How to Plot a Vegetable Garden


Typically in the early months of a new year, gardeners everywhere spend time plotting their vegetable gardens on paper. If you aren't familiar with vegetable gardening, learning how to plot a vegetable garden can seem like a challenging puzzle. Once you learn about the plants you wish to grow and their needs, however, plotting your garden can be easy. It's important to plan ahead so you know where to put the plants based on how much light they will receive and whether they would be taken over by their larger, sprawling neighbor.

Step 1

Make a list of the types of vegetables you would like to grow and what your family will eat. Even if you don't have the opportunity to grow them this year, include vegetables you would like to grow at some point so you already have the information collected in one place.

Step 2

Research the vegetables on your list and write down the amount of space between each plant type, the number of plants you would like to plant, and the height of the mature plant. Vegetable gardening books and websites can be great resources.

Step 3

Measure your garden area outside and make note of how it is positioned in relation to east and west.

Step 4

Draw out your garden area on graph paper. Create your graph so that each square represents one foot or six inches to make your plant spacing accurate.

Step 5

Refer back to your completed list to plot where your desired vegetables will go on your graph paper. Taller plants tend to work well in the northern areas of your garden so the shorter plants receive enough light.

Step 6

Make adjustments as needed to use fewer of one plant or more of another depending on the space you have available. Stick to the spacing guidelines rather than trying to squeeze in extra plants or you may end up encouraging diseases that thrive in low air-circulation areas between plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Resource guide (book or website)
  • Tape measure
  • Graph paper


  • Vegetable Gardening: Your ultimate guide; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
Keywords: planning a vegetable garden, plotting a vegetable garden, designing a vegetable garden

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.