Cleverly lay out a vegetable patch

Cleverly lay out a vegetable patch

the essentials in brief

  • the vegetable patch is prepared in autumn, the soil is loosened and compost is incorporated
  • When planting in spring, it is essential to ensure the correct mixed culture, for example tomatoes and potatoes do not get along
  • A vegetable patch can also be laid out on the balcony, especially lettuce and strawberries are easy to grow in the tub

Create a new vegetable patch - which location?

The sunniest spot in the garden is reserved for the vegetable patch. Many popular plants are sun worshipers, such as tomatoes, potatoes or lettuce. Do you only have one free spot in the partial shade? There is no reason to throw in the towel. A colorful array of delicious vegetable plants flourishes vital and productive in a partially shaded location. Spinach, cauliflower, broccoli or peas are satisfied with a daily solar yield of a modest 3 hours.

also read

  • Create a new vegetable patch - that's how it works
  • Create a vegetable patch on a hillside
  • Fight fungi in the vegetable patch


It is advisable to spatially separate the fruit and vegetable patch in the garden. Many decades of cultivation experience have shown that vegetables grow poorly under fruit trees and that the harvest is poor. This does not contradict if berry bushes make themselves useful as fencing, as is tradition in the cottage garden.

Which soil is suitable? - Tips on soil quality

The secret of success for a high-yield vegetable patch is the right soil. Rich in nutrients, fresh and moist, well-drained and full of life are important criteria. A pH between 6 and 7 is ideal. The perfect potting soil for vegetables consists of these three components:

  • Topsoil to 50 to 70 percent
  • 20 to 40 percent compost
  • Soil additives at 10 to 20 percent

If there is a lack of topsoil on a new building plot, you can buy the valuable soil from horticultural companies or in the recycling center. Compost ideally comes from our own production. If you are setting up a new vegetable patch, you can purchase pre-packaged compost soil cheaply in the garden center. The need for soil additives depends on the local conditions. Loosen heavy soil with sand or fine-grain gravel. Sandy earth receives vegetable bed quality through deposited horse manure, bark humus or organically pre-fertilized coconut soil.

Tips on the shape of the bed - length, width, paths

create a vegetable patch

Beginners strive to create a simple vegetable patch in the garden on the basis of proven experience. The focus is on easy accessibility for effortless planting and maintenance work. For this purpose, if you are new to gardening, we recommend a bed form according to the textbook. For the plan, write down the following framework:

  • Shape : rectangular
  • Length : maximum 500 cm
  • Width : 120 cm
  • Vegetable growing : straight lanes in parallel rows
  • Path width : main path 60-80 cm, side paths 30-40 cm
  • Paths : walkways arranged at right angles to the bed

With a width of 120 centimeters, you can work on your vegetable patch from both sides. Experience has shown that with a length of more than 5 meters, many gardeners cannot resist the temptation to step over the vegetable patch. Young plants under the soles of gardeners pay for the abbreviation with their floral life. The different widths for paths are based on the premise that you can at least maneuver the main path with the wheelbarrow.

If you create a vegetable patch on the slope, please ensure that it is diagonal to the mountain so that rain and irrigation water do not run off too quickly. For a garden on a steep hillside, it has been proven in practice to create the individual beds as terraced levels. This saves you from daring climbing for maintenance work.

Ideas for the first vegetable patch

A vegetable patch in Naschgarten quality succeeds in the smallest of spaces. If the space in the garden is not ideal, simply create a small vegetable patch. Radishes, lettuce, peas and strawberries also make a big impression in the mini-bed. The following examples and ideas may inspire you to create a tailor-made vegetable patch yourself:

  • Round vegetable patch : create in the lawn as a decorative eye-catcher, framed with stones or boxwood
  • Modern vegetable patch : stage with trendy gabions as a raised bed in the front garden
  • Mini vegetable patch : create a stylish vat on the balcony and terrace or as a highlight in the front garden on the south side

In the organic vegetable patch, ideas are required that underline the natural character. A border made of wooden palisades or wicker fence embeds the vegetable patch harmoniously in the natural garden design and at the same time keeps costs low. High-quality natural stone slabs and gravel are suitable as covering for the paths. The paths can be paved with bark mulch.


Creating a vegetable patch - step-by-step instructions

The best season for soil preparation is autumn. Vegetable plants only benefit from ripe compost when industrious soil organisms have taken care of processing it into humus. This process takes several months. It makes sense to create a new vegetable patch in two phases. If you dedicate yourself to the vegetable patch in September or October, the perfect soil will receive the seeds or the early young plants in spring. How to proceed correctly step by step:

First phase - soil preparation in autumn

create a vegetable patch
  1. Mark the area according to the plan drawing with stretched cords or lime
  2. Cut the sward to a depth of 10-15 cm
  3. Dig the earth deep with a spade, remove stones and old roots
  4. alternatively loosen the soil with a digging fork down to a depth of 20 cm
  5. Incorporate 15 to 20 liters of compost per square meter
  6. if necessary, improve the soil quality with sand, humus or coconut fibers
  7. Smooth the surface with a rake or rake

After preparing the ground, you can devote yourself to the bed border. Autumn is the best time to plant a small box hedge, an alternative to boxwood or perennials as an enclosure.

Second phase - sowing and planting in the spring

  1. From April thawed soil rake, weed and level with a rake
  2. Lay out wooden grids or Euro pallets (€ 16.99 at Amazon *) as step aids
  3. If necessary, install climbing aids and plant sticks in the vegetable patch
  4. Pull strings as a guide for the correct spacing for sowing and planting
  5. Turn the handle of the digging fork or sow tooth over and pull out the rows of seeds

The sowing dates for the selected vegetables can be found on the packaging. The correct spacing within the seed row can also be found here. When buying young plants, please ask for the relevant data. The height at which you cover sown vegetable seeds with soil depends on whether they are light or dark germs. The following rule of thumb applies to potted young plants: pot and plant as deep as before in the nursery pot. Water the bed with a fine effervescent shower. Finally, cover the area with a protective net.


If you are creating a new vegetable patch in the garden, do not throw away the cut sward. Heaped up in a small pile in a protected garden niche, the former grass cover turns into valuable compost within a few months. Cover the little mound with a breathable compost fleece. Occasional repositioning ensures the necessary air supply so that busy compost worms do not run out of breath.

What fits together? - Tips on mixed culture

create a vegetable patch

Mixed culture is the trump card in the private vegetable patch. The question arises, what really fits together? Vegetables also harbor sympathies and antipathies. They get along better with some conspecifics than with others. You can take advantage of this when creating the plan for a vegetable patch. The following table gives examples of good and bad neighborhoods:

vegetablesgood neighborsbad neighbors
cauliflowerFrench beans, celery, tomatoesPotatoes, cabbage, onions
French beansDill, cucumber, radish, lettuce, tomatoFennel, runner beans, onions
PotatoesCabbage, horseradish, broad beans, spinachChinese cabbage, garlic
saladBeans, strawberries, cucumber, cabbagePotatoes, nasturtiums, parsley
tomatoesParsley, onions, spinach, radishesPotatoes, fennel, peppers
CabbageBorage, dill, lettuce, celeryGarlic, onions, Chinese cabbage
StrawberriesBorage, carrots, leek, kohlrabi, chamomileCabbage, potatoes, tomatoes
OnionsCucumber, lettuce, carrots, savoryLeeks, radishes, chives

Examples of an unbeatable dream team in the vegetable patch are peas and cucumbers, because peas are useful as natural wind protection. The Mayans already socialized corn, pumpkin and beans because the plants complement each other perfectly. Corn plants act as a climbing aid for beans. These in turn optimize the nitrogen content in the soil for corn and pumpkin. Pumpkin plants serve as ground cover to keep the soil from drying out and suppress pesky weeds. Familiarize yourself with the simple basic principles of mixed culture if you want to properly plant a vegetable patch.

Wildflowers and herbs are one of them

Insects are welcome in the organic vegetable patch and pesticides are frowned upon. Indispensable components in the planting plan are insect-friendly wildflowers. Shining examples are columbines (Aquilegia vulgaris) and daisies (Bellis perennis), which attract busy bees, bumblebees and butterflies as a blooming nectar buffet. Dabbed marigolds serve as a natural defense against pests.

A small vegetable patch turns into a mini kitchen garden if you create a combination of herb and vegetable patches. Include small herb species in the plan, such as bob-headed basil (Ocimum basilicum var Minimum), cushion thyme (Thymus praecox var. Pseudolanuginosus) or lavender 'Little Lottie' (Lavandula angustifolia). Parsley and chives are recommended as a decorative border because they bloom beautifully.


Create a vegetable patch without digging

Digging turns into a sweaty show of strength when you create a vegetable patch in the lawn or in a meadow. You can save yourself the trouble of removing and digging up a deeply rooted sward. Instead, cover the floor with thick, unprinted cardboard, fixed at the corners with wooden pegs. Spread a 15 centimeter thick layer of compost on the cardboard box. The grass dies within a few weeks. Soil organisms do not miss this opportunity, they eat the remains including the softened cardboard and settle in the compost soil. Permaculture supporters favor this gentle form of soil preparation when they are creating a new vegetable patch.

When is the best season?

create a vegetable patch

Fall is the best season for ground work when you're starting a new vegetable patch. By the time the sowing and planting time begins in spring, the earth has settled and compost has fulfilled its task as a soil improver. From April the first vegetable seeds can be put into the ground, provided the ground has thawed. In mid-May the danger of late night frosts is over, so that you can plant out early young plants.

If you don't want to leave your vegetable patch lying idle in winter, you can plant winter vegetables rich in vitamins in summer and autumn. Kale planted in June enriches the winter menu with very healthy vegetables. August and September are the time to plant savoy cabbage, spinach or radish. Fast-growing lamb's lettuce thrives quickly in the warm autumn sun and provides aromatic leaves until the first frost.

Balcony gardeners create a mini vegetable patch in May and June. At this time of year, the shelves in the garden center are filled to the brim, so that the right young plants are available for every planting plan.

Create a vegetable patch on the balcony - this is how it works

Balcony gardeners can create a mini vegetable patch in every common flower box (€ 13.18 at Amazon *) or large tubs. The following instructions explain step by step how a large tub can be transformed into an organic vegetable patch in a small format:

Shopping List

  • 1 vat with bottom opening and 70 liters capacity
  • 20-25 liters of expanded clay (€ 17.50 at Amazon *) (alternatively pottery shards)
  • 70 liters of organic vegetable soil
  • round piece of garden fleece (matching the shape of the soil)

Create a vegetable patch in the tub - instructions

  1. Set up the planter in a sunny to partially shaded location
  2. Cover the ground with expanded clay or potsherds as drainage
  3. Cut the garden fleece to size and place it over the drainage
  4. Fill in substrate up to 2 cm below the edge
  5. Plant the vegetable seedlings in rows at a distance that is appropriate for the species
  6. Press the soil lightly and water

If you are a beginner planting a vegetable patch on the balcony, your focus will be on easy-care species that are good-naturedly forgiving of one or the other mistake. Make a note of this starting line-up for the planting plan: radishes, lettuce, carrots, mini cucumbers, cocktail tomatoes, sugar peas and strawberries. The balcony railing or a wall trellis serve as a climbing aid.

create a vegetable patch

The greatest enemy of healthy quality in the vegetable patch is the rush of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

frequently asked Questions

We want to create a vegetable patch cheaply for beginners. Are there vegetables that are guaranteed to succeed and cost little?

The first vegetable patch becomes a cost trap if the plants do not grow and die. Include easy-care, vigorous species in the planting plan if you are creating a vegetable patch for beginners at a reasonable price. These include: radishes, lettuce, zucchini, beetroot, garlic, carrots and most herbs. Investing in seeds or young plants has hardly any impact. Care is limited to watering when it is dry and fertilizing with compost.

What should we pay attention to when we create a vegetable patch in kindergarten?

Fast-growing, easy-care plants with a short ripening period are the focus when you create a vegetable patch with children. Ideally, the little gardeners should be able to harvest themselves and be able to eat the fruits right away. Radishes, carrots, cucumber and sugar peas are highly recommended. Our tip: As a special motivation, apply as a kindergarten to participate in the “Vegetable Beds for Kids” project at the Edeka Foundation. Since 2008, the foundation has been helping preschool children grow vegetables in a raised bed they cultivate themselves.

Create vegetable patch in permaculture. How does it work?

The perfect permaculture aims for an uninterrupted crop rotation. Using natural resources and means, perennial vegetable plants are socialized for a permanent cycle of growth, harvest and reproduction. The supporting pillars are a mixed crop planting plan and the complete absence of pesticides. A combination of shallow and deep rooters, heavy and weak eaters, including typical autumn and winter vegetables rule. In short, all the rules for an organic vegetable patch also apply to permaculture.


Growing vegetables in raised beds promises back-friendly gardening at table height. Obi's online configurator provides excellent support for planning and implementation. Comprehensible instructions explain how you can build a raised bed yourself, fill it correctly and plant it properly. Special advantage: You always have an overview of the costs.