A homemade vegetable garden, in a large garden, is one of the projects that make more and more French people dream. Having a new house built allows you to choose the size, location and composition of your future vegetable garden. All the more so if one opts for the construction of a modern house in the southwest, a region conducive to the success of all plantations. SIC Habitat, your builder of individual houses in the South-West, offers you some advice to make your vegetable garden a success, (almost) like a pro.
Think about your vegetable garden before building your new house in the South-West
In our article on the steps to arrange your garden at the time of construction, we already explained to you that the garden is thought of in the same way as the interior of your house under construction. If gardening has been a French passion for years, the periods of confinement have greatly accentuated this craze for the cultivation of plants, as underlined in this 20 minute article.
Both a passion accessible to all and a real way to disconnect, the gardens have blossomed from balconies to terraces, including outdoor spaces that were once less exploited. Garden centers have never done so well, but it is surely the vegetable garden that is the most on the rise, in a desire for more fresh, natural products and authenticity on the plates.
Indeed, as explained in this article from Les Echos Entrepreneurs, the garden market grew by 2020% in 8,4 and the undisputed stars were the seeds (+21%), vegetable and tomato seedlings in particular.
Where to put your vegetable garden in the garden of your house under construction?
It is now quite natural to choose the land on which to build your new house according to the quality of the land or the exposure, in order to create the most beautiful garden possible.
As we explained to you in our article on creating a garden in your new home, we can choose to create a garden for various reasons:
- to perfume and embellish its exterior with flowers
- to hide areas with hedges
- to use nature as a sunshade
- to feed onself
As far as the nourishing function is concerned, the vegetable garden must be thought about well in advance, within the framework of a construction project for a new house. The best location for your vegetable garden depends on the orientation. The ideal is that the chosen place is sunny all year round. SO South-South-West. Sheltered from the wind but also away from large trees and their roots.
Regarding the more “technical” side, it is important that the vegetable garden is close to an exit/entrance of your new house. Because the more easily you can access it, the better you will take care of it. It is also necessary thata water point is nearby to facilitate watering, especially in summer. It is therefore necessary to think a little about your vegetable garden according to your external water arrivals (or think about your external water arrivals according to your vegetable garden, it's up to you). And if you have enough room to use a wheelbarrow, try to design your vegetable garden right next to your driveway, to make it easier for you to go back and forth with bags of soil, plants and other gardening accessories.
How to draw the plan of your vegetable garden?
If, in the past, we often planted all the vegetables in line, with the new gardening methods and in particular permaculture, the plans for vegetable gardens have changed a lot. One thing is certain, whatever the surface you have, it is necessary to create your planting plan before building your vegetable garden. You can then modify the space required according to your needs and desires.
First you go draw the plan of your garden with your new house . Then, depending on the orientation of the sun, the presence of existing trees, other surrounding houses, entrances/exits, your driveway, your water points, your possible garden shed, you will easily , in a stroke of a pen, find the ideal location for your vegetable garden.
Once the location has been found, you will be able to choose the composition of your vegetable garden. To do this, you will divide your vegetable garden into plots (square or rectangle), according to botanical families or according to the right associations between plants.
Designing your vegetable garden according to your needs and the garden of your individual house in the South West
Before choosing your plants, you will have to think about the plants that go well together. Because it is now clear to all gardening fans that plants, like humans, are compatible or not with other very specific plants.
Which plant associations for the vegetable garden of your individual house in the South-West?
The good and bad combinations of plants in a vegetable garden are numerous and may require some research. If you just want to start small, here are some “companion” plants that are quite easy to work together:
- Tomatoes are good next to cucumbers and cabbage because they keep cabbage maggot away.
- Lettuce can be planted next to cabbages, radishes and turnips to also protect them from flea beetle attack.
- Potatoes can be planted next to garlic, beans and peas.
- And carrots and leeks are best friends, planted next to each other.
To see more clearly, you can, for example, refer to this graph of Gamm Vert on the plants to associate in your vegetable garden.
What is the ideal size of your vegetable garden for what yield?
If you don't want to start too big and/or you have back problems, you can opt for vegetable gardens that are already built, raised, in wood. The squares are then already present, you will only have to put soil and plant.
A bed (section) of vegetable garden is generally a square of 1,2m x 1,2m. This size can be enough for a few tomatoes, strawberries and a lettuce, planted in squares or small batches.
If you have a big craving for vegetables, you can bet on several boards of 1,2 mx 3,6 m. Or an extra-long 1,2m x 9,6m vegetable garden.
And if you want to feed your little family, we usually count an area of 50 m² per person to obtain a sufficient quantity of "seasonal" vegetables (excluding preserves). The average size of a vegetable garden in France is 100m2.
As for the yield, you can choose from the start to devote yourself only to high yield vegetables, i.e. producing more than 1,5 kg / m2: beets, carrots, zucchini, shallots, green beans, turnips, parsnips, onions , leeks, winter radish, tomato.
Please note: some vegetables require more space than others! This is the case, for example, with potatoes or courgettes, which spread out a lot and cannot be too close to each other.
When to create your vegetable garden: the steps according to the date of construction of your house in the southwest
Preparing the soil for the vegetable garden of your new house in the South-West
The vegetable garden is generally prepared in the spring because it is the best time for planting most fruits and vegetables. Whether it is in May that the vast majority of sowing and planting takes place, to be sure of obtaining summer crops, you can prepare the land from April.
The preparation of the soil for your vegetable garden will be done in 3 steps:
- Weeding: This simply consists of removing weeds.
- Plowing / aeration: to loosen and aerate the soil, you will have to turn it over, with a digging fork or a grelinette biogrif.
- The amendment: here you will add organic matter (compost, manure, potting soil, etc.) to your soil and water it well to enrich it before planting.
Once all these steps have been completed, you will be able to proceed with the plantations. From spring, you can put on your gloves and plant your seedlings, seeds or seedlings of onions, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, carrots, beans... Watch out for the temperatures though!
Traditionally, we advise not to plant before the Ice Saints, which characterize a very precise climatological period of 3 days in May – from 11 to 13 and which sometimes correspond to periods of late frost. Before these three dates, it is advisable not to grow fragile plants in the ground. Then refer to the planting and harvest dates of the calendar like the one presented in the journal The Mountain.
Why build your house in the South-West to make a success of your vegetable garden?
Builder of individual houses for nearly 50 years in the South West (and throughout the rest of France too), SIC Housing is well aware of all the advantages of the region for a successful vegetable garden around his new house.
Indeed, the South-West has ideal weather conditions (significant sunshine, good humidity and average winds) to obtain a vegetable garden with beautiful fruits and vegetables every year.But if you really want to stick to the territory, you can grow vegetables that are even more suited to the region, as explained in this article from Rustica : the Pardailhan long black turnip, broad beans, pink garlic, chicory, white beans, pumpkins, chilli…