Pick the Perfect Site for Veggies
To find a great site for a vegetable garden in your yard, The Veggie Gardener’s Answer Book by Barbara W. Ellis suggests that you start by looking for a site that receives full sun, ideally at least eight hours a day. The book also recommends that you take the following into account:
Soil drainage — The site should drain well after a rain. Most vegetables don’t like wet feet, and wet soil can take some time to warm up in spring. Plan on installing raised beds if your site doesn’t drain well.
Water access — Carrying water is no fun. You’ll want a site that you can reach with a hose.
Level ground — Look for a site that’s fairly level. Plan on terracing if you don’t have a level site.
Convenience — While you probably want a garden that’s not in the center of everything, you also may not want one that’s out in the back 40. A spot you routinely pass daily makes it easy to pull a weed or two, check to see if plants need watering or pick a few ripe tomatoes.
Active areas — Locate your garden out of the center of the yard and away from play areas and walkways, so it doesn’t have to compete with softball games, barbecues and foot traffic to other parts of the yard.
Underground issues — Consider the location of underground wires or cables, as well as plumbing and septic systems. Also stay away from sites where tree roots will compete with your vegetables.
Protective fencing — If deer and other pests are active in your neighborhood, choose a site that you can fence.
Wind — Select a site protected from prevailing winds, or create a windbreak.
The Veggie Gardener’s Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask by Barbara W. Ellis (Storey Publishing). storey.com