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. And don’t forget the side yard. If yours is sunny, it may be just the right spot for starting a garden.
Whichever spot you choose, be sure to plant your garden in rich, well-draining soil for best results. To improve your in-ground garden soil, mix in Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Vegetables & Herbs with the top layer of your existing soil. For raised beds, Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil is a great choice because it’s just the right weight and texture for raised bed growing. Also, feed your plants regularly with a continuous-release plant food like Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food to boost your harvest and keep it coming throughout the growing season.
Here’s how to make your backyard garden beautiful.
1. Edge with your collection. Keep beds tidy by holding back soil with half-buried wine bottles, vintage pots or dishes, slate roof tiles, or seashells.
2. Repeat a good thing. Create rhythm in the garden by planting in a series of over-sized pots or trellises placed in the center of the beds.
3. Take the high and low road. Turn a steep slope into a productive paradise by terracing with raised beds. Add paths between for easy access.
5. Do fence me in. Create a garden within a garden by surrounding part of yours with a fence that complements your home’s architecture. A potting shed at one end is both practical and pretty, and becomes a focal point.
6. Reclaim and re-use. Turn cattle troughs, galvanized tubs, or oversized pails into container gardens or raised beds. Make sure they have several drainage holes for water to escape.
7. Hoe a long row. Planting in the ground like Grandma and Grandpa did is hip again. The twist: Mulch paths to keep shoes clean. Or, consider leaving an aisle of barefoot-friendly grass between the rows. Mow and edge regularly to keep in top form.
8. Embrace formality. Create the perfect postage-stamp parcel for herbs and vegetables. Edge it in brick or stone, and finish with a classic armillary, urn, or statue in the center of the space.
9. Divide and conquer. Don’t feel like all of your edibles have to be in one place. Put herbs in pots on the deck (near the kitchen), train tomatoes along a fence, and give summer squash the room it needs in a big bed.
10. Mulch when all else fails. If company’s coming and the garden’s past prime, pull everything out and mulch. Then pour a glass of wine and relax while you and your guests brainstorm about what you should plant next!
Article written by Rebecca Reed