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Vegetable & Herb Gardens

Growing your own vegetables and herbs can be a rewarding experience. The experts at Greenbloom Landscape Design can help provide you with the information and preparation to get your vegetable and herb garden growing successfully.

Garden Site

  • Considerations
    • Ensure the site will receive adequate sunlight. 6-8 hours of direct light is needed for most vegetables. Leafy greens can handle a bit less.
    • If possible, locate your site close to a water source to make watering your garden easier.
    • The soil has been prepared by adding compost or manure and is ready to grow healthy vegetables and herbs.
    • The site will not collect and pool water, as this may cause roots to drown and rot. If the site is not level, create run-off barriers.
    • Consider putting a fence around your garden to help keep animals out.
    • It is helpful if all areas of the site are accessible without needing to step into the garden.
  • Garden Size
    • A small garden is sufficient in most cases and is easier to manage, requiring less money, time, and work, and is easier to protect from animals and the elements.
    • Ultimately, the size will be determined by your needs and what you choose to plant.
  • Raised Beds
    • Consider raising the bed of your garden 6 or more inches higher than ground level. This allows better control of the soil in the planting area and ensures it is not stepped on or compacted. It also drains better and warms up faster in the spring allowing you to plant sooner.
  • Vertical Gardens
    • If you have limited space or no yard to work with such as a balcony, consider creating a vertical garden. You can create these with shelving, trellises, pallets, or vegetable ladders. Make sure to choose your plants according to the level of sunlight you receive.
  • Planters, Baskets, and Upside-Down Containers
    • Vegetables do well when grown in containers. Ensure the size of the pot is large enough to hold the mature size of the vegetable you are growing. Certain vegetables can also be grown upside-down, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, beans, and peppers.


  • Why Is Preparation Necessary?
    • The quality of your crops and success of their growth depends on the composition of your soil. Good soil gives your plants the best chance to survive and thrive.
  • How Do You Prepare the Garden?
    • Add organic matter and amendments to the soil to adjust the nutrient and pH levels as needed.


  • When to Plant
    • By the end of May, most common vegetables can be planted outdoors, with the exception of garlic. Garlic is best planted between the months of September through December and harvested mid to late summer. Some vegetables can be planted late April or early May such as peas and lettuce or kale.  You can also give your garden a head start by beginning the growth indoors.
  • Easy Plants to Grow
    • Tomatoes
    • Squash
    • Peppers
    • Carrots
    • Beans
    • Peas
    • Nasturtiums
    • Lettuce
  • What to Grow
    • Any vegetable or herb your family will consume, provided your soil and sun levels are adequate for its growth.
  • Vegetables and Herbs for Low-Sun Gardens
    • In locations with only 3-6 hours of sun, you can still grow vegetables and herbs such as
      • Arugula
      • Lettuce
      • Spinach
      • Kale
      • Beets
      • Potatoes
      • Broccoli
      • Peas
      • Onions
      • Chives
  • Spacing
    • Follow the instructions on the back of the seed package or plant tag for proper spacing, to ensure the plants are not overcrowded therefore reducing the competition for nutrients, sun, and water.
  • Watering
    • Water new seeds lightly and frequently. Keep the top of the soil moist until they germinate.
    • Water in the morning or evening so your efforts aren’t lost to evaporation.
    • It is best to water deeply and less often than providing a shallow watering every day.  Overwatering can cause problems for your plants and shallow watering encourages the roots of your plants to remain near the surface of the soil.
    • On average, your garden should receive approximately one inch of water per week, whether through manual watering or rainfall.

Advanced Planting Tips

  • Crop Rotation
    • Don’t plant the same type of vegetable (legume, root vegetable, leafy green, fruit-bearing) in the same location for multiple years. Moving locations from year to year helps to keep your soil healthy and reduces the likelihood of encountering soil-borne disease and insects.
  • Companion Planting
    • Certain vegetables and herbs do well when planted close to another plant, such as basil near tomatoes. They work together by providing shade, repelling insects, adding nutrients to the soil, or improving flavor.  The reverse is also true. Some plants do not grow well beside each other, such as onions and beans.
  • Interplanting
    • Match different crops together based on their growth pattern to help maximize garden space. For example, plant taller corn next to short, leafy lettuce. This can also be used with deep-rooted plants such as carrots and shallow vegetables like broccoli.
  • Plant According to Your Family Size and What You Will Use


  • Weed Control
    • Lay landscape fabric or mulch between your rows of vegetables. Hand pull any weeds you see that have developed seeds and hoe any that haven’t. Be careful with chemical weed removers as they may not be safe around plants you intend to eat later.
  • Common Diseases to Watch For
    • Bacterial Leaf Spot
    • Club Root
    • Downy Mildew
    • Mosaic Virus
    • Rusts
    • Wilt
  • Disease Treatment
    • Apply fungicides as necessary.
    • Look for disease-resistant crops.
    • Water in the morning to allow crops to dry during the day.
    • Control pests that may spread the diseases.
    • Ensure good air circulation around crops.
  • Pests to Watch For
    • Aphids
    • Slugs
    • Squash Bugs
    • Tomato Hornworms
    • Grasshoppers
  • Pest Treatment
    • Use pest deterring plants such as marigolds or lavender.
    • Rotate your crops every growing season.
    • Use pest deterrents. You can create natural deterrents out of a mixture of strong spices and water and spray the mixture over your garden.
    • In case of severe infestation, there are organic and chemical solutions which can be used.
  • Preparing Your Vegetable and Herb Garden for Winter
    • Remove weeds and garden debris.
    • Add a layer of compost.
    • Any area that is full of weeds can be covered with dark plastic or cardboard over the winter to kill any seeds that may sprout. If you choose plastic, use caution as it can cause harm to the beneficial insects in your soil.

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