Here's a peek at the vegetable garden plan for the new farmhouse. I'm still wrestling with it, so take a look and let me know what you think!
You can probably guess that I started sketching out some garden plans for our new farmhouse fixer even before we took possession of the property, right? Yep - and there are lots of balled-up pieces of graph paper to show for it! (Good thing I included a page of plain graph paper in the Garden Success Plan Notebook that I can print as many times as I want, huh?)
Specifically, I'm having a much harder time deciding on a vegetable garden plan than I did with either our Portland bungalow or our last property (you can take a garden tour of that property here). Those just came to me and it all made sense. But both those properties had few trees and loads of sun and this one is full of issues:
- A hillside and woods that blocks western sun from about 3 pm on.
- A perfect spot for a garden (leveled already and close to the house), but with shade from hillside and tall single car garage.
- We wanted a smaller garden, but the leveled spot we have to deal with is big.
- There is evidence of frequent deer visits.
I think I have something finally that we can move forward with. But like all initial plans, I'm sure this one will change. I'm going to share a few photos of the area with you first and then what I've sketched out so far with the questions I still have. And if you have any ideas to add, feel free to share - I know some of you are amazing gardeners!
Farmhouse Vegetable Garden Plan
This is the space that we have to deal with. It is a leveled graveled area left over after a hardship manufactured home was removed before the property went up for sale. It's approximately 45' deep and 39' wide and is bordered by large rocks used as a wall for the sloping land to the right.
The single-wide garage to the left had been attached so it looks a bit cut off, but it will be a great place to house the riding mower and other large garden tools. It has really high windows and I'm hoping to set up a seed-starting station there.
Note: The only other part of the property that has sun for longer is a far corner by the road (our wooded hillside shades most of the property from the western sun - which will be great in the summer). It would not be convenient (or have water) and I don't really want to garden by a sort-of busy road. Especially when I have this nice place already ready for a garden!
Here you can see how it slopes to the west towards the "1-acre wood" and the rock bolder wall.
And here's the view of the back of the garden and garage looking east. Side note: Won't this be a great place to garden? L.O.V.E.
This part of the gravel area gets the most sun for the longest amount of time, from early morning until about 3 pm. It may be a little later in the summer, but not much, since the hillside and trees are what block the sun after that.
Note: Garden how-tos will tell you that 6 hours of sun a day is considered 'full sun.' And for most things I'm sure this is true. Also depending on where you live. But my experience in Oregon is vegetables that like sun grow best in all-day sun, period. My last garden had sun from about 7 am to 5 pm - that's 10 hours. And when the dwarf fruit trees I planted on the western edge for a wind-break grew to their full height, the beds that were shaded earlier grew smaller, less healthy plants. I'm basing my plans on this experience.
To the right above you can see the pond and palm tree we are left with. The palm casts a shadow so has to go (and it's not my thing in this area anyway…) and we do not want the maintenance of a pond, so that's going to be dismantled. There is water there, though, so we can make a garden spigot using the lines. Since that area gets the most sun, I'm thinking of incorporating that into the plan, too - it all depends on if we can build the deer fence there or not.
So here is the plan I've come up with so far, taking all into consideration:
This is my hand drawn plan from my garden success notebook. It's a little hard to read, but I wanted to include it to show that all you need is a basic sketch when you're starting a new garden. But it's a step that shouldn't be overlooked in planning for easy care gardens. I didn't bother with a ruler or making everything perfect - this is just for my reference.
But in order for you to see things more clearly, I created this on the computer:
This shows a lot more detail because I created it for you guys. Here are some of my thoughts and why this plan:
- I've moved the deer fence behind the shed so that in future if I want to make it a "She Shed" or something, I don't have to walk through the vegetable garden to do it.
- The planters in front of the shed, then, have to hold deer-resistant plants and I read that rhubarb is poison to them and they don't usually eat asparagus.
- There is a lot of area here that is empty, but it also gets the least amount of sun and will need to be deer resistant, so I'm not sure what to do with it.
- The plum tree has a ? because I have to do a bit more research on sun needs. I may not be able to have the tree in the deer fence if not. Then we'll plant elsewhere and protect with fencing until it's big enough.
- The 4x8 beds are to the back for maximum sun (and building raised beds with a N-S orientation is the best for even sun distribution) and will be the main garden beds that I rotate.
- I'd like to have a bed of cutting flowers away from the deer, so the circle bed is for those.
- Ever since visiting Agritopia I have wanted to use metal water troughs in a vegetable garden. And after giving up on growing potatoes in the ground because of the voles at our last house, I think the troughs would be perfect for them and other root veggies. One will hold strawberries and the other three root vegetables.
- Not shown is the fact that I want to plan a watering system that can be more automated utilizing drip irrigation, soaker hoses, and timers. More on that as we create it for sure.
So this isn't set in stone, obviously and some things are unknown now, though I added them to the plan. A big question mark is that I want to move a 16x10 shed from another spot on the property to this area. Not only does it make more sense (it's kinda just stuck on a hillside now), but it will take up more room in this already established area. Brian is not so sure it can be moved without falling apart. So there's that.
So there you have it - the new vegetable garden plan so far. What do you think? What would you keep or change? Have you dealt with low-sun issues like this?
Oh, and if you're looking for gardening supplies recommendations, check out my Amazon Shop where I'm keeping all the things I've mentioned for gardening and more.
Make This Year's Garden A Success!