Thinking about vegetable garden layout plans and spacing requirements that go along with them?
You’re probably actually thinking about a lot of different things right now.
Maybe you’re worried about having enough space to grow the garden you want. Or you’re concerned with not having the right environment to grow those certain veggies that are just “special.”
And when I say “special” – I’m talking about you, Carrots and Tomatoes.
The truth is, these days, we are all looking to minimalize our space while getting something back. We want to gain more by doing less and save money and time.
And with gardening, this is no different. The good news is that growing that garden is totally doable for you. And I’m here to help you start now.
I’m going to share with you how to grow what you want even if you have limited space. Even if you are new to your location and just need a starting point. I’m going to help you garden smarter by giving you some amazing resources for planning.
It’s all in the planning you do ahead of time. Knowing how much space you have as well as how much space you need will help you to maximize efficiency, space, time and resources. And after 30+ years of gardening, I know this to be true.
So, in this post, you’ll find:
- Some super simple vegetable garden layout plans and spacing regs for planting crops.
- How to plan your garden layout in just a few simple steps.
- Learn how much space should be between garden rows and garden seeds.
One Note: I am a proud affiliate for some of these tools I mention in this post. Affiliate links are used for each tool that I am an affiliate of, which means that if you click that link and subsequently make any purchase, I will earn a very small commission at no additional cost to you. You pay nothing extra. Please understand that my recommendations are based on deep experience with and knowledge of these tools and resources. I recommend them to you because they are genuinely helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I receive if you choose to buy something. Please do not spend your hard earned money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. ~ Mindy ~
Make a Map of Your Property
First of all, you’re going to need to get artsy and creative. I like to start by making a colorful map of our property. Coloring and drawing is very soothing to the soul. At least it is to mine.
So, if being creative is your thing, you might love this part. If you’re not into drawing or coloring…I include some links and apps for software for mapping out your garden spots later on in this post.
In my freehanded map using grid paper and colored pencils or pens, I draw all the major landscape and buildings on our property:
- House, barn and chicken coop.
- Propane tank and utility markers
- Animal Pens
Every space that is left is pretty much for garden spots. You’ll need to now use your list of veggies you’re going to plant to fill in spots where they might grow well. Refer to the Full Sun/Shade cheat sheet below.
Remember, this is just a rough draft picture. Later on, you’ll add in the vegetables and crops you’ll need to grow once you know your specs.
Your ideal garden bed width and size is completely up to you and your garden space. Let’s go out now and measure that garden space if you don’t know those specs already.
Measure out Ideal Spots for Garden Space
Knowing how much space you have will help you know how much you can plant. It’ll help you know how much seed or plants to buy, which saves you money in the long run.
And we all love to save money, don’t we?
If you’ve been gardening for a while, you probably already know these specs. However, if you’re new to gardening, go ahead and measure your garden row width and length to add into your map.
Use a Tape Measure like this one to Measure out your area effectively.
Ok, now that we know specs, let’s explore what veggies you want to grow and add them to your map. First, you’ll want to keep in mind where they grow best.
Know What Veggies Require Shade or Full Sun
All crops need good soil, water, and sunlight. But some crops don’t need as much sunlight as others.
This is nice to know for planning. Why? Because if you have a lot of shade on your property, there are several crops you can grow in just partial shade.
However other crops, such as tomatoes and sweet corn, require full sun at all times. If you know what crops your planning and the layout of your property, you can plug in the veggies into your map based upon how much shade is there.
This knowledge of shade vs. sun is based upon your knowledge of your property. Also, any crop planted near trees or buildings is going to have a partial shade factor with it. I’ve created a cheat sheet to help you know how much full sunlight certain crops need to help you in your planning.
Click Here for a listing of Vegetables that Require Sun or Shade
Or Pin that Cheat Sheet for Later
Vegetable Garden Row Spacing
Now, we are to the most crucial part of the planning process. Spacing of both the rows and the plants in the rows.
Plants need plenty of space to grow. If they don’t have plenty of room, they will grow into each other, which supports plant diseases and nutrient losses. Less is always more but efficiency is key here.
So, now that you know the dimensions for the space you have in your garden spots, you can look and see what crops require how much space in between the rows. I’ve created a couple of cheat sheets for you to download and print for your planning efficiency.
Get the Guide to Row Spacing Here
Or Pin it for Later
Spacing of Different Crops Between Rows
Along with spacing in between rows, there are even different requirements for plants and seeds within the row. Again, it’s important to note how much space plants need to thrive and yield for you later in the season.
Knowing the specs of your row length and total space will help you know how much seed or plants to purchase.
Here’s My Seed Spacing Chart
Or Pin it for Later
So, the Map Needs Are…
Let’s review now up to this point. Here’s the foundation for simple vegetable garden layout plans and spacing specs:
- Paper and Colors to draw the map. I use this Grid Paper and these colorful pens to draw mine.
- You need to know where all the important landmarks are.
- Then, use a tape measure to measure out the exact area you need for your garden layout. Get the one I use here.
- Factor in Full Sun/Partial Shade Crops using the Cheat Sheet Above.
- Use your garden area to calculate Row Space and Seed Space needed for efficient and healthy garden production.
And when I say “calculate”…I don’t mean hard math. I despise hard math and run away from it at all cost.
But, you need to figure out what direction your rows will go across the area of the assigned bed. Then, by doing some simple division, you can calculate how many plants of seeds can be planted by using the seed space chart.
Then, how many rows you can have by using the row space chart.
Does this sound easy enough? If you want to talk more about it, shoot me an email! I definitely don’t want to leave you in the dust right in the middle of this planning process.
Map is Drawn. Now what?
Now what do you do with this map? You stick to it and use it to buy your seed and plant your garden.
Having a plan will help you to be successful in 3 ways:
- Save Money on seed/plants when it’s time to buy.
- Save Time when it’s planting crunch time. You’ll know where everything goes so you can just plant it and not have to think about it.
- Maximize and organize your space efficiently.
Not all of us has a lot of land and space to garden. And that’s ok! I know people gardening on 1/10th of an acre or even in the city limits of town. This method applies to not only the rural homeowner or farmstead, but to someone wanting to grow in raised beds or indoors.
Now, I mentioned some garden planning software for those techy non-creative people. If this is you, you’ll want to check out the next section.
Best Garden Planning Software?
If you’re not the best at drawing, there are some great vegetable garden layout softwhare out there for you.
- GrowVeg has a nice one with a free trial. After that it’s $29 per year. It also comes with support and great testimonials. Here’s the link.
- Vegetable Gardening Online also has a tool that is free. Check it out here.
Again, I draw out and measure my own, so I have not used these software tools. However, they come highly recommended from other gardeners plus they have a free option for you to try them out yourself.
Maximize Space + Efficiency + The Perfect Plan = Smarter Gardening
The key to planning is to make great use of your space. To save money, time and your area. Efficiency + order = SIMPLE.
And with two little girls, I thrive off of simple. So, I try to do things smarter and I love to help others grow smarter as well. To do things smarter, you need a plan. And you need to write that plan down.
For More about my Garden Adventures with Two Little Girls…Read this
And enter now…Smart Gardening Made Simple.
Garden Smarter…So You Don’t Miss a Thing
The hardest part of gardening is forgetting a step, such as miscalculating how many plants your rows can hold. Or maybe the tomatoes were planted where there’s too much shade.
It’s a horrible feeling when you’re losing money and all that time spent planting to see it go sour. Don’t make this harder than it is. I’m here to help you be smarter.
The Smart Gardening Made Simple Workbook/Planner
I’ve compiled everything into one easy-to-use called Smart Gardening Made Simple. Here’s what it includes:
- Soil Testing Instructions & Recommendations
- Crop requirements, such as sunlight, planting depth, germination temperatures and room to grow.
- Management tips: Weeding, Watering, Wildlife, etc.
- Harvest Storage Helper
The Simple Vegetable Garden Layout Plan is a sample chapter in my book Smart Gardening Made Simple. You, too, can learn all the simple steps for becoming a smarter gardener. Trust me – It’s not rocket science!
If you’d like to order the book for your kindle, go here.
If you’d like to order a paperback copy for your library, go here.
Did you find value in this post?
I truly hope you did as that is my goal for every post! I’d love it if you could leave a comment down below telling me how much it helped you or what it’s missing. What did I leave out and what more do you want to learn on this topic of Gardening Smarter?
Without you guys, I’m releasing content to air. So, I truly appreciate you and I want to learn from you so please feel free to comment or shoot me an email.
Listen to the Rural Women Inspired Podcast
~ Much Love ~
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