I’ve been doing my best lately to get you guys excited about gardening, sharing my own updates, helping you get started and telling you why you should start a garden if you don’t already have one. After a few comments and discussions I thought it might be a good idea to give you some garden plans. Once you start doing some research about gardening it’s pretty easy to fall down the rabbit hole of information, You know when you realize that certain veggies do or do not grow well next to each other, and that certain things need more sunlight while others need way less of it.
It can get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly, I know.
To help boost your confidence in starting a garden I put together a few different types of small gardens. I kept things simple and pretty straightforward using what I have learned goes well together under difference conditions. All of these gardens are relatively small but I truly think that it’s important to start small. This keeps you excited and stops you from getting overwhelmed in the beginning.
The first three gardens shown above are all 4’x4’ or 16 square feet. I think this is the perfect size garden to start out with because it gives you plenty of room to try a variety of plants but isn’t so big that you will get lost. All of these gardens use the square foot method of gardening since this is my preferred method right now.
- The design furthest to the right is a standard kitchen garden that gets roughly 8 hours of sunlight a day. It is set up so that the vine beans will not shade out the other plants. I think it’s also important to mention that oregano and chives are perennials and will come back every year if they are not dug up. Finally, I placed carrots and onions (beets, and turnips in the shade garden also) toward the middle of the garden because they take longer to come to harvest while many of the others will be ready to harvest sooner. This prevents the gardener from having to reach over other plants to harvest.
- The Salsa garden is the perfect garden for areas that get a lot of sun and are very dry. Again the tomato plants are placed at the back of the garden to prevent over shading the other plants. In this garden, there are no perennial plants however garlic is a nonstandard plant for this garden. Garlic can be planted in the fall or the spring. Fall planting typically yields a larger bulb, so spacing for fall planted garlic should be 4 per square foot, and spring planted garlic could be 9 per square foot since it will produce a smaller bulb size. Similarly different varieties of garlic will produce different size bulbs so be sure to read the package instructions.
- The shaded kitchen garden is designed for those who only get 4 or less hours of sunlight. Many of the plants in this garden will thrive in cooler shaded areas whereas they will be hindered by a hot and sunny location. Again Chives are a perennial and will come back every year.
The gardens shown above are unique types of gardens that are perfect for small spaces and apartments.
- The deck border garden is meant to be on a deck or fire escape. This prevents the gardener from having to build a trellis for the peas since the railing can be utilized.
- The corner herb garden is perfect for a first time gardening since more than half of the plants are perennials. The only annual plants in this garden are the basil, parsley, and cilantro. Dill, rosemary, and tarragon can also be perennials depending on your location. Here in the northeast, they are typically annuals, but on mild winters, I have seen both tarragon and dill come back the following year.
The final two gardens that I designed are perennial hedges or trees. These are some of the best gardens to start with because they are the lowest maintenance. They are great to separate you from your neighbors or to tuck in along the edge of the property. While not everything in these gardens is edible they can still provide food and pretty flowers while being almost no work at all.
- The first garden is a small fruit tree guild. A guild is simply a grouping of plants that are meant to benefit each other as they grow. All of the plants in this garden are perennials, meaning once they are planted they will come back every year. The only input that’s really needed here is weeding, mulching and occasionally thinning out the overcrowded plants. The only really suggestion that I have is to plant this with the strawberries facing the sun. Lupine can be very tall and may shade out the other plants. It does however, make a beautiful background for this garden or along a fence or home. The edible plants in this garden are the fruit tree, nasturtiums, salvia, clover, and strawberries.
- The second garden is a blueberry hedge guild. The edible plants in this one are the blueberry bushes, cloudberries, and parsley.
Any of these gardens would be a great place to start your gardening journey. They are of course subjective to your own personal tastes and I would be happy to help anyone design a garden or answer any questions.