Select The Perfect Location For The Vegetable Plots

You need to give quite a lot of consideration to the location of your main vegetable plots. Many poor soil conditions can be corrected over time, but your number one priority should be how much sun the area receives – especially if you are lucky enough to be able to grow winter veggies.

You want to aim for an area that gets at least six hours sunlight each day. You should choose to position the garden so that the maximum sunlight is from the morning. You don’t mind too much if there’s some afternoon shade through summer as summers are very hot (35°C – 45°C, that’s 95°F – 114°F) and dry.

You don’t want to have large trees too close. They will create too much shade and compete with your vegetables for available nutrients and water.

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The second most important issue is water. Your veggie garden must have access to a reliable water supply. Most of us have mains water available straight from the tap. This is really important as it can get really tiresome carting bucket load after bucket load to keep your garden alive. Besides, you don’t want to just keep it alive – you want it to thrive.

If you have some kind of rainwater collection, that’s even better. You may need to install a pump though, rather than rely on gravity fed if you are using an irrigation system. Gravity may work, so you will need to test this as it will be different for even’ garden, depending on how you plan to water.

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Grey water (or recycling household water) should be reserved for fruit and nut trees, lawn or ornamentals, unless your water goes through some sort of filtration system. Don’t use it on your vegetables, herbs or soft fruits (fruits not grown on trees, such as berries, kiwi fruit, grapes etc.) unless you have had it tested for safety.

You also need to consider how windy your vegetable garden area may be. Some plants really dislike wind, so if you live in a windy area, are you able to erect a wind-break to reduce prevailing winds? Consider putting up something that reduces the wind, rather than totally blocking it. When you build a structure that blocks the wind, it creates a lot of turbulence that might have the opposite effect than what you’re expecting and needing.

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Instead you could use several layers of trees and shrubs. Or for something quicker, a sturdy trellis that could double as support for a food producing vine, such as kiwi fruit or passion-fruit if they are suitable for your area. These options reduce the amount of wind, without the turbulence.

The next thing to consider is your soil. Your soil needs to be (or become) a well-drained, loamy soil with a pH of about 6.5. Making soil amendments or improvements is an ongoing thing in an organic garden. Most of this is achieved with compost and the addition of organic matter. Don’t worry even the most difficult soils can be improved over time.

Finally, you might consider having your vegetable garden or main plot/s close to your home (especially the kitchen) – just for convenience. You don’t want to have to run too far to grab the herbs to add to your dinner that’s bubbling away on the stove.

Read more about Vegetable gardening.

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