It’s the time of year when we start shifting our focus from what’s actually growing in our gardens to what we’re dreaming of growing next year. For some of us, that means expanding or redesigning garden in some way. For others, it might mean taking the leap from growing vegetables in a few small containers to dedicating a large part of your yard to food production. Whether you’re expanding your garden to accommodate more crops or starting from scratch and building a brand new garden, there a few key factors to keep in mind when choosing a site that will help you make the most of the space you dedicate to your garden.
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In this episode, we discuss the factors to consider when choosing a site for an edible garden:
- Soil quality
When you’re looking for a site, keep in mind that it is essential that your garden receive a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day at the height of the growing season.
Ideally, vegetable garden beds aren’t just accessible, but also visible from your house. Garden maintenance will be much easier if you happen to walk by your garden on a daily basis.
Not only do you want to be able to set up a simple, manageable and effective irrigation system for your garden, but you’ll also want to be able to reach the garden by hose for direct sowing, watering transplants, and other uses.
When choosing a site for your garden, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a location on your property with soil that is ready for planting, and this can easily be fixed with an application of a few inches (or feet if filling a raised bed) of organic vegetable garden soil and compost.
Soils around homes that may have been painted with lead paint, homes near heavy industrial sites, or raised beds built with treated wood manufactured before 2004 could all contain contaminated soils. If you’re worried that the soil on your property may be contaminated, have it tested.
If you live in an environment where rabbits or deer are possible garden pests, install fencing to keep them from raiding your edible garden.
Both of our gardening books discuss this topic in more detail and provide instructional photos and graphics that support many of the ideas we introduced in this episode:
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