The New Gardener: Picking a garden location

Posted on: April 4, 2018 | Written By: Mike Palm | Comments

Behind the scenes, I’ve been helping out on Everybody Gardens for the past year. All the knowledge I’ve soaked up has sparked an interest in starting an actual garden.

Now about my gardening history: When we lived on the North Side of Pittsburgh, we had a 2-foot by 10-foot patch of dirt in the center of a lot of concrete. My wife planted some tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans for a few years. And I think we had a pumpkin, too. But we went into that blindly, with no actual gardening knowledge.

Now we live in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, with much more room to tackle a garden. And with the change from the urban to suburban setting, I’m expecting there to be different challenges. (Like deer. And deer. And more deer.)

Now with the guidance of editor Doug Oster, I’ll be chronicling my adventures (or perhaps misadventures) in starting a garden this year.

Picking a garden location

My backyard opens up at the top and slopes down to another relatively flat area.

Here’s the view from the top:

New Gardener Backyard

A panoramic shot of possible locations for the garden.

A view of the slope from the bottom:

Sloping Backyard

A sloping backyard could limit some options for garden locations.

And a panoramic view of the bottom, for a second possible location:

Backyard Bottom Panorama

A view of a possible location at the bottom of the hill.

I don’t know much, but the big problems at the bottom are the wall of trees which wouldn’t allow as much sun as needed. And there’s also this puddling problem when it rains a lot:

Puddling water

Water pools at the bottom of the backyard sometimes.

The top of the hill makes the most sense to me. It’s flat and convenient. The fact that it’s right next to our driveway means that it won’t be able to be ignored. My idea is to try to stay as far away from the trees as possible while also staying on as flat of an area as I can to minimize my labor. (There’s nothing that says I can’t be smart about that!)

Doug says: Good thinking, Mike, I agree up on that flat area is perfect. Wish I had all that sun for my garden. I think the biggest challenge is going to be figuring out how to keep the deer out of there.

Next up: Coming up with a size and type of garden.

More from Everybody Gardens

See also, Raised Bed Gardening Secrets Revealed By Cobrahead Inventor.

Follow us on Twitter.

Shop special Everybody Garden products today!