By Vanessa Richins
If you were building your own house, you wouldn’t start nailing boards together and hope for the best, would you?
You can avoid some problems in your edible garden if you take time to thoughtfully plan it out instead of just buying plants and putting them anywhere.
1) Measure the plot out
First, start by measuring out the space you have available. There are several ways to do this. You can measure the length of your own foot, then carefully step off the area. If it’s a small plot, use a measuring tape. You may want a contractor’s measuring wheel (I bought one for about $15) for larger plots.
If you are using containers, write down how many you have and how big they are.
2) How will you water?
Think about how you will be watering your crops. It’s harder if you have to carry buckets of water over long distances.
3) Think of what you like to eat
One common mistake gardeners make is planting lots of vegetables they think they’d like to eat. However, once harvest comes, they find out they really don’t even like it.
Start by writing down the vegetables your family already likes to eat. You can certainly experiment with some new additions – in fact, a great way to get children to try new vegetables is to have them help grow it. However, especially if it’s your first time gardening, focus more on what you already love until you get the hang of growing food.
4) Calculate how many plants you can fit
With plants, you always have to make your plans based on the mature size of the plant. Use the final size along with your measurements to see how many plants you can reasonably fit.
5) Try companion planting
You should also consider companion gardening. Placing certain plants near each other can add benefits such as pest and disease resistance, better flavor, and more.
These five steps alone will greatly increase your chances of success. What other tips would you suggest?