location-Where in your yard do you want to plant your garden? Think about these things:
    A. Quality of your yard
    B. Proper Drainage
    C. Water Source
    D. Sunlight vs. Shade
  3. Supplies-What will you need to get your garden off to the right start?

I hope that this gives you a good idea of where to start when you are planning your own vegetable garden. Like all big projects, starting a new vegetable garden will have some trial and error. This is our first year with a garden at this house and we have already ran in to a handful of issues. Thankfully, none of the issues were too bad. But there will definitely be some things we will be tweaking next season.

Check out Part 2 here! It will cover how we got our garden plot ready, including building our fence and preparing the soil!

Also, check out Part 3 here! It covers choosing and planting our veggies and seeds!

Planning-Preparing-Our-Vegetable-Garden-Pt1

What are your tips & tricks for planning & preparing your vegetable garden? Share your thoughts in the comments below-I love to hear from my readers!

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