Garden Planning

Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening is exactly what the name says: dividing a growing area into 1-foot x 1-foot sections. In a true square foot garden, an actual grid is placed on the growing area to divide up the space. What you grow in each section depends on the mature size of the crop.

How to Plant a Garden

There are many reasons to plant a garden. Maybe you love cooking with fresh produce. Perhaps you’ve resolved to eat healthier. Or maybe you’re looking for an activity to engage kids in outdoor fun. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to take the plunge. But where do you begin?

How to Lay Out a Vegetable Garden

Is there anything more satisfying and delicious than growing your own food? From the first tender tips of asparagus in spring to the tasty tang of summer’s homegrown tomatoes, a garden filled with beautiful, productive plants provides a terrific sense of accomplishment—and fabulous, fresh meals.

Your Gorgeous Front Yard Garden

Yes, you can plant vegetables and herbs in the front yard! Just keep in mind that while some neighborhoods may celebrate your efforts, others will frown. If your community has strict HOA policies, review them first, then check out these beautiful ways to work edibles into the front yard

Your Beautiful Backyard Garden

A great vegetable garden can be the focal point of a backyard. Tucked back in a far corner, it becomes a destination. Because the backyard is usually more private than the front, maintenance can be more relaxed.

10 Tips for a Screened Garden

Placing your vegetable garden behind a privacy fence gives you the freedom to experiment and not worry about maintenance 24/7. It also provides the separation you need to create a garden destination.

Choosing a Garden Bed Shape

In addition to figuring out just where in your yard your garden should go, you’ll want to consider the shapes of the planting beds. You can either prep the soil and plant directly in the ground, or construct a raised bed from wood, stone, metal, brick, or even straw bales.

10 Steps to a Successful Garden Design

Plants need more than a beautiful planting plan to thrive. Here’s how to give edibles what they need to produce a gorgeous garden design and a big harvest.

3 Ways to Use Cattle Panels in the Garden

Many favorite vegetable plants — such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, peas, melons, and squash — need a little help standing tall. Cattle panels, available online and at farm supply stores, are a simple, affordable way to keep plants off the ground and away from foraging critters and soil-borne diseases.

An Herb Garden for Chickens

There are lots of culinary herbs that have wonderful health benefits for your chickens and can enhance both their diet and environment. You can fit a wonderful selection of these plants into a 4×4 raised bed quite easily. They’ll grow quite companionably side by side (in either full sun or part shade), creating not only a beautiful-looking garden, but also one with herbal ‘henefits’.

Gardening with an HOA

If you live in a subdivision, development, or condo, chances are you have to deal with an HOA (Homeowners Association). While the goal of this organization is to protect the value of your land by enforcing the rules, sometimes those rules can seem a bit unfair to those who like to grow their own food. Some communities limit gardening to back or side yards only, while others prohibit it altogether….

Dig These Digital Garden Tools

Just as using a trowel or hoe can make quick work of garden to-do’s, digital tools can make planning and planting your garden easy and enjoyable. We encourage “gardening at your fingertips” at all levels, from dirt to desktop.

Public Gardens Where You Can See Vegetables & Herbs

In public gardens, inspiration grows. These places offer a wealth of botanical information and ideas that you can take home and translate to your own space. We’ve pulled together a list of public gardens in the continental U.S. where you can see vegetables and herbs. Click on the map below to find public gardens in your… Read more »

Spacing in the Garden

While vegetable garden spacing isn’t an exact science, it’s important to know about how far apart to place your plants. If you plant them too closely together, their roots will compete with each other for sunlight, water, and nutrients, and you may well end up with mature plants that are smaller and less productive than… Read more »

Rotating Vegetable Crops for Garden Success

To keep the vegetable garden healthy, avoid repeating the same planting plan in the same spot. This practice, called crop rotation, can feel a bit like juggling, but it’s important to prevent crop-specific pests and diseases from building up and carrying over from one season to the next in the soil. If you move the… Read more »

Select a Good Site

Plant a garden where you can provide these things. Provide FULL SUN for best growth and flavor. Six hours is minimum, but ten is better. Plants depend on sunshine to develop sugars for sweetness and other elements of flavor. The soil must have GOOD DRAINAGE. Wet soil means rotting plants. If you need to, build a raised bed…. Read more »

Rooftop Gardening

by Ellen Spector Platt When I gave up my 5-acre flower and herb farm in Pennsylvania and moved to Manhattan I was lucky to find a garden atop my condo building. I needed a garden. It needed a gardener. But what a different kind of garden it would be, complete with big-city challenges. The mixed-use… Read more »

Which Vegetables Are Most Efficient?

This list from the National Garden Bureau (NGB) rates vegetables based on their total yield per square foot, average value per pound, and length of time in the garden. Crops are rated from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most efficient. Tomatoes, grown on supports 9 Onions, green bunching 8.2 Leaf lettuce 7.4 Turnips… Read more »

Make a Note

Taking a moment to make notes during growing season can be very important. Make a few notes concerning how each vegetable or herb is doing. Note the type of weather (for example: dry summer or very wet?). Every growing season, make a few sketches of what is planted where or take pictures. The notes you… Read more »

Raised Bed Gardening Tips

What is a raised bed garden? It’s an enclosed planting area on top of the ground that offers one huge benefit: You never have to deal with poor soil, because you control what goes in the bed. What’s more, because raised beds don’t require planting in rows, you’ll actually be able to fit more plants in than you would in a traditional garden of the same size — so you’ll eventually end up with a bigger harvest.

How Much Do I Plant?

“How much do I plant?” That’s a common question. The perfect-sized garden yields all the tomatoes and other vegetables that you need and some extra to share with friends. Please use this guide of how much you can expect to harvest from a 10 foot row to help you determine exactly how much of your favorites to plant.

Container Inspiration Gallery

From the types of plants you select to the almost endless range of containers you can use to house them, container gardening is an excellent way to add beauty to your landscape while growing veggies and herbs you’ll love to eat. Check out these inspiring designs …

Begin When the Soil Tells You

You have been waiting all winter. You have reviewed your notes from last year. You have planned where each vegetable and herb will go this year. The birds have begun to chirp, the days have been getting warmer and the rain has been falling. Frost and freezing weather look as if they have finally gone… Read more »