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How to plan your vegetable patch

Use the quieter time over the festive season to plan next year’s vegetable patch or allotment and prepare for the Spring growing season. It’s a perfect time to lay out your plot and plan a layout that looks good and produces delicious food.

Planning a vegetable garden for the upcoming Spring involves several important steps to ensure a bountiful and healthy harvest. Here’s a guide on how to plan your vegetable garden:

1. Assess your space
  • Location: Choose a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Ideally the areas for palnting will be in a sunny position but this, inevitably, is not always the case. Choosing fruit and vegetables that will be tolerant if the areas are partly or totally in shade.
  • Size: Determine the size of your garden based on your available space and time commitment.
Choose a sunny spot if possible
2. Understand your climate and soil
  • Climate: Know your hardiness zone to choose the right plants.
  • Soil: Test your soil to understand its type and pH level. Improve the soil if needed with organic matter that is rich in NPK nutrients.
Our soil improving mulch is rich in organic matter and NPK nutrients
3. Choose your vegetables
  • Preferences: Grow vegetables that you enjoy eating!Some vegetables are easier to grow than others though. If you’ve never grown your own vegetables before, or if you’re growing vegetables with children, it’s a good idea to grow easy-to-grow crops first. Courgettes, potatoes, beans and beetroot are some great vegetable crops for beginners.
  • Succession planting: Spending timer planning for succession planting ensures a continuous harvest.
  • Companion planting: Some plants grow better together, enhancing growth and flavour. Research the concept companion planting for better growth and pest control.
  • Start a garden diary. Keep track what works and what doesn’t for future reference. Note planting dates, varieties, weather patterns, and successes or failures. It’s invaluable for future planning!
4. Design your plot and layout

Drawing out a detailed plan of the areas helps highlight issues early on. Plan beds in groups of four to make it easier for crop rotation. The principle of crop rotation is to grow specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the vegetable plot each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest and disease problems, organising groups of crops according to their cultivation needs.

  • Raised beds or Ground plots: Decide if you will use raised beds, containers, or plant directly in the ground. If your soil contains a lot of chalk or clay, it’s easier to grow veg in raised beds.
  • Spacing: Plan the layout considering the space requirements of each vegetable.
Drawing out a detailed plan of the area
5. Prepare your soil
  • Tilling: Prepare the soil well. Dig out perennial weeds before you start planting your vegetable garden. Where possible, leave the soil for a couple of weeks after weeding, so that any annual seeds brought to the surface germinate. you can then simply hoe these off before sowing.
  • Nutrients: Add compost or other organic matter like mulch to enrich the soil.
Prepare the soil well
6. Plan for watering and maintenance
  • Irrigation: Set up a watering system, whether it’s a simple watering can, drip irrigation, or soaker hoses.
  • Weeding and Pest Control: Use Apsley Farms mulch to suppress weeds, deter slugs and snails and retain moisture.
7. Get the tools ready!
  • Basic Tools: Ensure you have basic gardening tools like a spade, hoe, gardening gloves, and watering cans.
Get the tools ready!
8. Research and Inspiration
  • Local Resources: Join local gardening clubs and community groups for specific advice on your area.
  • Inspiration: Read at gardening magazines, blogs and follow gardening influencers on social media for gardening hacks, ideas and growing tips.


Planning a vegetable garden for Spring is an exciting and rewarding endeavour. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a thriving and productive garden. Remember, gardening is a learning process, so don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust your plans as you gain experience. Happy gardening!

About Apsley Farms

Sustainability and efficiency is at the heart of everything we do at Apsley Farms. We’ve adopted cutting edge technologies and turned low value crops into renewable energy. We focus on a circular economy by returning the nutrients in our digestate products back to the land as a fertiliser. Our process of generating green gas and other important by-products ticks three important boxes: it displaces natural gas (fossil fuel) in the gas grid to heat people’s homes; it displaces CO2 made by the fertiliser industry, which is essential in the food industry; and it simultaneously generates natural fertiliser in the process!

Apsley Farms in Andover, Hampshire