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Location, dimensions and planning of a vegetable garden

Learn more about the ideal location, dimensions and how to plan your garden according to your needs and resources
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)
Lactuca sp.


The ideal location for a vegetable garden is unobstructed, protected from prevailing winds, far from big trees and shrubs, close to the house and a water supply, and receiving at least six hours of sunshine daily. Raised sites, which dry up too quickly, as well as hollows, where water accumulates, are to be avoided. It is also preferable to use land with a north-south aspect.


The size of the vegetable garden greatly depends on the area available, time spent in taking care of it, budget and the number of people to feed. A garden covering about 8 m2 can accomodate a family of four. The usual form is rectangular (2 m X 4 m), but other shapes can also be used as well as a layout in squares or subdivided into small lots for different vegetables.


In order to stake out the area required for each vegetable, it is recommended to first plan the garden on paper. Planning plant growths is desired, to keep the garden productive all summer. Quick-growing vegetables, like radishes, are grown in series to produce constant yield. Vegetables with different ripening periods are also associated, like tomatoes and radishes, so as to save space and work. Vegetables are planted in slightly raised widthwise rows. Pedestrian alleys, broad enough to move about with ease, are to be foreseen. Tall vegetables should be planted on the northern and eastern sides of the garden to ensure maximum exposure to the sun.

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