Grow / Solutions

How To Design An Organic Vegetable Garden

Summer is on the horizon, get your garden ready with these simple essentials.

How To Design An Organic Vegetable Garden

There are so many benefits to having your very own garden. Not only does a garden produce food but it also creates a sense of community. It’s even been said that working with soil can produce similar effects as antidepressants.

There are four important factors to keep in mind when planting your garden this summer. A healthy dose of nutrient-rich soil, sunshine, and proper irrigation are a recipe for a successful gardening experience. Learn what to plan for before you get your hands in the dirt.

Bonus! Click below to download our seasonal planting chart.

Download PDF

When planning out your garden, there are four important factors to keep in mind before seeding or planting your seedlings:

Sun/Light Exposure

This is the first thing to consider when you are thinking about starting a garden. Begin by surveying your yard and finding which areas are the sunniest. Veggies need a minimum of 6 hours of sun or light per day with morning sun being ideal. Usually, the south side of your property receives the most sun. If the south side of your property is not available for planting, then the next best exposure is usually to the east.


A healthy garden requires regular watering. But let’s face it, we don’t always have the time to water daily. What is the solution? A drip system! They are easy to install, inexpensive and water efficient. You can even attach a timer and set the time(s) and day(s) you want the system to run.


Plants are like humans, if we have all the nutrients our bodies need, it’s easier for us to fend off disease. The same holds true with plants. If you are planting in a raised bed, it is important to never use potting soil. Make sure your soil has plenty of worms and microorganisms. If you’re growing in-ground, you’ll have a bit more work to do. Start by choosing rich organic soil amendments like compost and manure (steer, horse, rabbit, or chicken – but make sure they are well composted). Another excellent addition is worm castings and compost tea.


Choosing the right seeds/seedlings for your garden based on the season you are planting for. If you are located in Southern California, you have the privilege of growing year round. There is a ‘cool season’ (September-February) and a ‘warm season’ (March-September), if you plant your warm season crops during the warm season and the cool season crops during the cool season then your chances of success greatly increase. For example, broccoli is a ‘cool season’ crop that is often attacked by pests, you can grow it in the spring and summer but you’ll have to work harder to combat pests and critters. However, if you plant your broccoli seeds in fall, your chances of a healthy, pest-free crop, are much greater. To learn more about choosing the right seeds for your organic garden, click here.

Let us know how your garden is growing! Mention or tag us on your social media posts @theecologycenter.