Many people start their gardening hobby by just growing a few plants here and there, maybe some tomatoes, herbs, and other “easy” plants. More often than not, this small part-time hobby grows into something that becomes an entire lifestyle.
Making the transition from a very small garden to one that’s considerably larger requires a lot of planning. Maybe you want to start a large garden so that you can provide fresh fruits and vegetables for your family year-round, or perhaps you want to get some more experience as a backyard gardener, or have dreams of going commercial.
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to switch from a small garden to a large one, you need to understand that in order to be successful, you’re going to need to have a solid plan in place before you start. If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re beyond the speculation phase and want to start actively planning your future garden.
The below sections detail exactly what you need to know about the basics of planning your large-scale garden. Everything that’s required in scaling from a small garden to a large one is detailed below, so by the end of reading this blog, you should have a very solid idea of what to expect (and how to plan for it).
The First Stages of Your Project
Although you’re most likely very excited about getting your large garden project started, it’s probably a good idea to start smaller than you want (only in the beginning). Choose a few different types of plants, and then plant a few of them. The exciting part comes over time, as you add more variety each year.
For example, you could start with some basic vegetable plants like tomatoes, lettuce, etc., and then the next year maybe incorporate radishes, watermelon, etc. The variations are endless (obviously), and also depend on where you live and what you can afford, but it’s nearly always better to start smaller in the beginning.
Experimentation is one of the most exciting parts of having your own garden. Seeing which plants you can grow, which ones respond well to your soil, etc. In the beginning, this excitement can be a lot to handle, and a lot of the time it causes gardeners to get in a little over their head (i.e. they plant too many seeds and their vegetable garden gets too big for them to control). Starting small and then growing large overtime should always be your goal.
Making the Transition From Small Garden to Large Vegetable Garden
When you’re just starting gardening, it’s common to only have a few plants/plant types. Lots of people start with things like tomatoes, squash, or even corn. Over the years, especially if you slowly expand your acreage, you start to experiment a bit more and add some more plants into the mix. Many people even end up doubling or tripling the size of their gardens over the course of only a few years.
One of the most important aspects of any gardening plan is drawing out your idea. When gardens start to increase in size, you really need to start planning out where that growth will go and how it will affect the land it’s situated on. Crop rotation is one thing in particular that you need to place a special level of emphasis on. One of the main purposes of rotating crops is to effectively stop the spread of harmful bacterias and diseases that can affect future crops.
Planning and Implementing
If you’re planning on doing a large-scale garden project, you might need to look into hiring a professional landscaping company to assist you with hardscaping. If your project is indeed this large, you need to ensure that the company you go with is insured with a quality policy (e.g. landscaping insurance from Next), otherwise, the entire project carries a large amount of liability with it.
Knowing which specific zone you’re in is also needed so that you know exactly which types of plants/crops grow best in your area. Knowing which growing zone you’re located in will help you pick crops that are more likely to produce a successful bounty. You also need to think about which type of fertilizer you’re going to need, what type of soil your land has, how much water your crops will need, etc. All of these variables should be factored into the planning phase.