This post is an invitation to THINK about designing your vegetable garden – not a detailed explanation on HOW to design the bed.
Starting a garden can seem quite daunting for a first- time gardener. You may be asking questions like: What should I grow? How do I grow it? When do I plant it? How do I plant it? There are loads of questions to ask and so much to learn, but gardening shouldn’t be stressful. It should be an escape from the everyday grind! There’s no better feeling than to cover your hands in soil and grow something that you’ll be able to eat! There’s no “wrong way” to garden but if you are stressed out while even thinking about gardening then you need to reframe your approach. And I can help you.
Your first steps into the season shouldn’t feel overwhelming, instead let your mind wander through inspiration.. Allow yourself the time and space to read, plan, plot, draw, doodle, and dream.
It’s important to note that starting a vegetable garden, even with years of experience in the same garden, can STILL feel really daunting! But it ALWAYS works out. You will always learn something that you didn’t know the season before.
So, where to start?
The very first thing to do is to just dream. This is the ideation phase. Let your mind wander and fantasize all the possibilities. Pour yourself a cup of tea and sit with a seed catalogue or two (We love Baker Creek Seeds, West Coast Seeds, Johnny’s!) some blank paper, pencils, pens, markers, whatever! Draw all of your ideas down. Write down varieties that interest you. What peaks your curiosity? Find some flow with your pen to paper. Don’t overthink or judge your handwriting, drawings or ideas!
After you allow yourself to dream, think a bit deeper and a weeeee bit more realistically with your kitchen and food habits in mind.
- What do I like to eat?
- What will I actually use in the kitchen?
After all, growing food means eating food! If you like cucumbers but don’t love cucumbers – maybeeeee only plant two cucumber plants versus ten. If a cucumber plant is happy, it’s very likely that you’d be harvesting several cucumbers everyday! It’s a good problem to have but it’s a real thing! What are you going to do with those 16 cucumbers? Be realistic. I like eating eggplants, but I don’t LOVE them. So instead of planting 10 of them – I only plant two or three.