Planning Your Garden

When planning your garden layout in Northern Alberta, it’s crucial to consider the unique features of your landscape. Assess the natural slope, sunlight exposure, and wind patterns. Taller plants and structures should ideally be placed on the north side to prevent shading on smaller plants, optimizing sunlight distribution and minimizing the impact of strong northern winds.



Create defined pathways within your garden to ensure easy access for maintenance and harvesting. Well-planned pathways enhance the visual appeal and provide efficient navigation. Using materials like wood chips prevents soil compaction and improves drainage, contributing to a neat and organized garden layout.

Group plants (Refer to sunlight and water table below) with similar water and sunlight requirements to simplify care and maintenance. Divide your garden into sections based on specific crop needs, allowing for more efficient watering and fertilization. Zoning also facilitates crop rotation, helping to prevent soil-borne diseases.

Incorporate companion planting principles into your garden layout to maximize synergy between different plants. Certain crops complement each other by repelling pests or enhancing nutrient uptake. For example, planting marigolds near tomatoes can deter nematodes. Utilizing these natural partnerships supports plant health and contributes to a more visually appealing and biodiverse garden.

Leave room for flexibility and adaptability in your garden design. Consider seasonal changes and potential expansion. Allowing space for rotating crops or introducing new varieties ensures a dynamic and thriving gardening experience in Northern Alberta.

Sunlight and Water Table

1. **Tomatoes:** These sun-loving plants require full sun to produce optimal fruit. 

Watering requirements: While they require consistent watering, tomatoes prefer well-drained soil to prevent waterlogged roots.

2. **Peppers:** Like tomatoes, peppers thrive in full sunlight and warmer temperatures. 

Watering requirements: Similar to tomatoes, peppers benefit from regular watering to maintain consistent soil moisture.

3. **Cucumbers:** Cucumbers do well in full sun and need warm temperatures to grow successfully.

Watering requirements: Adequate and consistent watering is essential for cucumbers, especially during hot and dry periods.

4. **Zucchini and Squash:** These vegetables prefer full sunlight and warm conditions for healthy growth and fruiting.

Watering requirements: These vegetables appreciate consistent moisture, particularly during flowering and fruiting stages.

5. **Herbs (Basil, Rosemary, Thyme):** Most herbs thrive in full sun, making them suitable companions for vegetables with similar sunlight requirements.

Watering requirements: Most herbs prefer well-drained soil and moderate watering, avoiding waterlogged conditions.

6. **Lettuce:** While lettuce can tolerate partial shade, it generally benefits from at least partial sunlight for optimal growth.

Watering requirements: Lettuce requires consistent watering to keep the soil evenly moist, especially during warmer weather.

7. **Carrots:** Carrots prefer full sun but can tolerate some shade, making them versatile in various garden layouts.

Watering requirements: While they don’t like waterlogged soil, carrots benefit from consistent moisture, especially during the germination period.

8. **Radishes:** Radishes thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, making them suitable for sunny spots in your garden.

Watering requirements: Radishes prefer regular watering to ensure even and quick growth.

9. **Beans:** Both bush and pole beans generally require full sun to produce abundant crops.

Watering requirements: Beans need regular watering, particularly during flowering and pod development stages.

10. **Melons (Watermelon, Cantaloupe):** These heat-loving fruits do well in full sun and warm climates.

Watering requirements: Adequate and consistent watering is crucial for these heat-loving fruits, especially during dry spells.

Remember, while these plants share similar sunlight preferences, individual variations and microclimates in your garden may influence their specific needs. Always consider the unique conditions of your growing space for the best results. 

Adjust your watering schedule based on weather conditions and the specific needs of each plant. Factors such as soil type and drainage also play a role in determining the ideal watering routine for your garden in Alberta.