Beginning a Garden - Choosing the Location

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Welcome to your very first step in planning for your garden, choosing the location! This is an exciting place to be, the beginning of your adventure into gardening! For some, this task is relatively easy; for others, it can be a challenge in simply committing to a particular spot.  Most of the questions we see are, Is it sunny enough?  Do I have good soil?  And, most frequently, How do I even start?  Although several factors need to be considered, we are going to try to keep this as simple as possible and provide some key elements of consideration.

vegetable garden

First, pick a location that has an abundance of sunshine.   Many plants, particularly vegetables, need plenty of sun throughout the day.  The overall recommendation is an average of at least 8 hours of full sun.   Keep in mind that the sun sets in varying locations throughout the year, and once trees leaf out, more shade may fall upon your garden plot.  Keep a watchful eye on different areas that you have in mind in helping to decide the optimal location.  Also, watch your shadows, mainly if it is close to your house or a tree line as the sun can be blocked as the sun is in different positions throughout the day. 

Next, and although this can be critical, so many don't realize the importance of this factor.  But, it's the factor of convenience.  If your location is not within sight - out of sight can become out of mind.  When your garden is easy to get to and see, you will naturally spend more time tending to it lending to its success. 

garden location blue clouds

garden location

backyard swingset


Third, soil quality is imperative.  Healthy soil = healthy plants.  To grow an abundance of nutritious vegetables, you want the perfect combination of fertile soil that drains well.   One thing that is always recommended is obtaining a soil test by your local extension office.  They are often free or offered at a relatively low cost.  This will assess the soil and provide recommendations on amendments if needed. 

vegetable garden

Then you must consider a water source.  There are several ways to help keep your plants thriving and hydrated, including mulch - however, between rain showers, you will more often than not need to spend time watering.  Having a water source nearby is imperative.   The more convenient, the easier it will be to utilize. 

water hose

water sprinkler

These are some key but very simple steps.  Next up in our series will be what type of garden bed will work best for you.  We will be exploring traditional in-ground beds, raised garden beds, and even containers.  

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