How to Design a Vegetable Garden Layout

Overview

Gardening at home can yield fresh, flavorful vegetables and offer a savings over shopping for the produce. Seeing rows of healthy plants you grew yourself is exciting and satisfying. Gardeners find that working in their vegetable patch is a great way to relax and reduce stress levels. Although growing vegetables is not difficult, planning your vegetable garden layout prior to planting can save time and improve your crop yield.

Step 1

Determine whether you just want to grow a few vegetables in a small space, or whether you want to have a large garden where you can grow significant quantities of produce. Consider how much time you have available to devote to gardening.

Step 2

Select a garden space. Vegetables must have at least six hours of sunshine every day; up to 10 hours is preferable. Don't plant your vegetable garden in a part of the yard that gets too much shade. Observe the patterns of sunshine and shade in your yard as winter departs and spring arrives. Make sure a water supply is near the space you choose.

Step 3

Choose your vegetables. Think about which vegetables your family really enjoys eating. Put these at the top of the list. Select vegetables that grow vertically such as peas and beans, allowing you to maximize the vegetable production of the garden space. Avoid widely spreading plants such as melons that take up too much space unless your garden area is large.

Step 4

Employ companion planting concepts. Companion planting is a garden design technique that takes advantage of plants that can be of assistance to others when planted nearby, helping them grow faster, protecting them from pests, and even producing superior-tasting vegetables. Learn which plants should be paired together.

Step 5

Map out vegetable placement. Take paper, a pencil and a ruler outside to your garden space and draw a map of the area. Mark down where each of the vegetable rows will be and the spacing requirements. Study vegetable seed packages and note the time from planting to harvest of each variety. Plan to plant the faster-producing crops together so that when they are harvested, you have space to plant the second crop.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plan for the next growing season. Remember to employ crop rotation, not planting vegetables from the same family--such as tomatoes and potatoes--in the same spot. Doing so can cause pests and plant diseases that affect the plant family to accumulate in the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Vegetable seed packages

References

  • Burpee Complete Gardener; Maureen Heffernan, et al; 1995
Keywords: garden design, vegetable gardening, planning vegetable garden

About this Author

Brian Hill's first writing credit was the cover story for a national magazine. He is the author of three popular books, "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital" and "Attracting Capital from Angels." Among his magazine article credits are the March 2005 and June 2008 issues of "The Writer." His interests include golf, football, movies and his two dogs.