Backyard Potager Gardening Guide

A potager garden, often known as a “kitchen garden” is a French form of gardening used in many parts of history. You can grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables together with flowers and ornamentals, and from here, you create a practical and visually beautiful garden landscape.

A small potager garden is traditionally positioned just outside the home, and the backyard potager garden is to be enjoyed regularly.

Pathways allow you to take in the beauty of the potager layout garden while offering quick access to an abundance of food. You could pick fresh vegetables for the evening meal and cut flowers for the table from the thousands of potager designs you could follow.

potager garden

Potager garden designs exist in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the freestyle flow of a cottage garden to the geometric rigidity of a knot garden and everything in between. You’ll find this one key aspect of any potager garden design ideas, as there aren’t any established guidelines for this sort of garden.

Nowadays, there are a growing number of people interested in knowing where their food originates. Urban and rural gardeners have decided for gardens over grass, so in our guide, if you want to know what is a potager garden, and how it helps, you can find out here.

In our guide, you can learn more about how to design a potager garden and reap the benefits of an effective potager garden layout. (Create Your Dream Garden with Free Landscape Design Software)

How Do You Make a Potager Garden?

You may be full of potager garden ideas, yet before you get your hands dirty, it’s vital you get your potager layout design sorted for your potager garden year-round garden for a few reasons.

Here are the first steps to get your potager garden plans in action.

Location

Most vegetables, flower, herb, and fruit plants require a lot of sunlight, making your garden a sunny spot. Potager gardens efficiently use space, so they don’t have to be overly large.

Shape and Structure

The beauty and productivity of potager gardens are well known, and most potager gardens are designed with geometrical designs in mind, using triangles, circles, squares, and semicircles to present a pleasing aesthetic look.

They also cultivate climbing vine vegetables, fruits, and flowers on trellises, fences, and arbors, saving space. You can use pole beans (haricots verts), grapevines, and climbing roses as examples of plants in your design.

USDA Zone

Find the agricultural growing zone in your area. This information is critical in determining which plant varieties will flourish in your garden. (Read What Causes Cucumbers To Be Bitter)

Soil Type

Knowing the type of soil you have can make a difference. Test your garden soil to see whether it needs anything added to deliver its optimum development potential. Add a good dose of compost or organic matter to the soil, so your plants have access to the nutrients they require.

Principles of Potager Garden Design

There are several fundamental principles needed to create the perfect potager garden.

To create the ideal potager garden, you’ll need to follow a few key guidelines.

boundary

Boundaries

There are boundaries in any potager garden. Sunflowers, dwarf fruit trees, or bushes are all-natural options. Alternatively, you can use existing walls or fences that might define the boundaries.

Another option is growing vining plants on fences for space conservation and beauty.

Keep it near to the house and Kitchen

The primary goal of this garden is to offer veggies for the kitchen and are convenient. It’s best to plant the garden as close as possible to the kitchen, unlike your traditional veggie garden.

Create a focal point

Most potager gardens have a focal point since they are about beauty and function. Add a birdbath or garden pedestal full of overripe fruit. This is a beautiful way to create beauty and supply your busy pollinators with food and drink.

You can use arbors or archways, trailing roses, jasmine, or honeysuckle, to add scents to your garden, and pollinators love them.

A pleasant look can be a garden shed at the end of the garden; you can use it to keep all your tools or as a place to sit out of the sun.

Trellises can be full of culinary plants while adding focal pieces and are space-saving. (Learn How To Cut Kale From Garden)

Beauty

A classic potager garden style combines beauty and practicality. Experiment with the colors and textures of the plants, including a variety of fruits, flowers, and foliage. This will create an exquisite space that appeals to all of your senses.

Plant foods together with bright-colored ornamental or perennial plants to add texture.

Near the front of your garden beds, plant all your blues and purples. Colors like reds, orange, and yellow can be seen and should be planted to the rear.

Decorative statues are also common in potager gardens; fountains, birdbaths, and sundials can give your garden and themes such as French, Italian, or another country style.

garden bed

Raised Garden Beds

A traditional potager garden uses a certain type of growing space. When you create a potager garden, raised beds are the ideal solution. It makes things easier to plant and harvest and provides space for your plants to thrive. (Read Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Layout)

Geometrical shapes are perfect for garden beds, so you can easily create symmetry.

Pathways

Pathways offer something to look at as well as offer access to both sides of your potager garden.

Avoid Planting the Same Species in One Area

Do this, and you can add variety and beauty, but it also stops insects and diseases from spreading through your plants. For instance, if you plant all cabbages together and have a cabbage worm infestation, you could lose all your veg.

Allow Some Plants to Bloom

As garlic and onions mature, they deliver unusual blossoms. Let a few bloom rather than harvest them all.

Some herbs you can let do the same as you can pluck what you need to cook with; lavender can give you an extended scent that flows around your garden and home to keep pests away.

Annually Rotate Beds

Rotate your garden bed each year when you plant. Within the principles of the potager garden, you’ll see they recommend harvesting fresh and replant or rotate crops based on season and growing conditions.

What Can You Grow in a Potager Garden?

Color is an obvious factor in an ornamental vegetable garden, and there is an infinite number of color combinations to choose from.

White midribs and green leaves of Swiss chard, or red cabbage close to green cabbage, will create a feeling of drama. 

Ornamental plants like orange calendula, golden sunflowers, and electric blue cornflowers are frequent in a potager garden plot. 

Most of these plants and more are beneficial companion plants and well-liked by beneficial insects for their nectar, which aids pollination in all your veg crops. 

Flowers and cabbages can create a unique appearance. Plant texture is frequently disregarded, although it is a vital aspect of plot design. 

Thin, erect leaves of chives are beautiful next to the oval leaves and more rounded form of sage, while the feathery leaves of carrots or fennel make the perfect backdrop for wrinkled kale, just as they do with color in the heart of France.

What is The Meaning of Potager?

The French potager differs from American residential vegetable gardens, where the French mix herbs, edible flowers, non-edible flowers, fruits, and vegetables in a way that look good.

With a potager, you plant and replant throughout the season, and whatever you can bring into the house is what you cook with.

Potager means soup, and the potagers are soup gardens that sit at the back of the chateau gardens inside the walls. Here you have immediate access to veg, so you could walk outside and have everything at your fingertips with which to eat.

Can You Mix Flowers and Vegetables in a Garden?

No rule says you can’t mix vegetables and flowers. In reality, the addition of flowers and herbs to the raised beds kitchen garden is really beneficial. Flowering plants aren’t simply attractive in the vegetable garden; they also make useful.

Companion planting flowers and herbs with vegetables in your kitchen garden has several advantages, including the ability to protect your vegetables from insect pests and even make their productivity.

Flowers aren’t necessarily the showiest on vegetables. Companion plant flowers in your raised beds kitchen garden that offers high nectar concentrations or in colors of blue, yellow, or white make bees discover your vegetable plants.

Flowering herbs should not be overlooked. The mint family of herbs, such as oregano and thyme, are appealing to bees. Of course, you’ll have to give time from harvesting a few plants to allow them to set buds and flower. Cosmos, larkspur, mints, sunflowers, sweet peas, and zinnias are some other options. (Learn When Do Irises Bloom)

It’s still debatable if some plants actively repel pests in the garden or make it to a healthier habitat. However, the subject merits additional investigation, and it certainly won’t harm to try them if you have a problem in your garden.

The opportunity to situate your cutting raised beds where they won’t be scrutinized for their design or appearance is another benefit of companion planting flowers in the vegetable garden. Plant Black-Eyed Susan, celosias, salvias, and zinnias with the vegetables, where appearances are less important than utility. Allow them to double as cut flowers and pollinator attractants.

The original cottage garden style developed through companion planting of vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

The wealthy might afford to divide their gardens into sections for different plants. Companion planting may be the answer to your gardening challenge if you are short on space or time, besides all the benefits listed above.

Backyard Potager Gardening Guide (2)

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