Garden layouts aren't necessary to make plants grow.
However, if you want to make the best use of the solar power and space available while growing plants for food, or your viewing pleasure, taking time to plan your layout will definitely improve your harvest.
There are many ways to plan, or lay out your garden. You can find plans all drawn up for you on the Internet, as well as in books.
But, what I'd like to do here primarily, is help you understand the principles you need to consider to lay out your own gardens.
If you can't afford to use solar power any other way, this use can save you big money, and it might even save your health as well.
As you are willing to invest the time and energy to garden effectively, you'll use solar power to grow food that will have higher nutritive value than anything available anywhere else. Not only will it save big money on your grocery bills, but it will improve, or maintain your health at the same time.
And it is hard to place a value on beauty, yet anyone who has reveled in a gorgeous flower garden knows its value as well. Of course, if you've tried to buy flowers, you know they are even more expensive than food, and those you buy, rarely last as long as those grown in your garden.
There are actually two different frameworks we should discuss when considering garden layouts. They are:
If you are building a house and planning the gardens and landscaping to go with it, you are starting everything from scratch. There are definitely advantages to this. The advantages are:
On the other hand, there are several disadvantages as well. They are:
I've never had the opportunity to do the initial landscaping and garden layouts for a home. I know it would be a lot of work, but I suspect it would be a lot of fun as well.
Were I to ever undertake such a project, I think it would be wise to consult a professional landscaper before I implemented my layouts, to be sure I wasn't overlooking something of foundational importance.
I've always been in the position of adding gardens to already existing landscaping. If you find yourself in a similar position, there are several things to consider initially:
If you use traditional rows for planting you have the advantage of being able to plow and plant quickly without additional preparation. If you have fairly fertile soil, and plenty of room, this type of garden may work well for you.
A second type of garden is the raised bed. If you aren't sure about the fertility of your soil, or its drainage, this type of garden might work best for you.
A third type of garden is a vertical garden. It is best used for flowers, or vegetables that vine, or can be attached to supports to grow vertically. A vertical garden can easily be combined with either of the first two types of gardens to economize space and keep the vegetables more healthy as well.
The final major type of garden is the container garden. It is especially well suited to small spaces such as a patio, apartment, or deck, but it has other advantages as well.
You can find plenty of layouts on the web, but the best garden layout is personalized, so it will enable you to improve the beauty of your property, while best providing nutritious fruits and vegetables for your family.
Which layout will best accomplish that goal for you will depend on a variety of circumstances so wide, that only you can make the right decisions about it.
As you consider the information we've discussed here, you can decide what will be best for you. As you make your decisions, never forget your garden's power source, solar power.
In making your layout be sure to put vertical crops, that is the plants that grow tallest, on the north side of vegetable and flower beds, unless the plants behind them will benefit from their shade.
Also beware of planting either flower or vegetable gardens in the shade of trees. Most won't produce well in the shade. Only shade gardens, and rock gardens planted with shade loving plants will do well in the shade. So be sure you choose the right types of plants for your situation.
Finally, don't be afraid to experiment. If a plant doesn't do well in your garden one year, try another variety the following year until you find one that works well.
So make your garden layouts in pencil, not ink, then you can change them as you find out what will work best for your individual situation.
As you follow these suggestions you'll find your garden layouts, as well as the gardens developed from them, will grow more successful each year.