I am planning to grow a new vegetable/herb garden. I am relatively new to gardening, so could use any feedback on the attached layout I have created. Some of the herbs have started growing indoors, but I'm still waiting for most of the seeds to arrive. I am also trying my luck at growing lemon, fig and olive from seed - although I'd be happy if even one grows, so I'm not planning this with them in mind.

I have about 16x3 meters, perhaps more. The area gets evening sun, perhaps 8 hours this time of the year, and the top edge is against a wall. I am in England, where the winters are long and it rains a lot.

Any feedback?

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  • 2
    You need to work out where North is in order to work out sun/light exposure during the growing season - all the things you want to grow require maximum sunlight, herbs in particular, so you need to be able to work out which spots are the sunniest, also taking into account any other sources of shade,such as walls, trees, hedges etc.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 4:03
  • 1
    Remember that some plants are perennials and will have permanent positions, while others are annuals and should be "rotated" to different locations each year. You might want to reconsider where to put your perennial plants like asparagus, mint, garlic, etc so they don't get in the way of relocating everything else in subsequent years.
    – alephzero
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 5:10
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    @Bamboo The area furthest from the wall gets the most sun. Besides that, there's not much obstruction. Being so far north in England, the sun will vary wildly throughout the year so its difficult to accurately plan. I'm thinking of just putting the plants that need more sun (like tomatoes) further from the wall.
    – moinudin
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 10:52
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    @alephzero Do you have a reference link I can read on which plants are annuals? The sources I found mostly seemed to refer to plants which died annually and had to be reseeded but that seem different from what you're talking about.
    – moinudin
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


A few comments to add to those by @bamboo and @alephzero,

Blueberries like acidic soil.

Get yourself/make yourself a compost bin to recycle your garden waste.

Doesn't really matter what you do the first year as you'll learn so much both by your successes and mistakes.

Having said that, only grow what you enjoy eating.

Consider how much room the different plants take up. Butternut squash, for example, are excellent vegetables (in my opinion) but are potential triffids when they get going.

If you want to grow lemons or figs (I don't know about olives) why not invest in a decent named variety ("Brown Turkey" fig, for example) rather than sow seeds, which might not germinate, will take ages to produce a decent size plant and might well not come true and produce edible fruit.

Get yourself a decent book on the subject (this one, for example) and, if possible, visit suitable gardens open to the public for inspiration. RHS Wisley, for example, has both a model allotment and fruit garden. Visit and learn.

Some seed catalogues (Dobies, for example) are packed full of information on growing stuff.

Good luck and enjoy.

  • 1
    What's a good way to make the soil acidic? I read about using peet, but I don't like it for being non eco friendly. How far away should acidic and alkaline plants be planted? I only have one bed, but it's large.
    – moinudin
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 10:55
  • Do you know of a good lemon and olive variety that grows well in English climate? I have considered buying small trees and the amount of times I hear this suggested is finally compelling me.
    – moinudin
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 10:56
  • There are a few different RHS Wisely books. Do you mean the one named Experts Gardeners Advice?
    – moinudin
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 10:58
  • I've added a book suggestion.
    – Peter4075
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 18:45

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