Choosing a garden site is one of, if not the most, important decisions a gardener will make. Follow these tips from UGA Extension to develop a usable garden site.
• Choose a site that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. A gradual sloping hillside with a southern exposure is preferable.
• Plant vegetables away from buildings, trees and other things that could shade the garden. If part of the garden must be in the shade, grow lettuce or crops such as cabbage, broccoli and kale there.
• Examine the site to see how well the soil drains. Avoid placing the garden in a low spot where water drains poorly.
• Select a spot away from trees and shrubs. Their roots will rob vegetables of nutrients and water. Tree roots often extend far beyond the tree’s drip line.
• Look for a site that supports lush vegetative growth, even if it’s in the form of dark green, sturdy weeds. If weeds won’t grow in an area, vegetables probably won’t grow there either.
• Consider the distance to the nearest water source. A nearby, easy-to-use water supply is important.
Planning is an important step to planting and growing vegetables. The more thought put into a garden ahead of time, the more successful the harvest will be.
For more information on planting a backyard vegetable garden, contact a local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.