Designing a small garden is an easy task and you will be surprised with the results you can achieve. Prepare a pencil and a piece of paper to start drawing a layout while reading the tips.
Choose and prepare a place
As you will grow limited amount of plants, you must provide good conditions to enjoy the rich harvest. Choose the most sunny spot in your backyard, as most vegetables need a lot of light.
You need a rich soil, as you will plant vegetables close to each other. For a small vegetable garden, the raised beds are a practical choice. Include the paths between them in your layout, so that you can easily reach the plants and avoid trampling them. Build 10 inches deep frames from wood, bricks or stones. Make them 3-4 feet wide. Combine the soil with compost and peat moss, then fill the frames with this mix.
Design layout for vegetables
Choose the varieties that will do well in your climate. Plant the tall crops on the north side of your garden to avoid shading of the other vegetables. The small ones should go south, the medium ones in the middle. Sun exposure is best when the rows of plants run from north to south. If you want to use the available space most efficiently, keep your garden full. Plant the later batch of crops between the rows 2-3 weeks before removing the mature vegetables.
If you use the raised beds again next year, plan your layout for crop rotation. This simple procedure will hinder some pests and diseases, as well as conserve nutrients in the soil. The rule is simple, just avoid growing similar plants in the same spot more often than once in 3 years.
When planning to squeeze many crops in the limited space, it is a good idea to consider companion planting. Some vegetables don’t grow well in the neighborhood of others. Don’t plant this crops close to each other: beans, peas and onion, tomatoes and broccoli, cabbage and strawberry, cucumber and strong herbs.
Plan for a good visual effect
Your small garden will look more interesting if you add the herbs or even flowers to the composition. They can lure the pollinating insects, improving harvest and adding a touch of life and color.
To improve space management add the containers in places where the raised boxes will not fit. Paths will look better and be more comfortable to walk if you add some decorative tiles or a layer of gravel.