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The
Vegetable
Garden Plot

Once you have chosen an area in your yard that receives enough sun to support a vegetable garden, you will need to choose the vegetables you want to grow.

So, how much room does a tomato plant need?

In which direction should I layout my rows?

And in what order should the plants be placed in the rows?

What about companion planting?

For answers to these vegetable gardening questions, keep reading...

Measure your garden,

then get out some graph paper to make a plan. Here is some advice on vegetable garden layouts which you may find useful, before you start drawing up your plans.

planning a garden

Row Direction

Vegetable garden rows are best layed out to run north & south. This direction allows for the best sun exposure for each of the plants and good air circulation from the wind.


Line up...
tall ones in the back, please.

short leeks

Plant your tallest vegetables at the north end of the garden to avoid "shading out" the other plants.

Tall plants include: asparagus (when it goes to seed), brussel sprouts, corn, climbing peas & beans, & sorghum.

Medium plants are next, and should be placed in the middle of the garden. Plants of medium height include: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, okra, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, zucchini.

At the southern end of the garden, plant low growing crops, like beets, carrots, celery, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces, mustard greens, onions, parsnips, radishes, spinach, and turnips.

tall tomatoes

Plant Spacing

When you buy a seedling vegetable plant, or sow seeds in the ground, they seem so small and insignificant. It is hard to imagine that they will grow large, and thus, one of the biggest mistakes of first-time gardeners - OVERCROWDING!

The following is a listing of common vegetable plants, and the space that they require to grow to their full potential.
 

  • aspargus - 12" per plant, 24-30" between rows
  • beans (climbing) - 2-4" between plants, give them something to climb
  • bush beans - 6" per plant, 18" between rows
  • beets - 4" per plant, 12" between rows
  • broccoli - 24" per plant, 30-36" between rows
  • cabbages - 24-30" per plant, 30-36" between rows
  • carrots - 2-4" per plant, 12" between rows
  • celery - 12-18" per plant, 18-24" between rows
  • cauliflower - 18" per plant, 24-30" between rows
  • corn - 12" per plant, 24" between rows
  • cucumbers - 3-4 plants per mound, 6' diameter circle (or train them to climb)
  • cucumbers (bush) - 12-18" per plant, 24-30" between rows
  • eggplant - 12-18" per plant, 24-30" between rows
  • garlic - 6" per plant, 12" between rows
  • kale - 18-24" per plant, 24-48" between rows
  • kohlrabi - 6-8" per plant, 12-18" between rows
  • leeks - 4-6" per plant, 12" between rows
  • lettuces - 6-12" per plant, 12-18" between rows
  • okra - 12-18" per plant, 18-24" between rows
  • onions (green or bunching) - 2" per plant, 6-8" between rows
  • onions - 6" per plant, 12" between rows
  • peas - 2-4" per plant, train them to climb
  • peppers - 12-18" per plant, 24" between rows (peppers like to be crowded)
  • potatoes - 12-18" per plant, 24-30" between rows
  • pumpkins/squash - 3-4 plants per mound, and did you want to grow anything else?
    (pumpkins and gourds take up alot of space)
  • radishes - 2-4" per plant, 12" between rows
  • spinach - 8-12" per plant, 18" between rows
  • swiss chard - 18-24" per plant, 24-36" between rows
  • tomatoes - 24-26" per plant, 36-48" between rows (especially the smaller grape & cherry tomato varieties)
  • turnips - 4-6" per plant, 12" between rows
  • zucchini - 36" per plant, 46-48" between rows (need bees to polinate)

Companion Plantings

tomatoes & carrots

The following is a listing of vegetable plants and their "veggie friends" in the garden.
 

  • aspargus - plant with parsley, & tomatoes
  • beans - likes everyone, but onions
  • beets - bean, cabbage, onion, sage
  • cabbage family - bush beans, beets, celery, onions, potatoes, strong-scented herbs, & tomatoes
  • carrots - beans, lettuces, onions, peas, radishes, & tomatoes
  • celery - bush beans, cabbages, onions, spinach, & tomatoes
  • corn - beans, cucumber, melons, peas, squash
  • cucumbers - beans, corn, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes
  • eggplant - beans & spinach
  • garlic - tomatoes
  • kohlrabi - beets, cucumbers, & onions
  • leeks - carrots, celery & onions
  • lettuces - beans, carrots, cucumbers, onions, radishes, strawberries
  • okra - eggplant & peppers
  • onions - beets, cabbages, carrots, celery, cucumbers, lettuces, peppers, squash, strawberries, & tomatoes
  • peas - beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, radishes, & turnips
  • peppers - onions
  • potatoes - plant with the cabbage family
  • pumpkins/squashes - corn, onions, & radishes
  • radishes - beans, carrots, cucumbers, lettuces, melons, peas, & squash
  • spinach - celery, eggplant, cauliflower
  • tomatoes - cabbages, carrots, celery, & onions

squash blossom

return to urban farming resources page

Come visit us, when we first open in early April, and pick up your favorite cold-tolerant varieties!

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web page updated: 02.26.14