Your Garden Location - Eight Tips on Picking the Best Spot For Your Organic Garden

Choosing the right garden location is one of the most important steps of organic gardening. You will either have pleasure and a bountiful harvest or years of headaches depending on the location. In her book, Organic Food Gardening Beginner's Manual, Julie Villani says considering a few points now will make your organic gardening easier and fun. Here are eight tips on picking the perfect spot for your organic garden:

Let In The Sunlight


This is especially crucial if you plan to grow vegetables over the winter. You will want a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day. If you live in an area where the temperatures are milder, then you will want a garden that gets its maximum sunlight in the morning. If the summers are hot where you live, look for an area that gets some afternoon shade.

Your Garden Location - Eight Tips on Picking the Best Spot For Your Organic Garden

Steer clear of trees

Avoid planting by large trees as they provide too much shade and will compete with your garden for nutrients and water.

Keep It Close to Water

If you want your garden to produce in bountiful supply, it will need lots of water, so make sure your plot is close to a reliable water source. The last thing you want to do is to carry heavy buckets of water to your garden every day.

Consider Collecting Your Water

Keep a cistern near your garden plot to collect rainwater. That way you'll save on water costs if you live in town and fuel costs if you live in the country. (It takes electricity or gas to run a pump if you are on a well system). Get the water out of the cistern either through a pump or by using good old fashioned gravity.

You can also use recycled household water on your lawn, ornamental shrubs, fruit and nut trees, but don't use it on your vegetables, herbs or soft fruits - in other words fruit that is not grown on trees - unless you have tested it to make certain it is safe.

Think About The Wind

If you live on the plains like I do, then you know the wind can wreak havoc with a lot of things, including your tender garden plants. A wind-break can help reduce the wind and give your plants a chance to thrive. You don't want to completely block the wind, as that will create turbulence, so instead use layers of trees and shrubs, or put trellises nearby that are strong enough to support vine-type vegetables, such as squash. These will reduce the wind without creating troublesome turbulence.

Is There Sufficient Drainage?

We live on a wooded lot, and sunny spots are few and far between. Unfortunately, the only available spot for our garden was at the bottom of a hill. Every time it rains, the area is covered with six inches of water. We dealt with this problem by building raised beds that were at least 18 inches high. Your plants hate standing in water, so the next time it rains, look at the ground you are considering planting in, and build raised beds if needed.

What About the Soil?

This is the least important issue when considering a plot of land, because the soil can always be improved. Start composting now, or consider putting in easier raised beds that do not require digging. Over time, even the worst of soils can be improved with rich soil you make yourself.

Keep It Close

A garden close to your front steps is easier to keep weed-free. That way, you can pull out two or three of the unwelcome plants each time you walk to and from your car. Harvesting vegetables and herbs for meals will also be easier if your garden is close to the kitchen.

So there you have it. Follow these tips and your next garden will be easier, more bountiful and downright fun!

Your Garden Location - Eight Tips on Picking the Best Spot For Your Organic Garden

Sue Merriam is author of the website, Organic Gardening and Homesteading.