While many people don’t have the luxury of selecting the perfect spot for their garden in their yard, you should at least choose the best possible location for your garden. The main factors you must be aware of when choosing a location are the amount of sunlight the area receives, the drainage of the area, and the type of soil that is in the location. If you live in a particularly windy area you also might want to select a somewhat protected area as well.
The area you choose for your garden should receive an ample supply of sunlight. Plants such as tomatoes need at least 8-10 hours of direct sunlight a day. If they receive less then this requirement you may just get a plant with healthy foliage, but minimal fruit. For people in the northern hemisphere a south-facing garden will get the most sunlight. An east facing garden will get strong morning sunshine, and will be subject to the most extreme temperature swings. Be careful to watch how the sun changes throughout the day. While you may think you have selected a sunny location, a large tree may put your garden in the shade for a period of the day. Also be aware that trees grow in time, and while one year you have a garden in the sun, in a few years the garden may now be in the shade.
Be aware of the drainage pattern for the area you select for your garden. If you live in a low-lying area you don’t want to select a low-lying spot in your yard as your garden will stay too wet. While you may think this will be helpful as you won’t need to water it as often, in fact it is not. An area with poor drainage will lead to a garden with many diseases. Good drainage is very important to a healthy garden. In fact you may have to build up the area where you want your garden to insure that the area doesn’t stay wet all the time.
Finally you should be aware of the type of soil that is in the area where you will start your garden. If it is extremely rocky, you should rake out the largest rocks to try to condition the soil. If the soil is unworkable, it may be best to bring in topsoil, compost, peat moss, sand, and peat humus to make for a better growing environment. If the soil is extremely sandy you may need to ad compost to enrich the soil with nutrients.
Hopefully this article gave you enough information on how to select a great location to start a garden, and you will be able to start your garden this year.