Create a backyard vegetable garden with these free garden design plans
You can grow hundreds of dollars worth of fresh organic vegetables by following our home free garden design plans.>
So, why have a garden? Because you can get maximum nutrition (and great tasting veggies) from your back yard by following our super-healthy free garden design plans. And (bonus) we estimate the value of food produced by your super-nutrition home vegetable garden to be several hundred dollars!
Free Garden Design Plans #1- the Super Nutrition Garden
Here's a garden that will give you maximum nutrition in a small space. How did we select these veggies for the super nutrition garden? Our criteria:
- they are nutrition powerhouses
- they produce a large quantity of food per given area
- they are not difficult to grow the area
Here’s the lowdown on the star veggies in the super nutrition home vegetable garden plan:
Amaranth. Amaranth is an annual, fast growing plant, and is easily cultivated in any garden. And it is, without a doubt, the single most nutritious plant you can grow in your home garden! Amaranth is a good or great source of vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, and (even) protein! This is not your grandma’s salad green!
Broccoli. Broccoli is a cold-tolerant plant that can produce a lot of good nutrition in your garden. Broccoli can be transplanted out into your garden well before last spring frost; here at New Terra Farm we put the transplants out in mid-April and are picking broccoli by June. And many varieties of broccoli will continue to produce side shoots after the main head is harvested, effectively doubling your yield. And the stalks are edible too. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Calcium. It even has modest amounts of protein.
Carrots. No home vegetable garden is complete without carrots! The organic home-grown kind taste so much better than the ‘cello-pack’ variety at your typical supermarket, you will be hooked. Carrots produce a lot of food in a small area; one 3’x3’ planting bed can produce 25-30 lbs of carrots, enough for fresh eating for two people for a season. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A.
Chard. Swiss chard is a very productive green that can be eaten raw in salads or as a braising green. Continuously pick the outer leaves and chard will keep producing all season. A mix of amaranth, chard, kale and spinach makes a nutrition mega-meal! Chard is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium (although the calcium is not readily bio-available).
Collards. Collards are another great green from the cabbage family, providing a potent mix of vitamins and minerals. They are frost-tolerant and can be grown from early spring to late fall. Collards are best served as a cooked green. Collards are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C and Calcium.
Kale. Kale is another green that will produce all season long if you keep the lower, outer leaves picked. It is very cold hardy, and can be transplanted into the garden in early spring. We have picked kale in the late fall with snow in the garden. Kale is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C and Calcium.
Lettuce. While lettuce is general is not a spectacularly nutritious food, some kinds are more nutritious than others (and what’s summer without a few garden-fresh salads?) Grow the ‘butterhead’ and ‘romaine’ types for biggest benefit. These varieties provide vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, Calcium and a little iron.
Mesclun. This mix of baby greens (often containing lettuces, chicories, mustards, beet greens, and cole crops) provides many nutrients including phytochemicals important for health. Most mesclun mixes are ‘cut and come again’; that is, you can harvest them when the plants are 4-5 inches tall, by cutting the plants off with scissors about 1” above the ground. They will re-grow in 2-3 weeks to provide another harvest. Cutting 2-3 feet of row will provide 6-10 ounces of salad mix, so a single 3’x3’ bed of mesclun mix, planted one-quarter at a time, will produce a LOT of super-nutritious, delicious salads.
Peas. Sugar snap peas or snow peas (the kind that you eat pods and all) are very productive in the spring and early summer. Grow them up a tall trellis and keep them well picked for weeks of productivity. And they are possibly the tastiest treat right out of the garden. They are a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, Iron, Zinc, and protein.
Potato. You might be surprised to find potatoes on the list of super-nutritious vegetables, but they actually are a superstar in this area. A fairly small plot (3 beds each 3’ x 3’) can produce enough potatoes for fresh eating for two people for a season (45-75lbs depending on yield). And potatoes are a source of vitamin B1, vitamin b3, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium and even a little protein.
Spinach. This hardy green is another nutritional star, supplying vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin C, Iron, Potassium, and Calcium. Spinach can be served raw or cooked.
Tomato. No home garden is complete without a few tomato plants! Nothing says summer better than a vine-ripened delicious tomato still warm from the garden. The indeterminate (vining) type of tomato will produce over a long season, when trellised and kept well picked. And they are a good source of vitamin B3, vitamin C, and Potassium, as well as other substances important for good health e.g. lycopene.
Turnips. Turnips are a multi-purpose crop, both the root and the greens are edible. They are fast growing, many types producing a good size root in less than 45 days (from transplant). They are another crop that can go in the garden early in the spring. Turnip greens are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and Calcium. The roots are a source of vitamin C.
Watermelon.Hey, what’s watermelon doing on the list? Surprisingly, watermelon is a nutrition star as well as a taste treat. Besides, its fun to grow! Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C, Potassium and (who knew?) Iron!
Winter squash. Butternut squash in particular is a nutrition superstar, and several plants can provide lots of good eating through the fall. If space is limited grow a compact variety; you can also grow them on the edge of your garden and let the vines trail over into your lawn. Delicious butternut squash is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2, and Potassium, and has modest amounts of vitamin B1, Calcium, Iron, and protein.
Next: Free Garden Design Plans Part 2 - Growing the Super Nutrition Garden.