Kitchen garden
Updated: March 11, 2024

Selecting a site for a vegetable garden

  • Your garden should be on level ground in an area that gets at least 6 hours of full sun a day (preferably more) with no tall objects or trees blocking sunlight on the south side. If you must garden on a slope, it pays to first create a terrace.
  • Easy access to water is essential. Locate your garden where it is accessible by water hose to an outside spigot or hydrant.
  • Avoid sites that border trees and shrubs. They may block sunlight and their root systems will interfere with your new vegetable garden. 
  • Know your local animal population and fence as needed. If deer are in your area, erect a deer fence before planting the first crops.
  • Make sure you have access to every part of your garden: include paths and space for water hoses, garden carts, or other tools and equipment.
  • A few simple hand tools will get you started -- shovel, metal rake, and a hoe for slicing and chopping weeds. Measuring tools are essential to lay out a garden.

Laying out a vegetable garden

  • Group plants by the season in which they grow and how long they take to come to maturity. 
  • Plan to place taller crops on the north and west sides so they will not shade shorter plants.
  • Put your ideas on paper. Make a simple map of your garden plans on graph paper. Be sure to make all garden areas accessible so it is easy for you to water, fertilize, weed, and harvest.  
  • Use online tools, that can be found doing a google search, to help you design your garden and make the most of your space.

Still have a question? Contact us at Ask Extension.