After admiring Ceae’s (Folia link) beautiful kitchen garden, I realized that ever since I became a homeowner 12 years ago, I’ve wanted a vegetable garden that is part of my backyard (not just raised beds) and I got cracking on designing something that would work. Growing up in my parent’s home, they were on again/off again gardeners. They had a plot at the back of their house that was about 10′ x 18′ and would often grown peppers and tomatoes and the chives from my grandfather’s house. One year when I was in college, I decided it was time to revive it after years of it getting overgrown with grass and weeds. I spent a weekend double digging (in clay soil!) and in the end, grew a lovely patch of tomatoes and sweet & hot peppers. I spent a lot of time in the garden, watering & weeding it.
Finally, we are in a house that feels permanent. Our first house was a starter home and we knew we wouldn’t be there long. I also had a newborn and a toddler at the time. Our second house would have been fantastic for a garden, but we had absolutely NOTHING in the way of landscaping in the back yard and I was frozen with indecision. We only stayed there 4 years. We are entering our 4th year in our current house and have no plans on moving soon. The existing landscaping is, for the most part, fantastic. Yet there is still freedom for me to play and experiment. This year is also the first year of having a garden in the time we’ve been homeowners. Oh sure, I’ve had the random tomato or two, but I never really put much effort into making vegetable gardening a big part of my life. I decided to start with square foot gardening, but I think that those methods are going to be adapted to be used in a permanent kitchen garden next year. I’ll still keep my square foot boxes, and probably use them for smaller crops (like lettuce & onions). By my estimations, the plan I posted below should give me about 60 square feet of gardening space for vegetables & herbs.
I really like the idea of the design. It’s close to the house, it gets full sun until late afternoon, and if I decide to scale back on the vegetables, it would still work very well as a flower garden. Also, if I decide to add on I can keep encroaching on the backyard adding “petals” as I go. There is currently daffodils next to my SFG and those shouldn’t pose a problem since they usually fade by the time my last frost date comes around (the greenery can be tied down to eliminate any potential shading) and the Ozark blue star on the other side could be relocated fairly quickly and easily. There is a spot that used to house yarrow (have no idea what happened to it) and upon moving it, I could put my second SFG next to the first one.
Depending on how long the weather holds, and what my schedule and budget looks like, I may just get started on it this week. On Folia, I said that I wasn’t going to remove the turf, but I think I changed my mind. In order to get things relatively level and even with each other, I think that is the best way to proceed.