Deciding where your garden will be located is one of the first steps you need to take. Sunlight, space availability, water access, etc. must be taken into account in your garden layout planning. You need to also decide at this stage whether you’ll be using planter boxes or if you will plant directly into the soil, if you’ll give hydroponic/aquaponics growing a try, or maybe try a combination of various growing methods. There are many resources out there to help you make these decisions. We read gardening books and attended some local gardening workshops that helped us in the planning stage.
Here’s what our process was when deciding on the layout of our backyard garden.
We had two location options for setting up a garden space on our property:
a) the edge of our backyard
- pros – good amount of space for boxes, previously installed sprinklers would make watering easy
- cons – shaded for most of the day
b) the front part of our backyard, next to the house
- pros – lots of sun
- cons – extra setup required, such as changing our current fence layout, setup a watering system
We decided to go with option b. Having access to full sun most of the day was critical, and we could make the other adjustments fairly easily. Step one was to change the layout of our fence. In the partial dismantling and rebuilding process we saved the salvageable wood, which we later used to build planter boxes for our potted veggies. The space we ended up freeing up for the garden would allow for 3-4 planter boxes, a good amount for us.
We built boxes versus planting directly in the soil because the soil in this area would have had to be heavily amended for us to be able to grow veggies in it. We discovered the square foot planting method when evaluating what type of planting system to use. It looked like the most efficient and logical way to grow a larger variety of veggies in a relatively small space, so we decided to try it.