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.

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Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.

Vegetable Garden Layout

The article discusses the importance of selecting the right vegetable garden layout for your space and the plants you want to grow. Here are the key points mentioned:

  1. Selecting Your Site: Consider factors such as sunlight exposure, proximity to the house, existing vegetation, and access to water when choosing the location for your vegetable garden .
  2. Listing Your Preferred Vegetables: Before purchasing plants, create a list of the vegetables you love and allocate space in your garden layout to grow them. Consider adding trellises for vining vegetables and creating a permanent plot for perennial plants.
  3. Laying Out Your Garden on Paper: Use graph paper to sketch your garden beds and containers, ensuring enough space between them for easy access. Limit the width of each vegetable bed to 3 to 4 feet for convenient planting, weeding, and harvesting.
  4. Adding Your Plants: Add the names of the plants you want to grow to your garden layout, leaving enough space between each one. Consider the height of the plants and their sunlight, water, and nutrient requirements. Also, think about crop rotation if you had a garden in the previous year.
  5. Learning from Your Successes and Failures: Make notes in your garden planner about the performance of different plants and any drawbacks or improvements you observed. Use this information to refine your garden layout for future seasons.

These steps will help you create an efficient and productive vegetable garden layout tailored to your preferences and available space.

If you have any specific questions about vegetable gardening or need further assistance, feel free to ask!

Vegetable Garden Layout Planning | Bonnie Plants (2024)


What is a good layout for 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? ›

Successive Crops

In early spring, grow lettuce, greens (such as arugula), peas, radishes, carrots, and broccoli. After you've harvested your cool-weather crops, plant hot-weather favorites, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs. In fall, you can harvest potatoes, cabbage, and kale.

What are three factors that should be considered when planning a vegetable garden? ›

As in real estate, the three most important factors to success in vegetable gardening are location, location, and location. You want a location with abundant sunshine, good drainage, away from shrubs and trees and their competing roots, and close to an irrigation source. The most important factor is the amount of sun.

What should you not plant near tomatoes? ›

Companion Plants To Avoid Growing Near Tomatoes
  • Cabbage. Planting a member of the brassica family, like cabbage, can stunt the growth of your tomato plant because they out-compete them for the same nutrients. ...
  • Corn. ...
  • Broccoli. ...
  • Fennel. ...
  • Dill. ...
  • Potatoes. ...
  • Eggplant. ...
  • Walnuts.
May 25, 2023

What veggies to plant next to each other? ›

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 is the most efficient garden layout? ›

Vegetable Garden Layout Using Rows

If you have a large area available for your vegetable garden you can plant in rows, if you prefer. Planting in long rows gives you the ability to plant with increased spacing which will improve air circulation around plants, and give them more room to fully develop.

What direction should my garden rows run? ›

The north-south orientation allows the sun to penetrate the garden by shining down the rows. This is especially helpful during the winter gardening period when the sun stays relatively low in the sky.

How do you position plants in a garden? ›

There are two basic rules when arranging plants in the beds: 1) space the individual plants so that they touch each other when they reach their mature size, and 2) overlap the masses of plants and connect them so that they flow without space between them. Avoid gaps or large open areas between masses.

What is the ratio for garden design? ›

One rule is called the Golden Ratio, being the ratio for length to width of rectangles of approx 1.618, has been considered the most pleasing to the eye.

What are 5 things you should do to prepare a good veggie garden? ›

Read on to learn the 5 tips you need to make your vegetable gardening productive.
  1. Choose Your Location Wisely. ...
  2. Research the Type of Soil in Your Garden. ...
  3. Plot Size Matter: Start Small. ...
  4. Choose the Easy-to-Manage Vegetables. ...
  5. Water! ...
  6. Start Your Vegetable Gardening Journey with Experts.
Sep 21, 2022

How much direct sun does a vegetable garden need? ›

While most of our garden plants need at least 6 hours of full sun to be productive, too much sun, especially when combined with too much heat, can be too much for plants to bear. Problems arise especially when temperatures are over 85 to 90 degrees F.

What is the most important factor in selecting a vegetable garden site? ›

Sunlight and Sun Exposure: Choose a location that receives a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day. Locations with 8-10 hours of direct sunlight each day are ideal for most vegetables. The more sun exposure the better.

What is the traditional row vegetable garden layout? ›

The traditional method of vegetable gardening is to plant in narrow rows, lining up single plants in long rows separated by 1 to 2 feet of bare soil to provide access for weeding and other maintenance tasks.

What is the best position for vegetable beds? ›

Aspect and orientation - most fruit, vegetables and cut flowers need full sun, so position beds in the south- or west-facing parts of your garden, away from the shade of overhanging trees. Run long beds north to south for even sunlight levels.

Is it better to plant vegetables in rows or groups? ›

Though planting your crops in garden rows is a simple gardening method, it can greatly improve the growing conditions for your precious plants.

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