vegetable gardens in Switzerland

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I was so impressed by the Swiss garden plots. Such a nice mix of flowers, grass and productive space. Most of the plots I photographed are ‘community gardens’. They have small huts, eating space, and grassy areas so the plots can be enjoyed as a vacation or weekend getaway.

I was impressed by the nice pruning of espaliered fruit trees. I will try do prune back my pears and apple tree this year.

Also different from US is that most gardens seem to use a cover for tomatoes. These are just being set up now and some have been planted with small tomato plants already. I think this keeps the rain off the leaves and the plants are watered by hand directly at the soil level. A good idea to reduce fungal diseases. I think here this may not be as effective since our climate is more damp and the covered will also reduce moisture evaporation. Does anyone in the US cover their tomatoes?

14 Comments. Leave new

  • As in many parts of Europe,in the UK in recent years we have suffered very severely from tomato (and potato) blight, which is an airborne fungal disease. This is why many people have given up growing outdoor tomatoes, or have taken to providing them with overhead protection.

  • Love the neat garden plots. It's so interesting seeing gardens from around the world. Often, in the dead of winter when I'm STARVED for gardening, I google vegetable gardens. What a great fix for the mid winter doldrums.

  • You've gotta love the Europeans in general. They have fully integrated their gardening with their urban landscapes. Maybe the covers are to reduce sun scald?

  • A really great post here. When in Europe I am always amazed at how space is utilized so efficiently!


  • wow, holy tidiness! Those boards are a great idea. Walk on those, not on the soil. Great idea. May have to copy? =) Thanks for sharing those great gardens and ideas.

  • Very impressive -it looks like a way of life for the entire community! One thing that stood out to me in your pictures was the absence of raised beds. We have thought about doing raised beds, but have not become convinced of their usefulness. There must be a reason they are popular around here, but for now they just seem like more cost and extra work.

  • In my home garden, located in Idaho (U.S.A.), we use walls of water right after planting to warm the soil and protect against frost damage. We are blessed with low humidity during the summer which helps to dry any moisture from watering or rainfall. Therefore, we do not need to cover our tomatoes.

    Great pictures too!

    -Tommy S.

  • I was only going to cover my tomatoes with gauze (ala the Godfather) for protection from the scorching sun.

    These gardens are beautiful.

  • The raised bed observation is interesting. Raised beds are used mostly to warm the soil earlier in the spring and if you want to modify the soil without having to remove a large amount of it. They also help with drainage and reducing compaction by defining the garden and walking space.

    I think in a hot dry area, like this region of Switzerland, raised beds aren't helpful. But in cold, wet Massachusetts they are.

    Any other thoughts?

  • Thank you Kathy for your helpful thoughts on raised beds. Now I better understand why they're used.

  • My raised beds in hot, dry California work well because the native soil is crap.

  • I think raised beds substantially improve crop production on all scales, the whole reason you have rows or furrows is because you pile sand into long strips essentially. I think with the new availability of durable materials cheap industrial raised beds would get more and more prevalent.

  • I have noticed that about 95% of home gardeners here cover their tomatoes. Personally I think the plastic tomato 'houses' detract aesthetically from the garden, but it seems like late blight is always a problem and those that cover can postpone it by about a month. What surprises me is that nothings is done for potatoes, yet everyone harvests delicious disease free potatoes. I wonder if the regional potatoes are naturally disease resistant, any ideas?

  • I was always amazed by the ABSENCE OF WEEDS in Swiss gardens. Yet I never saw anyone out hoeing or weeding. Do they do it at night?


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