Thursday, June 9, 2011

Garden Thursday – Selecting Your Site

There are a few key steps to ensure a successful Garden and selecting your site is one of them.  Last week I posted my 14 steps for a successful garden and the first three steps all go together.

1.            ALL VEGETABLES I’LL NEED FOR THE YEAR – me a couple of years
2.            SUFFECIENT SELECTED PRODUCE FOR MY FAMILY ALL SUMMER – common gardening goal
3.            ABOVE PLUS CANNING FOR MY NEEDS – another common goal
4.            2 AND OR 3 PLUS SUPPLYING OTHERS – my situation
5.            ENOUGH TO HAVE A SMALL STAND OR TRUCK FARM – I’ve considered a small stand
7.            SHOWING OFF MY MG SKILLS FOR THE NEIGHBORS – this is definitely me

Answers to the above questions impact your site selection (especially size), choice of varietals, garden plan, and work required.

Answer to this will have an impact on size of garden, soil requirements, and location.  For example melons and pumpkins take a great deal of room, carrots like very loose soil, some veggies like afternoon shade, some require lot’s more work than others. 

              EXPOSURE – Veggies require minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day, no competition from tree roots, a little late afternoon shade is a plus
              DRAINAGE – Totally level spots are subject to waterlog, especially in the spring and can be low spot for frost.  Slightly slopped is best.
              SOIL – The ideal garden soil is silty loam, but all soil can be improved by adding organic material.
              ACCESSABILITY – Convenience to spend a few minutes each day or go get a tomato for dinner.  I tried long distance once and it failed for me.
              TIMING – Make your Step 1, 2 & 3 decisions in late summer so it can be prepared in the fall and have the winter to rot any turned plant material and normalize soil amendments.

My garden slopes about 2’ across 100’ from the NE to SW, gets full sun from 9am – 5pm and is shaded from the really hot late afternoon sun by some large maple trees across the road to the West.  This is a near perfect site so I have no excuse for a failure but myself.

Here are a few shots of my garden, beginning with the prettiest bean bloom I’ve seen.  It’s a Sadies Horse Bean from seeds given to me by Diane over at Voice In The Garden.  I did a search on the bean and it brought back Di’s blog as the second option.
I have some nearly pickable yellow squash and small chili peppers – the hot weather has stopped blooming on the sweet peppers.
While the annual battle has begun with the blight for the soul of my tomatoes, they are doing fine right now, the first patch of Ambrosia sweet corn is tasseling, and cabbage is being harvested.
The Blue Ribbon pole beans are starting to bloom and the okra will start soon.
I’m letting the asparagus fern out to nourish the roots for next year’s crop and I’ve removed the watering system from the garlic and potatoes in preparation for digging soon.
Tune in next Thursday for more gardening info.
All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Quesadilla's From Leftovers



  1. It's amazing how far along your garden is.

  2. Yup this looks like my garden . . . NOT! Our gardens are just getting started, but we get those crazy long days and cool nights, so they grow fast. You grow so much! I decided what I want from a garden is fresh salads and flavor. I'm just a hobby-canner, but I like the idea of canning a pantry full.

  3. Larry, Beautiful garden! I don't even like yard work but I can appreciate the effort that goes into a great garden. I especially can appreciate the results! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. All that you are growing looks so good and healthy - a wonderful veggie garden to show to your guests at your barbeque Blogger party.

    Your veggie garden, like your blog, is a true pleasure to see.

  5. What do I want from my garden? WHatever the deer will leave me....usually weeds. *sigh* We'll see what happens this year!

  6. Can you tell me how you pickle your yellow squash? I make relish with it. I like anything pickled! You can email me at with the answer, if you like.

  7. What an awesome garden you have! Once we move to our new home, I plan on having a garden.

  8. I wish I had a big patch of ground with full sun to have a garden like that! It would have to be in the middle of our lawn which isn't going to happen. Early blight is always a problem here for tomatoes with our humid summers.

  9. We have walked Garden ala Almost Heaven South and it is amazing how well planned out it is.

    Alexis followed your instructions about the blight and it looks like we were able to purge every affected stem and not loose any fruit. Thanks for the tips!


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