Vegetable Garden Design – Choosing the Right Layout for Your Garden

[Music] Whether you’re starting a new vegetable garden or improving an established one, using dedicated beds to grow your vegetables in can help you to maximise your productivity. A simple bed system will allow you to plan, tend, and harvest your crops with ease, yielding you results to be proud of. In this video we investigate how to lay
beds out within a garden, and the best ways of deciding what to
grow where. Growing vegetables in allocated beds has many advantages. Narrow beds ensure growing areas can
be tended from surrounding paths, eliminating the need to step on beds and
avoiding soil compaction. This promotes a healthier root zone for your plants, which in turn boosts productivity. Soil amendments such as manures can be applied exactly where they’re needed on the beds rather than over the entire
plot. As well as creating a pleasing order to
your vegetable garden, a bed system will make protection of
different crop families easier. For example, if you plant all your
cabbage family crops together its easy to net them to prevent
butterflies from laying their eggs on the leaves. Beds make the plot easier to plan and will break your plot down into more manageable chunks. Beds can be laid out at soil level, or raised. Soil level beds are very
straightforward to mark out. Define the edges with string tied
between pegs, then prepare the ground within. The soil level in beds will rise over time through the addition of organic matter and
the compaction of surrounding paths. Edging beds offers a more permanent
solution as it clearly defines the beds, physically separating the growing area from the paths. Raising beds so the growing surface is
above ground level will help to improve drainage and
encourage the soil to warm up earlier in spring. If kids play in your garden it makes the paths obvious and helps
keep balls away from seedlings. However you’ll need to consider the initial cost and effort involved to construct all these raised beds. It should be possible to reach the
center of each bed without over stretching. Aim for a bed width of 3-4 feet (90-120cm), dependent on your reach. Having beds of equal width will allow you
to customize row covers and cloches so that they can be moved from bed to
bed as needed, and a narrow bed enables you to easily grow plants in
blocks rather than rows, keeping weeds down and maximizing the
number of plants you can grow in that space. The length of your bed should take into
account how far you are willing to walk to get around to the other side. For most people, a maximum length of 10 feet (3m) is about right. You can arrange beds in formal parallel rows to help with your planning. Alternatively, layout beds in patterns or different shapes to create a more relaxed, potager-style effect. Site beds in the sunniest part of the garden, away from frost pockets. Be aware of which direction the mid-day sun is in, and consider how tall plants might shade others. You can use our Garden Planner to help you plan the layout of your beds. Mark them out using the
Rectangle Tool, or change to Garden Objects to select a particular style of raised bed. Beds can be resized, copied and moved as required until you have perfected your plan. Adding a compass to your plan will help you
to layout the beds to maximize sunlight. Beds are separated by the access paths. These should be a minimum of 2 feet (60cm) wide to allow for comfortable access for
weeding and harvesting. Leave paths to grass if they can be
easily mowed, or alternatively, for a low-maintenance
solution, spread a mulch of wood chips over cardboard, or pour a loose material such as gravel over weed-suppressing membrane. Or choose a permanent path surface such as brick or pavers. The Garden Planner includes a number of path types which can be selected and dropped into place to give your plan a more realistic finish. Irregular shapes can be created by
selecting a texture and then adding filled shapes. Careful positioning of what you grow
will optimize your results. The Garden Planner will help you to
plan the position of your various fruits and vegetables. Start by choosing a crop from the plant
selection bar. Click once to pick it up, move the cursor
to where you want it, then click to place. Use the corner handles to extend the row, or expand it out into a block. As you expand, the software automatically calculates how many plants can be grown within that area, helping you to avoid overcrowding your
plants and achieve the highest yields. Tender plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, generally require the warmest, sunniest part of the plot, so position these first. Next, consider
sprawling plants such as squash. Position these to the edge of beds so they
don’t smother their neighbors Tall-growing climbers such as beans and
peas will need to be located where they won’t shade lower-growing vegetables. Site them furthest away from the Sun so they can’t cast a shadow. You may actually want to take advantage of
potential shade to grow cool-season crops such as
lettuce and spinach, especially in hot climates. Plants that are regularly harvested and which don’t need to be included in crop rotation, for example herbs and salad leaves, should be positioned in beds closest to
the kitchen. Consider pollination requirements. Corn for example needs to be grown in
blocks rather than rows, as these plants are wind-pollinated. Incorporating plenty of companion plants such as calendula can help boost pollination of fruit- or pod-bearing crops such as beans as well as attracting beneficial insects
to your garden. Thirsty plants such as salad leaves may
need regular watering. Group these plants together in a damper
part of the garden or where irrigation can easily be supplied. A well laid out bed system makes growing easier and better organized. Crucially, it also means bigger harvests! Please share your tips for growing in beds by dropping us a comment below, and if this video has whetted your
appetite for further growing advice be sure to subscribe for more great
gardening videos. [Music]

24 thoughts on “Vegetable Garden Design – Choosing the Right Layout for Your Garden

  1. does he app give you a warning when you plan planting something together that doesn't get along? and does it give you suggestions on companion planting? 🙂

  2. I may sound silly but, I'd like to ask: is there a way for carrots, onions and other similar vegetables to reproduce themselves on their own and how?
    Some links please you are bored to write to me. Thank you.

  3. I love your videos, there is always some little gem I pick up from them!
    I personally try to do raised beds that are not restricted by building wooden edges around. I simply pick up soil from where the paths will be that year and pile it on where the plants will grow. This has saved my early-spring seedlings a couple of times when there was too much rain and the paths were flooded. I am very conscious of rotating my crops, so at the end of the season I cover the entire plot with well-rotted horse manure and leave it to over-winter. In the spring I make new paths and new beds and try not to disturb the soil (I try to do the no-dig method as much as possible, since I believe there are different organisms at different depths in the soil that shouldn't be disturbed by digging and turning the soil over; the manure gets dug in by earthworms throughout the season as well as getting the root vegetables out of the soil once they are ready for harvest). This way I can utilize the minerals that are in the soil where the paths were in the following year. 🙂 Let me know your thoughts on my method. 🙂

  4. I recycle polystyrene spools, that originally held wire for computer components into birdhouses. I make two styles: One gets a screw eye in the "roof" for hanging, and the other gets a dowel in the "floor" to sit into a hold drilled in the top of a post. the main modification is two plywood discs about 3/16" thick, painted black, and attached with nuts and bolts for the roof and floor of the house.

  5. Thank you for the wonderful tips. This will be my first time planting a raised garden. I normally buy plants already started in large containers which is expensive.

  6. had to chuckle when I saw your netted brassica bed. the size of that mesh! maybe it's just in my area, but our cabbage whites can get through a mesh that big with no effort at all. then, they stay for a long time. my brassica beds are covered with builders' debris netting. it is sewn into the desired shape, and anchored well to the soil. this keeps most butterflies out, provides a bit of protection from wind and frost, and raises the temperature by a degrees or two, without reducing light levels noticeably, and last several years unless damaged by storms. I make them big enough for me to walk around inside, like a fruit cage, to reduce the time when they are open to intruders while I am working on them. they are better protection from mammals, like cats & foxes, who love to play and fight in the area, and pigeons, too, who just scoff the lot if given half a chance.

  7. hey I seen you had some frost protection on what I assume was tomato's in this video,  I have seen them referred to as tomato bells, bell shape, cover individual plants, looked about knee high.  what is the proper name for them and where do you get them. thanks jim

  8. Good job! We've included this video in our Best of YouTube for creating a veg garden.

  9. At 1:45 when you're talking about edging the beds, I noticed that there are CD's attached to the strings above the bed. What are they for? I'm curious.

  10. I am just dipping my toe in the water and this was the first video I came across, great ideas, never knew an app was available like that, this is a big help, thanks!.
    PS: What was the plant you recommended for polination; Colengia?

  11. That chap has one of those unfortunate faces that you just want to punch;but if you can get past that then there's plenty of sound, practical and eminently useful advice about what you need to think about when planning your veg patch.

    Glad that I watched it, thank you.

  12. A video about planning a sloping garden would be helpful, especially if it gave advice about handling a slope inexpensively. I'm about to move, and the only sunny, open space has a bit of a slope down to a road. I'm not sure what to do about it yet.

  13. Why does everyone make their garden in straight rows? It looks so stupid. When I look at vegetable gardens, they are always very ugly. With straight rows in the middle and dirt all around the edges. People use cardboard, wood boards, plastic, metal wiring etc. and it looks HORRIFIC. No matter how beautiful the plants become, the garden still looks like shit because of all the clutter and terrible layout. It doesn't look natural, it doesn't look beautiful, it is not inviting and it causes stress just looking at it.

    On the other hand you have flower gardens. They are very beautiful spaces usually with grassy areas in the middle and flowers on the edges in a beautifully landscaped manner. They are designed to be beautiful and comforting. They never use wires, and plastic and plywood in their gardens because it looks like shit. They are intended to be stimulating, not repulsive.

    So why does everyone still insist on making vegetable gardens so ugly? Straight rows have literally no purpose unless you are a commercial farmer with like 100 acres.

    Here is an idea. Try making your garden look like a flower garden, but instead of flowers, plant vegetables.

  14. What about an alternative ground cover for the paths? I keep hearing how durable and great a cover creeping thyme is and a certain species of low growing chamomile. Yae? Nay?

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