We have a 12×20 vegetable garden – in Swansea, full sun, normal dirt (…maybe loam? not sand, muddy when wet) – that we’ve had to keep under landscaping fabric for the last two years. We used to grow raspberries and vegetables. We are listing our home in three weeks and would like potential buyers to know there is a potential garden there. What can we do in 3 weeks to make it look good? Just mulch and rows? Any plants? Or will it just look sparse? We have a million other things to do also so need a simple plan. Our realtor recommended evergreen shrubs but I’m not sure. Thank you.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Given that the space was originally used for growing vegetables and raspberries, I think it makes sense to replant it with vegetables based on the shape and location of the bed in the photograph. Planting it with evergreen shrubs is costly and the new owners may choose to rip out your landscaping to make it their own, thereby wasting these plant materials. Evergreen shrubs might also not fit the aesthetic of the rest of the garden and the rectangular shape and placement of this bed.
These articles from The Spruce, Better Homes and Gardens, and All about Gardening list some of the fastest growing vegetables which, given your short timeline, might be helpful for you. Buying vegetables in small pots and cell packs, rather than growing from seeds, will give you a 3-4 week head start although leafy greens, radishes, baby turnips, beets and mini broccoli are all fast growers from seeds. You might even be able to harvest some of your vegetables before moving which would be a nice bonus.
Finally, some of the vegetable garden designs at Better Homes and Gardens might be a good resource as well so you do not need to take the time to plan out your garden. You can use one of the pre-set designs or combine a few to get the right combination of fast growth rate and appearance that you want.
I wish you all the best with this quick garden project and the sale of your house.