The Veggie Garden
Small Vegetable Garden: ideas for garden structure, how to prep your soil in the spring and what to plant in your small vegetable garden.
Small vegetable gardens are such a delight. There’s enough room to grow vegetables, herbs, and even a few flowers without taking up too much space or effort.
When I was a little girl, my Grandma had a huge vegetable garden. I can remember playing hide and seek with my cousins in the corn. My Mom and Dad also had a good sized garden, and I can remember my Dad rototilling it in the spring, and them working the whole long weekend in May to plant it.
My small vegetable garden is much more modest, but it’s just right for me. If you’ve ever considered planting a small vegetable garden yourself, I highly recommend it. It’s lovely to watch something grow, and teach kids about gardening, and grow some of your own food. It doesn’t have to be big to be great.
Small Vegetable Garden Structure
The first summer we lived in this house, we chose the spot, dug up the sod, and made our little cobblestone paths. I wanted a place to grow herbs, and tomatoes and few other things, but I wanted it to be pretty too, so I always add in a few flowers.
I remember kind of struggling over the price of the cobblestones when I first bought them, but I’m so glad I did. It gives the garden some structure, and they’re really functional too, making it easy to get around each rectangular bed for weeding.
We also added a little focal point to the centre when we first made it. We used an old stump, and added a beautiful sundial. You could also use a bird bath, or anything beautiful and ornamental that will create a beautiful focal point.
Prepping The Soil In The Spring
- pulling out some herbs that were taking over
- adding sheep manure
- levelling out the soil
This year was such a long and cold winter, and the veggie patch grew a kind of weird moss that I’d never seen in it before. Before we planted we removed it all, and all the other weeds. We also amended the soil with a few bags of sheep manure. We also cleared out most of the overgrown thyme too, that was taking over the pathways, and spread out some of the extra dirt I’d dumped there from pots in the fall.
Planting A Small Vegetable Garden
- lettuce, carrot and pea seeds
- broccoli, cauliflower, and tomato seedlings
- zinnia and snap dragon flower seeds
- perennial asparagus crowns
Then it was time to plant. We planted some lettuce, carrot, and pea seeds according to the instructions on the package which tell you all about the spacing and depth to plant each one. The girls love to pick the carrots and peas from the garden and eat them outside while they play later in the summer.
We also planted some seedlings of broccoli, and cauliflower, and tomatoes. The cauliflower is a first try, so we’ll see how it goes. Make sure you leave enough room between the for them to grow, especially the tomatoes.
I also put in a package of snap dragon seeds, and zinnias too. They’re always so pretty by August, and I’m a big fan of adding flowers to some of the edges of the even a small vegetable garden. Veggie gardens can be beautiful too.
I was most excited to plant an asparagus patch this year. It’s a perennial vegetable, so each spring you pick off the tops, but it comes back year after year. They recommend not picking for the first three years or so, to let it get established, but then it will grow for at least twenty! An exciting investment in the future…if it grows. We planted the crowns, which are roots that look like spiders. So far there’s no sign of them growing, just a few weeds popping up. Let’s hope it’s just a slow starter. I’ll keep you posted.
The seeds were all planted on the long weekend, and are starting to come up now. We might have some lettuce soon. Of course what I really love are the tomatoes…but I can wait for them. I don’t want to wish away my summer.
There’s still time to plant a few if you haven’t done it yet, and dream of homemade salsa and bruschetta in the months to come. It really doesn’t take too much space or effort to plant a few veggies and enjoy them all summer.
With my own small vegetable garden in my backyard, life really is a party!
You might also like our DIY Cement Garden Markers post here.
Also check out our Putting the Garden to Bed and a Tin Can Herb Garden post here.
You might also enjoy our How To Dry Herbs post here.