Whether you just want to enjoy seasonal veggies or are planning a homestead garden, getting your garden in the right spot is critical Additionally, you will probably need some form of fencing to keep out pests and define the space. Finally, you will want to make your garden easy to water.
Focus on Access
While laying out your garden and your fence, make sure that you have a large enough gate that you can get bigger implements into your space. A tiny tiller may be nice, but you will want to go deep on occasion and you do not want to have to take down the fence to get the right tools in your garden space.
While setting your area, consider what sustainable plants you will allow to self-seed. Self-seeding may not be possible in some locations, but there are many plants, such as pole beans, sweet corn, and some squash that will come back on their own year after year. If you are keen on a very organized garden, let those self-seeders do their job out of sight of your windows.
Choose a Sunny Location
A constantly sunny spot may not be possible, but do your best to make sure that some plants have ready sun access. Lettuce may do well with a bit of afternoon shade, but tomatoes will need more light. Berries love morning sun but some get a bit droopy by mid-afternoon.
While planting for sun, make your schedule. If you want to grow more spinach, start it early and use plastic or floating row cover to prevent frost. If your onion crop fails, you may be able to make new starts in the shade of your sweet corn and take down the stalks after harvest to give the onions a bit more sun as they get more mature.
Confirm There is a Breeze
A solid fence will turn your garden into a heat sink and may leave moisture on your plants for too long early in the day, putting them at risk of mold. Investing in aluminum fencing will allow the breeze to blow through while keeping out critters.
Depending on the size of your local critters, you may need a tall fence. As aluminum is corrosion resistant, consider adding hanging pots and bird feeders to draw in wrens, goldfinches, and hummingbirds for pest control and pollination.
Make Watering Easy
Water is a bit over eight pounds per gallon. Make sure that you can easily get water to your garden. If you do not have a dedicated garden well, consider setting up multiple hose hookup sites to easily get water to your veggies.
If your garden is located behind a garage or shed, consider installing a rain-catching system so you can easily harvest precipitation and put it to good use once the initial rainwater has soaked into your garden soil.
Create A Spot for Compost
Compost is one of those products that takes time but not much effort. If your garden is fenced, you can easily create a compost bin in a corner. You can also build a DIY tumbler to keep your compost aerated and speed up the breakdown of leaves, garden waste, and possibly barnyard manure into a highly beneficial soil supplement.
Compost in the act of becoming can have an odor and may also draw some pests. While bugs can be a good sign, the raccoons and rodents that want to feed out of your compost bin will be less likely to cause problems if you
maintain a healthy balance between brown and green materials in your compost bin, and
keep things moving
If you find that orange peels and eggshells are scattered around your compost bin, you have unwittingly hosted a party. Turn food under or add a layer of grass clippings or leaves to reduce the intensity of odors that will draw pests.
Designing and laying out your garden will mean some work, but do your best to prevent the need for more work than necessary when things are growing. Do not create a situation where you have to haul a great deal of water by hand. Make it easy to get to your compost to turn it.