Thursday, 2 May 2013

Planning for a Vegetable Garden

I've always been envious of the beautiful vegetable gardens shown around Pinterest and the blogosphere. We don't really have a backyard that is conducive to a garden though. There isn't a lot of space and the sun light/shade conditions aren't great. Thus, we have never tackled a garden. That changes this year.

I've decided to team up with my older brother and my mom and turn this little plot of land into a veggie garden we can all share.

veggie garden

It's located at my parent's place and it's had some attempts at vegetable gardens the past few years but nothing overly successful. It needs some love.

Naturally, making this decision has put me into planning mode. We came up with a rough list of what we want to grow. Our list includes pumpkins, cantelope, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green and yellow beans, peas, lettuces, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. Peppers, and beets may make an appearance as well. We'll see how our spacing works out.

I've been looking around for ideas and inspiration we can implement and here are some of my favourites. We likely won't be able to do most of these but this is best case scenario. A girl can dream, right?

Gutter gardens. I think this idea would be great along the backside of the old chicken coop (the white siding building in the photo). It would allow us to grow more things in a small foot print and would help elevate the leafy lettuce, spinach, etc so the bunnies can't eat it. Bunnies are problematic for the garden.


gutter garden
Image from here.

In an ideal world, we would build some raised beds and have cute little paths between them. I loooove the look of this. The brick path is my favourite but seems labour intensive. A mulch or pea gravel path would likely be just as effective.

brick path garden
Image from here.

mulch path garden
Image from here.

I like the idea of keeping herbs that tend to spread in buried pots. This would be great for mint. I hear mint tends to spread like wildfire so this would help contain it. My brother loves mojitos so I'm sure he'd be all for this!

buried pots
Image from here.

If we do get around to building raised beds, I like the tip of using cardboard or wet newspaper as a weed blocker. That weed blocking fabric is a pain and never seems to work just right- at least in my experience. Cardboard or newspaper is less expensive too!

I'll be honest, I know little about vegetable gardening. This will be a big learning experience. What I am excited about is crafty projects like plant markers. Oh and eating the vegetables- that is right up my alley too!  Here are some of my favourite plant marker inspirations-

plant marker ideas
123, 4

Now that I have thought about the pretty things, I guess I should look into the actual planning of plants and such. The pretty part is just so much more fun than the dirty, manual labour part though ... haha.

Which plant markers do you like the best? Anyone else out there planning a garden this year?

18 comments:

  1. Love those brick markers...and what beautiful inspiration! Good luck with the logistics of it all!! :)

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    1. I love them too- I can't choose though... haha. These photos are so pretty- I'm guessing our garden will be about 1/2 as pretty. Hopefully I can figure this gardening thing out...

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  2. Good luck! You and I are doing a lot of the same things. =) I am dreaming of a garden too, but I don't see the wooden raised beds being made anytime soon. Kevin and I are going to do raised beds by using cinder blocks. It isn't beautiful, but it's functional. I am thinking about painting them or something first. I just quickly googled cinder block gardens and this popped up: http://sixinthesuburbsblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/making-cinder-block-raised-bed-garden.html check it out!

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    1. We are, aren't we? I don't think I can convince them to do raised wood beds either- it'd be my ideal though! The cinder blocks are a good idea! You can even grow things around the outside in the little holes... clever!

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  3. Good Luck! We finally have sprouts in the little garden that the boys planted, so we will see how this goes!

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    1. Thanks Bekah! I'm sure there will be both successes and failures. Good luck with the boys garden- so glad you got some sprouts!

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  4. Love your plans! The raised beds with paths would be super cute! We wanted a garden this year, but I just don't know if it's going to happen anymore!

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    1. We are going to be making raised beds and paths! We decided this past weekend. I'm excited about it : )

      Hopefully you can fit one in this year!

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  5. Oooo, this looks fun. I could never team up with my brother. I'd be the only one weeding. ;)

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    1. My brother actually knows a lot more about vegetable gardening than I do. I'm mainly the design behind the garden, my mom and him are the knowledge and likely the man power.... I'm a sissy. haha.

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  6. Great ideas! Good luck with it. Will be watching for some "lessons learned" so when we make a garden next year we have a head start :)

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    1. Thanks John! I'll be sure to share anything I learn!

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  7. Ooooh I love all of these ideas! I am so jealous of that space... it is perfect for a veggie garden! :)

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    1. Thanks Erika!! It is pretty perfect! It's nice and neatly tucked away.

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  8. Your inspiration is awesome! So neat and tidy. We didn't do raised beds, but we have used the newspaper trick. It works like a charm! We actually did it on a whole area at our old house to kill the grass and it was awesome. We put it down and then put compost over it in the fall (I know we're too late for that now) and then Ryan ran a tiller over it in the spring. No weeds! It was amazing!

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    1. Thanks Kim! I am all about neat and tidy! That's a great trick to do the newspaper in the fall! I wouldn't have thought about using it in that context. We are planning to put it over our fresh dirt when planting to prevent weeds from seeding. I'm going to keep your trick in mind though! Thanks for sharing : )

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  9. Every year we talk about growing a vegetable garden. Then we remember we kill every single plant we own. Maybe some year we'll figure out a self-irrigating system (are they called like that in English?)
    Love your plans and I can't wait to follow along!

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    1. I'm not very good with plants either : ( I'm working on getting better. Self-irrigation system is right. That's what we would call it in English too.

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