Designing new Potager

senko(6b ePA)February 25, 2010

I will like to build a new Potager for our suburban home which will go next to a shed in the backyard. I have done some vegetable gardenning in the past but not much. We have many visitors from the wild: Bunnies, deer, birds, groundhog, squirrels etc. It also need to look good since we can observe it from patio, from house, from road.

What kind of sources (books, websites, etc.) would you recommend to help with the design and building?

Thanks in advance.

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One of my favorite potager books is Jennifer Bartley's, Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook. She has a lot of great ideas and plans for potagers in the book.

Another great "nuts and bolts" gardening book is Sally Jean Cunningham's Great Garden Companions. It focuses on grouping plants and companion planting over style, but it's very interesting.

For the pests, nothing much except a deer fence will keep out hungry deer, but if they're not hungry, some pungent herbs and flowers may distract them from the veggies. Our barn kitties are the best defense against all the smaller wildlife.

It sounds like you'll have a very nice potager...I hope you'll take before and after pictures. They're always so fun to see and give others a lot of inspiration for their own gardens :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 4:27PM
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I'm a bit of a book nut. To get started, I used Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening, Patricia Lanza's Lasagna Gardening, and Jan Gertley's Art of the Kitchen Garden. I've added to my collection since. I also love Rosemary Verey's potager in Making of a Garden and some great ideas in Creative Vegetable Gardening by Joy Larkon. You can probably find lots of inspirational pics on-line or at the library.

For fencing, I definitely recommend trenching at least 6-12" of chicken wire in the ground if little critters are an issue. If there's a little bit of space, they'll be in.

Like lavender says, take pics.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:08PM
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I like the look of a wood fence then line it with the rectangle hole type wire fence and it will keep the critters out and you can attach it to the wood fence to hold it up. the wood the draws the eye away from the wire so it doesn't look as bad. It also helps the wire last longer. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 9:10PM
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senko(6b ePA)

Thanks for all the suggestions. The wire trenched into the ground and attached to the wood fence: I will do. Also I will get some before and after pictures and post them if it comes out good.
For the books: Now I have a list and about to hit the library, I'll see if they got them. If not may be on line used books.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:57AM
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There is a new book by Barbara Pleasant, who writes for Mother Earth News, called Starter Vegetable Gardens. Somebody posted a video review on Amazon that really shows you a lot about it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:41PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

On the fencing subject, I plan to put in a four foot high boxwood hedge around my potager this year. I will then put a wire fence on the inside of that to keep out small critters. Hopefully, the hedge will make the fencing invisible to the eye.

I have "The New Kitchen Garden" by Anna Pavord. She is English so everything she writes doesn't translate to us, but most does. She gives lots of info on growing fruit, and great directions on espalier. I second the motion for Jennifer Bartley's book, AND anything by Barbara Pleasant is worth reading. She's one of my favorites.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:29AM
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