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Vegetable Garden Layout, Design and Planning
The assortment of and a continuous supply of vegetables will depend on the amount of land available, as well as on the planning and planting, but with a little forethought, a comparatively small piece of ground can be utilised in such a way as to supply the average family with fresh vegetables the whole year round. The Vegetable or Kitchen Garden, as it sometimes known, should be in close proximity to the house, and in a position convenient to the kitchen, as well as easily accessible from the back gate so that manure, soil, etc., can be easily and readily obtained.
An Easterly or South-Easterly aspect is the best and protection from South, West and North-West winds should be provided. It must be remembered that no amount of manuring, watering and cultivation will compensate for the absence of sunlight from a garden.
Leaf crops, such as Lettuce, Spinach, and Borecole, do fairly well in partial shade, but even these need two or three hours of sunshine a day, and if a successful garden is to be maintained, the greater part of the area must have at least five hours of sunlight a day. Where there is no natural shelter, this must be supplied by planting wind breaks of quick growing vegetation.
Where there is a choice, select a friable loamy soil, a heavy soil being difficult and expensive to work, while a soil that is composed mainly of sand, though easy to cultivate, does not produce vegetables of such good quality as a loamy soil.
The garden should, if possible, be on a somewhat lower level than the house, so that water and liquid manure may be easily conveyed to the highest part, and where tanks or barrels can be arranged for holding supplies of liquid manure, and (where a pipe installation with convenient taps is not available) supplies of clean water.
Reserve a portion of land adjoining the garden for a manure pit, rubbish heap glass frame, tool shed, etc. This part of the garden should be hidden from view as much as possible, and a trellis with an ornamental creeper will serve well for this purpose.
Whatever the shape of the ground, it should be laid out as far as possible, in squares or parallelograms; rectangular figures being the most convenient and economical for planting.
Best Vegetable Garden Layout
If the garden is to be devoted to vegetables alone, it may be laid out somewhat in the following manner:
A border, six or seven feet in width, next the fence, inside of that a path, then the central space divided into four quarters by cross paths, which may again be subdivided into as many smaller pieces as required.
If Fruit Trees are also to be grown, some modification will then be necessary. The exterior border could be made wide enough to hold them, or they might be arranged in one or two rows, running across the ground, while dwarf trees or shrubs could be planted on the borders by the sides of the paths.
The central paths can be covered with trellis work for Grape Vines, Passion Fruit, and other fruit-bearing plants of similar habit. The boundary fences in some cases can be utilised as a trellis for Tomatoes, Vines, and the like, while the borders, if not occupied by Fruit Trees, will be found useful for raising Cabbages, Lettuces, and other plants that require transplanting, early crops of French Beans, Sweet Corn, etc., and a portion can be set aside for Kitchen Herbs, Horse Radish, and other perennial crops. Should it happen that a Hedge forms the boundary, then, as its roots render several feet of the border useless, it is necessary to let the path run close to it, in which case the borders by the sides of the paths can be utilised as suggested.