Make a Plan

Draw your plot north to south.

It is always a good idea to draw a plan of your garden. It doesn't have to be a fancy diagram. An often touted rule of thumb used to be the beds should run north to south.

Research shows this matters little so long as crops plants to the south don’t shade out those adjacent plants to the north. In some situations beds running east to west limits crop rotation as you’ll never be able to grow those tall plants like sweet corn or trellised cucumbers and tomatoes on the southernmost beds. Many gardeners prefer to run the length of their garden beds north to south.

If you’re going to be extending the growing season with early spring or fall crops, don’t site beds north of buildings or trees. Even if they get plenty of sun in the summer, they will be in the shade during the cooler seasons.


Consider Containers

If you don't have space in your backyard or only have access to a sunny balcony or patio, you can still grow vegetables in containers. Learn more about successful container gardening.

All containers, whether plastic, clay, fabric, or ceramic must have drainage.

  • Containers with no drainage will cause your vegetables to develop root rot.
  • Use a soilless mix for your container garden. Soilless mixes contain some organic matter, facilitates good drainage, and are lightweight making your container easier to move if necessary.
  • Soil in containers will dry out quickly, so frequent watering is necessary.
  • Fertilize with a slow-release vegetable garden fertilizer that is applied in the spring and will provide nutrients for your veggies throughout the growing season.