How Big Does My Garden Need to Be?

— Written By

Gardening means different things to different people. Thousands view gardening as a hobby, a relaxing
escape from the pressures of an urban environment. For these people, the food produced may be almost
secondary. Growing fresh vegetables, herbs, or fruits provides a great sense of joy and accomplishment.
A vegetable garden can also reduce the family’s food budget, and it can be a source of hard-to-find
vegetables such as kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, horseradish, salsify, and pak choi. One of the main
reasons that people garden is that vegetables from the supermarket cannot compare in taste, quality, or
freshness with vegetables grown in the home garden.
The vegetable garden has traditionally been located in an area separate from other parts of the landscape
because it was considered unsightly. With proper planning, however, the garden can be both functional
and attractive. Landscape designers today often incorporate the home landscape and ornamental plants
such as flowering annuals into the vegetable garden. This gardening philosophy, coupled with our
favorable climate, can offer gardening opportunities nearly all year long.

Larry Bass
Extension Horticultural Specialist
Department of Horticultural Science
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
North Carolina State University

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