How to Create a Side Garden in a Yard


You do not need a large garden to relax and unwind; a small patch in the side of your yard is enough to add color and beauty to the surrounding landscape, and make relaxing more pleasant. You can start a vegetable or fruit garden as well if you want fresh, homegrown food. With the right tools, you are well on your way to creating a visually appealing, colorful and peaceful retreat in your yard.

Step 1

Step out into your yard to determine where you want to create your side garden so you can demarcate it with powdered chalk or spray paint. Look for a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight, without being overshadowed by your house or your neighbors. Also decide the size of your side garden. The size depends entirely on the yard area available A two-foot square will suffice, as will an eight-foot big garden.

Step 2

Decide the size of your side garden. The size depends on the yard area available A 2-foot square will suffice, as will an 8-foot big garden.

Step 3

Draw a diagram on a graph paper outlining your side garden so you can make important decisions, such as whether you want square or rectangular raised beds, where to install them, where to place containers and large planters and proper spacing of your plants or flowers. Make all the necessary corrections and amendments now, before you start building.

Step 4

Dig down 2 inches inside the demarcated area to create a trench for the raised beds. Decide how high you want the beds to be. Ideally, a raised bed should be 12 to 15 inches high and 2 inches thick. Collect the dirt in a wheelbarrow to discard.

Step 5

Purchase lengths of wood from your hardware store depending on the size, shape and height of your raised beds. Also purchase large planters and containers that are at least 12 inches in diameter and have adequate drainage holes in their base, and seeds or seedlings of your desired plants, flowers or vegetables.

Step 6

Connect both the ends of two boards with each other using galvanized wood screws. Repeat the process with two other boards. You will have two L-shaped frames. Now join them both together so they form a box. Repeat this procedure with other boards if you want to create more raised beds.

Step 7

Place the box in the trench you created. Fill it with a layer of gravel to improve drainage. Then fill it with good quality potting soil and compost to a 3:1 ratio, and rake it so they mix well. Also fill containers and planters the same way.

Step 8

Plant seeds or seedlings directly into the raised beds and containers, following label instructions on depth and spacing.

Step 9

Apply a layer of mulch over the soil to retain moisture.

Step 10

Place containers appropriately to create visual effect. Place them in groups of three or four, or keep some on the ground and others on stands or overturned pots.

Things You'll Need

  • Powdered chalk
  • Graph paper
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Lumber
  • Containers
  • Seeds and seedlings
  • Galvanized wood screws
  • Drilling machine
  • Earplugs
  • Gravel
  • Good quality potting soil
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Mulch


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Keywords: side garden, yard garden, small yard garden

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.