Vegetable Garden Layout Planning | Bonnie Plants (2024)

Is there anything more satisfying and delicious than growing your own food? From the first tender tips of asparagus in spring to the tasty tang of summer's homegrown tomatoes, a garden filled with beautiful, productive plants provides a terrific sense of accomplishment—and fabulous, fresh meals. In order to grow such an amazing harvest, though, it's important to figure out the best vegetable garden layout for your space and the plants you want to grow. Here's how to do it.

1. Select Your Site

To begin, take stock of your potential growing space. Consider these elements:

Where do you get the most sun? Many vegetables require 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. Note that the south, east, and west sides of your home will get more sun than the north.

Is there a spot near the house? If you lay out your vegetable garden near an entrance way, you'll pass it often. That way, it's more likely that you'll notice when watering is needed or pests invade

Is there already a lot of vegetation around? If there is a large number of shrubs or trees, they will compete with your garden not only for nutrients and moisture in the soil, but also for sunlight. Be sure to steer clear of walnut trees, which produce a toxin that's harmful to vegetable plants.

How far away is the water? Make certain that the space you select for your vegetable garden layout provides easy access to a water source. Do that and you won't have to schlep a hose or heavy watering can all over the yard.

How much space do you need? While having a huge garden may sound like a great idea, it can also be overwhelming if you're a new gardener. It's better to start small, with a few raised beds or containers, then add to your vegetable garden plan each year.

2. List What You Love

Are you a culinary master, hoping to grow a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes for fabulous meals? Do you adore Brussels sprouts but despise collards? Before you purchase any plants, create a list of the vegetables you love, then allocate space in your vegetable garden layout to grow them.

Be sure to include space-saving trellises to support vining veggies like cucumbers and peas, and if perennial plants like asparagus and strawberries top your favorite foods list, consider creating a permanent plot for them to grow.

3. Lay Out Your Garden on Paper

Although it may give you an unwelcome flashback to geometry class, graph paper really is your friend when creating a vegetable garden layout. By putting your garden on paper before you lift a shovel, you'll save time—and avoid potential mistakes.

First, take a photo of your garden area and measure its approximate size. Using a ratio of 1 foot = 1 box on the graph paper, sketch the beds and containers you plan to use, leaving enough space between them to push a wheelbarrow. Limit the width of each vegetable bed to 3 to 4 feet, so that you'll be able to reach across the bed to plant, weed, or harvest without stepping onto the soil and compacting it.

Vegetable Garden Layout Planning | Bonnie Plants (1)

4. Add Your Plants

Now, add the names of the plants you want to grow to the vegetable garden planner, making sure to leave enough space in between each one. (To find out how much space each plant requires, look for your favorite varieties here.) Crowded plants have to compete for nutrients, sunlight, and water, so they're not able to grow as big and strong as they otherwise would.

As a general rule, put tall veggies toward the back of the bed, mid-sized ones in the middle, and smaller plants in the front or as a border. Consider adding pollinator plants to attract beneficial insects that can not only help you get a better harvest, but will also prey on garden pests.

Also, if this isn't your first garden, think about where you planted your veggies last year, then be sure to rotate them to different beds for the coming season to help prevent diseases and avoid plant-hungry pests that overwinter in the soil. (Learn more about crop rotation right here.)

To give yourself the best chance for a big harvest, mix Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Vegetables & Herbs into your beds, use Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix in your containers, and feed your plants regularly with Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘n Feed® Tomato, Fruit & Vegetable Plant Food so you know they're getting all the nutrition they need. (Be sure to follow label directions.)

5. Learn from Your Successes (and Failures)

Use your vegetable garden planner to make notes for next year's garden. What tomato provided the tastiest BLT? What kind of plant proved most challenging to grow? Were there any drawbacks to the space you chose? Even a good vegetable garden layout can get better. Celebrate your delicious garden successes, then go ahead and tweak your layout to grow even more veggies next year.

Vegetable Garden Layout Planning | Bonnie Plants (2024)

FAQs

What is the best way to layout a vegetable garden? ›

As a general rule, put tall veggies toward the back of the bed, mid-sized ones in the middle, and smaller plants in the front or as a border. Consider adding pollinator plants to attract beneficial insects that can not only help you get a better harvest, but will also prey on garden pests.

What order should I plant my vegetable garden? ›

You can grow a successful vegetable garden whichever way you run the rows, as long as you pay attention to where you plant taller and shorter growing vegetables. Always plant the tallest vegetables to the northern side of the garden and the shorter growing vegetables to the southern side of the garden.

How many plants can you have in a 4x8 raised bed? ›

You can grow up to 32 different plants inside your 4' x 8' raised garden bed using “Square Foot Gardening” techniques. There are countless books and online resources available to guide you in this rewarding method of gardening.

How do I make a garden layout plan? ›

How to design a garden
  1. Think about what you want. ...
  2. Choose a location for your garden. ...
  3. Determine the size and shape of your border. ...
  4. Mark and measure the garden. ...
  5. Look for plants adapted to your growing conditions. ...
  6. From the list of suitable plants, make selections according to the basic principles of flower garden design.

What vegetables should not be planted next to each other? ›

14 Vegetables You Should Never Plant Together—Gardening Experts Explain Why
  • 01 of 14. Beans and Onions. ...
  • 02 of 14. Tomatoes and Potatoes. ...
  • 03 of 14. Corn and Tomatoes. ...
  • 04 of 14. Tomatoes and Brassicas. ...
  • 05 of 14. Cucumber and Squash. ...
  • 06 of 14. Lettuce and Celery. ...
  • 07 of 14. Fennel and Tomatoes. ...
  • 08 of 14. Peppers and Cabbage.
Jan 16, 2024

What should I plant first in my vegetable garden? ›

Peas and spinach can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked in March, followed by radishes, beets, carrots, dill, and cilantro a couple weeks later. To sow seeds directly in the garden, draw furrows into the soil surface where you want to sow your seed, then drop seeds into the furrow at the appropriate spacing.

What veggies to plant next to each other? ›

Companion Planting Chart
CropCompanion Plants
LettuceCarrot, garlic, peas, radish, strawberry, onion, chive
OnionBeet, carrot, lettuce, tomato, watermelon, eggplant
PeasApple, carrot, radish, raspberry, turnip
PepperBasil, garlic, onions, radish, nasturtium, cilantro, marigold
13 more rows
Mar 29, 2024

What month is best to plant vegetable garden? ›

The two major planting periods, however, are spring (March to May) and fall (mid-July to September). The spring plantings are harvested in June and July, while the fall plantings are harvested from October to December.

What is the most efficient garden layout? ›

I. Square-Foot Gardening Layouts

Square-foot gardening (SFG) makes efficient use of space. Normally, an SFG garden is made of multiple 4 x 4 foot “boxes” (deeply-raised beds) that can be densely planted for multiple harvests. A lattice is laid across the top to separate each square foot.

How many cucumber plants in 4x8 bed? ›

Using square foot gardening, you can comfortably grow two cucumber plants per square foot. Another great plant for square foot gardening is the cucumber. A healthy square foot gardening cucumber plant has a yield of approximately 5 pounds, and can also be grown vertically with support from a trellis.

What plants grow well together chart? ›

Vegetables and Herbs Companion Planting Chart
PlantGood Together
PotatoBush Bean, Cabbage, Carrot, Corn, Horseradish, Onion, Parsnip, Peas
RadishBeet, Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Parsnip, Peas, Spinach, Squash
SpinachCelery, Corn, Eggplant, Cauliflower
SquashCorn, Onion, Radish
15 more rows

What plants go well with tomatoes? ›

Top 10 Companion Plants for Tomatoes
  • Marigolds. The bright colors and strong scent of marigolds make them an excellent deterrent against insects like tomato hornworms and aphids. ...
  • Garlic. ...
  • Onions. ...
  • Lavender. ...
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum) ...
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) ...
  • Asparagus. ...
  • Celery.
Jul 6, 2022

What shouldn t be planted together? ›

Examples of Plants That Should Not Be Grown Together
AsparagusFennel, Garlic, Onions, Potatoes
BeansBroccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Chives, Garlic, Leeks, Onions
BeetsPole Beans
CabbageStrawberries, Lettuce, Corn, Dill, Eggplant, Peppers, Radishes, Rue, Tomatoes
CarrotsDill, Celery, Parsnip
21 more rows

Can I plant tomatoes and cucumbers next to each other? ›

According to garden experts, cucumbers and tomatoes share similar growing habits and grow well when planted in proximity. Since both are vining plants, space them at least 18 inches apart and install stakes to train them vertically as they grow.

Which vegetables should be planted together? ›

Companion Planting Chart
Type of VegetableFriends
CabbageBeets, celery, chard, lettuce, spinach, onions
CarrotsBeans, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, tomatoes
CornClimbing beans, cucumber, marjoram, peas, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, zucchini
OnionsCabbage, carrots, chard, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes
12 more rows

What direction should vegetable garden rows run? ›

Most experts believe that the best way to orient garden rows in the Northern hemisphere is north to south. This gives the most sun exposure and allows for ample air circulation. When crops are planted east to west, the rows tend to shade each other.

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