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What type of garden is right for you?

Property size, your budget, the time you have for maintenance and the ideal location to grow the vegetable plants you want will all determine the kinds of garden you should plan for. An 8 m2 garden should be more than adequate for a family of four.

In-ground beds

In-ground beds are just that: you set your plants directly in the ground.

To establish an in-ground vegetable garden you need to wait until the snowmelt runoff has been absorbed, then:

  1. Get rid of the grass - use a spade to remove the turf.
  2. Turn over the soil mass to a depth of approximately 20 cm to aerate and loosen the soil.
  3. Remove stones, grass, weeds and roots.
  4. Check soil composition and incorporate amendments if necessary.


  • Economical - you only need to buy soil amendments, seeds and plants.
  • Roots, and especially root vegetables, have all the space they need to develop.
  • Soil retains moisture for a longer period of time, particularly if you cover it with straw or a plastic sheet so that water needs are minimized.
  • Suitable for all vegetables, even demanding plants such as squash and cucumber.


  • The work is more physically demanding (soil preparation, maintenance and harvesting on your knees or crawling)
  • It requires more maintenance (weekly hoeing and weeding).
  • You have to wait for the ground to be completely drained after the snow has melted before working the earth in the spring.


From an aesthetic and practical point of view, you can decide to fence in your vegetable garden, but it's not a requirement. However, you may decide to prevent animals, both domestic and wild, from eating or damaging your plants.

Raised beds

In a raised bed vegetable garden, plants grow either in a structure built directly on the ground or in a raised structure (on a base).

The ideal structure:

  • Is made of materials that contain no toxic chemicals (wood, brick, concrete, stone, etc.);
  • Is at least 15 to 45 cm deep to promote healthy root growth and development;
  • Is no more than 120 cm wide so that the center is easily accessible for maintenance and harvesting.


  • Maintenance and harvesting is easier (the gardener can work either sitting down or standing up).
  • There a fewer weeds.
  • Soil fertility and drainage is maximized since you only use good soil.
  • Space is optimized with denser planting and no paths between rows.
  • This is a good solution for uneven ground.
  • Raised soil drains and dries out more quickly in the spring.


  • Water needs are greater, particularly during heat waves, because the soil dries out more quickly.
  • Initial costs are higher since the price of materials to build the structures has to be included.
  • Denser planting may result in a higher incidence of disease.
  • It does not suit demanding plants such as pumpkin and peas.

Vertical garden

In a vertical garden, plants grow on vertical plant supports. This is the ideal solution for people who have very little space, who want to hide a less attractive area in the yard or who want to create an original privacy wall.

Types of vertical garden

In-ground plants that climb a wood or metal trellis. Integrates well with an in-ground garden for demanding plants such as peas, squash, climbing beans, strawberry plants, and cucumbers.

Plants in a wall structure containing earth. Ideal for herbs, lettuce, spinach, radishes, garlic, green onions, strawberry plants, and pansies. Note: ensure that materials used for the structure haven't been chemically treated.

Plants in containers hung on a vertical structure.


  • Good solution when space is at a premium.
  • Very easy maintenance and harvest.
  • No weeds.
  • Soil fertility and drainage are maximized since only good soil is used.


  • Not suitable for all plants, depending on the type of vertical garden.
  • Watering needs to be more frequent and can be difficult depending on the type of vertical garden.

Container planting

Pedestal planters, hanging planters or planters hooked on the railing: all containers can be suitable for growing vegetables, herbs, small fruit and edible flowers as long as the containers have holes on the bottom for drainage purposes. Clean and disinfect your containers before planting.


  • Ideal for urban agriculture and balcony gardens.
  • Very easy maintenance and harvest.
  • Soil fertility and drainage are maximized since only good soil is used.


  • Suitability is restricted to plants that require minimal soil depth.
  • More frequent watering is necessary since the soil dries out more quickly.