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Home > Types of Gardening > Backyard Gardening > Choosing a Plot
Choosing a Plot
A common mistake among beginning and experienced gardeners alike is to plant more than they can care for. A successful backyard garden plot does not need to be big. A small, well-tended garden will grow as much or more produce than a larger one that the owner cannot keep up with.

 PlotChoose a sunny location where water is readily available to create a garden plot. Most vegetables do best in full sun, but if the plot does not receive full sun all day, try to find a place that gets at least six hours of sunlight.

If a plot has never been used as a garden before, it will probably need to be cleared. If grass or sod is growing in the soil, remove it from the plot. Do not try to mix the sod into the soil. Grass roots are tenuous and tightly intermingled, making it difficult to break up and smooth out grass clumps. These clumps may also sprout later and become weeds. Remove large weeds, while tilling under the smaller weeds. Large stones or other foreign objects should be removed from the area leaving a clear area for the garden to grow.

Try to select a spot with good, rich soil. Good garden soil is deep, loose, fertile, well drained, rich in organic matter, and has a neutral pH. The ideal garden soil composition is about five percent organic matter; twenty-five percent air; twenty-five percent water; and forty-five percent mineral matter with a neutral pH of about seven. Soils in desert areas are alkaline and are not naturally fertile. Plan to work to improve what is there.
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