Making the Most of Outdoor Space for a Bountiful and Beautiful Vegetable Garden
Each week, Mansion Global deals with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury homes. This week we’re looking at tips for creating a vegetable garden.
It is proud when a perfectly plump tomato can be picked from your own garden and delivered straight to the salad bowl.
Whether you have an area, a small patch of grass, or live in a skyscraper with no outdoor space, the following advice from the professionals will help your garden grow anywhere.
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Grow foods that are fun
“Ideally, the garden should run from north to south. This gives most of the sun exposure and allows air to circulate in the garden beds. Try to keep the garden near a water source and outdoors – it will be too shady right under trees. If your vegetables start to grow large, as the plants run east to west, they will shade each other during the day.
“You don’t need a lot of space; You can produce a lot of food on this small plot of land. During the First World War, for example, war gardening or “victory gardens” offered all Americans the opportunity to support one another by producing food and thus support the war effort. A victory garden was 150 square meters and the food produced went straight to the pantries. Nowadays I suggest creating a plot of land at least 20 x 20 feet in the garden that will give you 400 square feet – a garden big enough to support a family.
“I firmly believe that you should grow foods that you enjoy. If you love to eat tomatoes, grow tomatoes. If you don’t love it, the chances are that you are not taking care of it properly and therefore it will not be successful.
“The best gardens all start with an internal and external focus. This is what defines the lightness, dignity and elegance of a design layout. We also like to integrate benches and seating in our vegetable gardens to create a feeling of unity and balance. “
A New England home has a gravel deck with raised garden beds.
Courtesy Janice Parker
– Janice Parker of Janice Parker Landscape Architects based in Greenwich, Connecticut
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Go for a greenhouse
“A greenhouse allows you to be significantly more productive in your growing year than if you were just growing outdoors. Be sure to learn proper growing techniques and the importance of the time of year when certain vegetables are to be planted. Make sure it has as much sunlight as possible at any time of the year and avoid placing it in the shade of tall trees, perimeter fences, or walls as these will obstruct the light. A south-facing position is ideal for greenhouses attached to a wall. For free-standing structures, the ridge should ideally run east-west along the top of the greenhouse to allow the sun to run along its longest side during the day.
“Have a mix of bench and shelf levels to accommodate different types of plants. Internal glass walls could also be used to stylishly divide your greenhouse into different zones and to create climatic variations for different groups of plants more easily. ”
– Tom Barry, CEO of the greenhouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic, Great Britain
A greenhouse allows you to be significantly more productive in your growing year.
Courtesy Hartley Botanic
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Bring the outside inside
“Growing vegetables indoors can be a fun and rewarding experience. In order for it to be a successful experience, light will be an essential growth factor. The best time to grow vegetables indoors, relying only on natural light, is the spring / summer months. Vegetables need full sun to grow, so planning an indoor vegetable garden with south-facing windows is important as this exposure provides more than six hours of direct sunlight during the growing season. Otherwise, if this exposure is absent, artificial lighting should be installed over the plants and left on for at least 10 to 12 hours a day.
“Vegetables can actually be grown in containers when space is tight. So you can basically have as many individual container plants as you want that will fit in the room and all get the light they need. Otherwise, indoor planters can be used to grow a few different vegetables together. If so, look for a planter box that is at least 10 inches wide and 10 to 12 inches deep.
“The inclusion of vegetables that can climb a trellis can create a nice vertical contrast to an indoor vegetable garden. By training these plants to grow vertically, you can maximize your garden area so you can grow more plants at a time. When the trellis is finally filled in, it can act as a beautiful room divider, adding a biophilic design to the room. Some climbing plants that would work well for this are tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, pumpkins and peas. ”
– Paris Lalicata, Plant Education Coordinator at The Sill, a direct-to-consumer plant brand with locations in New York, West Hollywood, and San Francisco
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