The Art of Garden Design

When planning a garden, it’s all about relationships. A plant’s relationship with the soil, sun, and water drastically impact the way it goes. The same thing goes for its relationship with its surrounding plants of the same species and other species.

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Young broccoli plant holding onto water for the day.

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Lupine trying it’s best to follow in the broccoli’s footsteps.

Taking the time to design your garden with those relationships in mind will reap you benefits in the long run. There are thousands of resources available with a quick Google search about companion planting and it can seem overwhelming. The easiest way to get a visual started is by checking out a few companion planting charts. From there, I made a list of all the possible fruits and veggies I wanted to see in my garden this year. Following the companion chart, I grabbed my list of veggies and I started to sketch various layouts. It’s a daunting task at first. Tomatoes do not like to be near potatoes but love to be next to broccoli. The broccoli loves being next to beets but can’t be next to cucumbers or lettuce. The cucumbers prefer not to be near carrots but can tollerate being next to the peas. Oh, and the broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, chard, and lettuce all need shade. Several trees later, I had somewhat of a plan and I was ready to execute!

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Start with a list of everything you want to grow then start arranging them on paper of where they would work best with their companions.

So here I am, staring at my 20×40′ plot with ten nice and neat raised beds. I hold the plan in my left hand, shovel in the right, and dive right it. Using my chart made it easy to plant soon-to-be (hopefully) very happy veggies. I’ll be a very happy gardener as long as I don’t have to think about crop rotation until next season.

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A few tomatoes hanging out with their brussel sprout and broccoli neighbors. Nearby are Marigolds, which help prevent pests.

Sneak peak to next week’s post, I’ll be talking about one of the easiest plants to grow and its amazing health benefits plus some delicious no-fuss/no-fool recipes. I’ll give you few hints: it’s leafy, it’s green.

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