Hero Image

Designing your farm

Tips for designing your farm

Back to production guide main page

Depending on what crop(s) you would like to grow and what you would like to do with your farm, here are some helpful tips when designing the layout of your farm.

  • If you plan to host farm tours, have U-pick events, have a farm stand, or offer any other kind of farm visit, make sure the entrance to your farm is clearly marked and that there is space for visitors to park. It is also important to provide shade and restrooms to visitors, and to make sure that the site is ADA accessible so that anyone and everyone can enjoy your urban farm.
  • If the land you are farming on is on a slope, think about the directionality of the slope and how this will affect sun and wind exposure as well as water drainage. Also think about if you need to level the ground in any spots to make it easier to plant and walk around your farm.
  • Think about the spacing and direction of plant rows for sun and wind exposure.
    • You generally want rows running from North to South lengthwise so that some plants do not shade other plants. This can result in differences in plant growth that could affect overall yield.
    • If winds are a problem at your farm, you may want to plant trees or other plants to create a windbreak.
    • Here are other guides and papers that detail row orientation for different crops including strawberries, citrus, and grapes
  • Space your plants properly to leave enough space for the plants to grow to maturity while also being able to walk around it for management and harvesting purposes. Think about if you will need to bring any equipment in between the plants and if you will have enough space to do so.
  • Think about where your irrigation lines will go and if you will need to have water spigots in certain places. You may need to place irrigation lines underground to avoid creating tripping hazards.

Here is the general layout of our demonstration site, with visitors entering on the South side, fencing directing visitors through the site and surrounding the perimeter to protect from vertebrate pests, high tunnels and rows running from North to South, and main irrigation lines placed underground.

Site Layout - for paper