Garden designs for food and fun

Get creative when planting your garden!

One of the best parts of growing a vegetable garden is that it they are never the same. There are always new weeds, a drought, too much rain, no cucumbers, too many tomatoes, the list could go on. The good news is that we can grow a sweeter variety, water more, mulch more (less weeds), grow fewer tomatoes, and add a trellis and a splash of color with vibrant annuals.

As we think about planting this spring Michigan State University Extension challenges everyone who is reading this: Plant a new variety of your favorite vegetable. Plant a vegetable you don’t normally eat and see if home grown is more to your liking. Plant a row for the hungry and plant a splash of color. One of my favorite things to do is plant marigolds as row markers, or amongst the veggies in my square foot gardens. They repel insects and are colorful, fool-proof and edible.

Long boring rows are out of vogue, try a fun intense gardening system. Some garden designs to try are the Potager garden, from the French word meaning a soup of broth and vegetables. In Europe this term simply means vegetable garden. The Potager is a fancy design for a vegetable garden. You can find design ideas in books or online.

Other gardens that might be of interest are keyhole gardens, fashioned after African kitchen Gardens, bag gardens, container gardens, square foot gardens, and more. The list is only limited by your imagination!

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