Getting Started - Raised Garden Planning
FREE RAISED GARDEN PLANNER BELOW!
So, you’ve decided to start gardening with a raised garden. Congratulations! We have really enjoyed our raised garden as a way to easily grow our own vegetables amidst our busy work and home lives. We work full time and there’s always so much going on with family and friend, gardening has provided us quality family time together, all while pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips we learned with our own raised garden and from others that have a ton of experience gardening. We also have a surprise for you at the end to help you start planning!!
To get started, it is a great idea to determine the location and layout of your raised garden before you build the walls, add the liner or add any soil. Don’t worry about those steps now - focus on where the garden is going to be and what you’d like to grow in it. Think of it like designing the rooms in a new house before you start construction. You are the architect of your garden! It’s okay if you don’t know where to start with the layout - that’s why we’re here. Our goal at Kasian House is to provide you with the very best information - we’ve done the research for you.
Whether you live in a suburban or urban area, the rules regarding a raised bed plant layout are generally the same. Pick a location in your yard or patio area that will provide equal amounts of sunlight to all parts of the garden. Most plants require six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so if your chosen location will not provide that, consider changing the location. If you live in an urban area and you do not have another option for location, consider plants that grow in shade or even a wall garden that can grow indoors. Did you know that the south side of your yard generally gets the maximum amount of light? If you can place your raised garden there, that’s an ideal spot.
You’ll also want to pick a location for your raised garden that is also close to a water source, be that a hose or your kitchen sink for filling a watering can. You want to make it easy to care for this garden throughout the season, and not having to walk a long distance for water makes a big difference. I know from experience that our busy lives make it easy to neglect a garden, so be sure to place the bed in an area where you will see it daily and remember to water it regularly.
Once you’ve determined location, think about what you’ll actually be cooking in your kitchen. What do you like to eat? If you or many members of your family don’t like tomatoes, don’t plant them! If you love green beans, perhaps you fill more parts of your garden with green beans than what we suggest in our example. Your garden is for you and your family, and it should provide you with wholesome food that you love. The more you love the vegetables you are growing, the more likely you are to use them and cook from scratch often.
If you’ve never gardened before, the following plants are great to start off with:
- Lettuce and other salad greens
- Tomatoes - smaller varieties
- Green beans
When choosing your vegetables, keep in mind that certain plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash keep providing throughout the season, so you may not need to buy as many seeds. Other vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, and corn, produce only once. You may need to plant more of these. Root vegetables also require more than six inches of soil in order to grow, so plan on a deeper garden if you use lots of root vegetables in your kitchen. For more information on choosing the right vegetables for your garden, see our detailed blog post (link).
With a garden layout, the general rule of thumb is: Taller plants in the back and smaller/shorter plants towards the front. Herbs are excellent choices for the front of your garden, and anything that vines should be kept in the back. Certain flowers, like marigold, chamomile and daisy, are great for protecting your vegetables against harmful pests. They are also beautiful, adding extra color and dimension to your garden. As an added bonus, you can also make herbal tea out of the chamomile.
Experiment with several layouts using pen and paper before you start planting! You can also mix up the layout every season that you garden. In fact, it’s beneficial to rotate vegetables in your garden every season.
So let’s recap. Here are the basics for planning your garden layout:
- Maximize sunlight
- Place near water source
- Plant what you’ll eat!
- Taller plants in back and shorties in front
So now that you’re ready to start planning, we’ve created an awesome planner for your to start thinking through what you want your garden to look like! Inside you’ll find some tips, information on spacing and layout, and a template for you to fill out!
We hope you’ve found our research helpful in making your raised garden successful, fun and kid-friendly. Involve the whole family in growing vegetables and cooking from scratch! As always, reach out to us with any questions (link). We can’t wait to see what you create!
Greta + Andie