Laying Out the Food Garden

Building a home inside a greenhouse is a lot like two separate projects – a house and then a greenhouse. I’m experienced with houses; designing, building, and living in them.

It was easy for me to visualize almost every aspect of the house’s interior from just the floor plans. I’ve been walking around my house, in my mind’s eye, for almost 2 years.

The greenhouse is a different story. Although I’ve been gardening since I was small, I’ve never had a greenhouse before. I know principles of garden layout but have never had so much vertical space to work with. I was not able to visualize the growing space until the greenhouse and house were up. I’ll admit I’ve been a little intimidated to lay out the beds.

East of the house will be primarily ornamentals and herbs. West of the house is the food garden.

Starting a large garden is a lot of hard physical labor. Fortunately the workers will do a lot of that for this initial layout so I want to get it as ‘right’ as I can and not spend the next few years disassembling and reassembling beds.

My objectives for the food garden are:

  • Maximize growing space
  • Provide direct egress from the bedroom to the west door
  • Provide a visual barrier between the bedroom and west door
  • Include a 2 foot ‘safety-barrier’ bed between the path and pond

Taken from the roof of the house, left is south and will get full sun about 6-8 months per year and partial sun in the winter as the sun shines through gaps in the trees to the south. There will be good afternoon sun from the northwest all year.

I am located in zone 8b but expect with the greenhouse I may be able to provide zone 10 conditions.

Beds along the walls are 36″ deep. Beds accessible from both sides are 48″ deep. Paths are 30″ (width of my garden cart). The main aisle is 36″ wide. The potting bench is around the corner to the left and will have electricity and hot and cold water. The greenhouse trusses are approx. 12 feet above the ground and can support hanging baskets and/or vines. The north wall is approx. 15 feet wide by 12 feet tall that can support climbers. The yellow air tubes will be 12 feet tall. The orange air tubes will be approx. 2 feet tall. All beds will have drip irrigation installed; no overhead or post-attached sprinklers. There will be lights for general illumination and lighting at the peak for accent lighting. Otherwise I haven’t decided what, if any, additional lights are needed or where to place electrical outlets.

Color Key

Accepting suggestions and/or advice in the comments below on this part of the plan.

Plant list will come later 🙂

NOTE: This page includes affiliate links. If you click and buy, I may receive a small commission without additional cost to you.

Leave a Reply