Do you want seasonal salads? Maybe lots of root crops, tons of tomatoes, or a bit of everything? Could be you are a backyard all-you-can-grow spud person, or aspire to rich asparagus beds?
Hello...earth to gardeners! Hold on a mo. Hard as it is not to just get out there and muck around... do yourself a favour and plan first.
For example, to feed a family of four all year round, you will need to plan a vegetable garden that is about 100 sq meters (1076 sq ft) of growing area, not including paths.
And remember if you live in a cold climate, that will put the kybosh on growing all year round. So you may need to be planning a vegetable garden that is larger than normal and then make preserves.
One of the best vegetable gardening planning tips you should follow is to take into account your climate. Whether it's so hot your trowel melts, or so cold that you stub your toe on a clod of earth, climate can roughly be broken down into three basic categories... cold, temperate and tropical/sub-tropical.
Obviously there are many shades of climate in these categories and only you can determine exactly what fits into the mix depending on where you live. Here's our useful sowing guides for specific information on what vegetables will do well in your area, which is a great help when deciding on your vegetable garden plans.
Once you've decided what to grow and where in your vegetable garden layout, here's a host of links to information on this website to help you further:
Different plants have different needs so take that into consideration when planning your vegetable garden.
Cold: Plants like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, onions and peas grow best at temperatures between 10-20C (50-70F). These plants prefer a cooler time of the year to grow and will usually tolerate frost.
Cool to warmer: Vegetables like cabbage, carrots, radish, parsnip, leek, lettuce and celery have intermediate temperature requirements. They will grow best in temperatures between 15-25C (60-80F) and they can be fussy. Grow them out of season and they may run to seed without producing anything for your kitchen table.
Warm to hot: Particularly corn, capsicum, potato, tomato, eggplant, beans and all the vine crops. These warm season vegetables grow best in temperatures above 20C (70F) and will curl up their toes and probably die if exposed to frost. So make sure the majority of their growing season is in the warmer months.
The better you know what you want to grow, the more success you will have. That's why initial planning can save you angst. Nurseries may try to sell you seedlings that are, frankly, out of season. Growing peas in the heat of summer will not see them produce at their best.
Set your drip system in place in the beginning of your garden planning and it will give your plants a good, deep soaking and will discourage leaf fungus. This will encourage root growth. Do NOT let your garden bed dry out. Your no dig garden will have good drainage anyway, so keep it moist and top it up with mulch to keep the moisture in.
By following these basic tips when planning a vegetable garden, your no dig garden will be off to a flying start, you will succeed and the garden will give you many hours of pleasure and satisfaction.
Don't know where to start? Not got a green thumb? Make the impossible, possible and check out this garden planner. Useful and fun to use, it covers over 5000 different climate types around the world, so you can't go wrong from inhospitable Falkland Islands to the Gobi Desert (maybe pushing your luck there!).
There's more than you expect with this helper; you'll soon be exploring ideas and new plants that you never dreamed of.
Here's what I use the Grow Veg Planner for, and you can too. Use it online, or print it out...
And a particularly handy feature is that twice a month the Garden Planner sends email reminders of what needs planting, using the information from your garden plans! Click the box below: