The five elements in a garden locationEdit
Good soil is essential; most soil problems can be amended with good homemade compost. A garden will need at least one foot of good soil to grow in, more if you're planning to grow deep-rooted plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, rye, radishes, etc.
A nice brisk wind will strengthen your plants, keep diseases scarce, and bring numerous beneficial insects. Too much wind will flatten your garden though, so try for a good balance and plant windbreaking trees if necessary.
Sunlight duration throughout the year in a garden will determine success or failure. Most (90%) of vegetable plants need at least 8 hours of full sunlight a day, though less can be workable with excellent soil and watering. Watch the sun's path through the course of a day, throughout the year, so your plants can be placed to not overshadow a sun-needy neighbor.
Deep, irregular watering is the key to strong roots for your plants. If you water a little bit often, the roots of your plants will spread out along the surface of the soil (thatch) and be susceptible to diseases, insects, and drought. Watering deeply (drenching) but not often forces the roots to grow deep into the soil, finding nutrients and any water tables. With good mulching, most established vegetable gardens can be watered once a week, barring heat or other extenuating circumstances. Because heavy watering will be necessary, make sure that a good source of water is near your garden location.
Before starting any design it's important to study views and traffic patterns so that you can enjoy vistas, aren't gawked at by passing motorists, and have enough room for both growing and maneuvering space. A garden should be someplace easily accessible. Visit your garden often, once a day or many times a week, to catch problems, harvest young vegetables, and perform regular tasks. The closer your garden to your front or back door, the better -- and the better it will look and produce.
Deciding on what to growEdit
Types of plantsEdit
These plants usually germinate, flower and die within one year. Unless prevented from setting seed, true annuals will not live longer than this. Some seedless plants can also be considered annuals even though they do not flower.
Examples of true annuals include corn, lettuce, pea, cauliflower, watermelon, bean, zinnia and marigold.