How to Space Vegetable Plants in a Garden


A kitchen garden offers a great way to add more fresh vegetables to a family's diet. Children are intrigued with planting seeds, watching them grow and harvesting them. What could be tastier than a tomato bursting with juice still warm from the sun, or crunchy sweet carrots pulled from the ground? Different vegetables have different spacing requirements to get the best yield.

Step 1

Space tomato plants about 3 feet apart. Support the plants with a wire tomato cage, or use stakes to make your own cage. Place four 5-foot stakes around each plant. As the plant grows, tie the branches to one of the stakes. Pepper plants should be spaced the same way, although they don't need cages or staking.

Step 2

Broadcast small seeds such as carrots, lettuces, spinach, onions and beets over the soil, then lightly cover with top soil. When the seedlings are about an inch high, thin to one inch apart. Baby carrots, beets and onions will continue to need thinning as the roots grow and fill in. Don't toss the seedlings. Wash them thoroughly and add them to salads. Leafy green veggies should be thinned as well. Again, use the seedlings in salads. Space head lettuces 4 inches apart.

Step 3

Plant the seeds of beans and peas one inch apart. Thin to 3 or 4 inches apart. Peas can be planted on either side of a trellis or netting. Bush beans do better when planted in blocks rather than in a long single row. Corn is the same way. The corn plants should be a foot apart and the rows 2 feet apart.

Step 4

Space squash plants at least 3 feet apart. As the plants start to bear fruit, they'll take up most of that space. Cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe require lots of room to sprawl. If you are short of space, grow them up a trellis. Support small varieties of melon with a hammock made from soft cloth. Pantyhose or socks work well.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato cages or stakes
  • Ruler
  • Trellis


  • "The Country Garden"; Charlie Ryrie; 2003
  • "Great Ideas for Your Garden"; Courtier et. al.; 2003

Who Can Help

  • How to Grow Vegetables
Keywords: growing vegetables, how far apart should vegetables be, row space in gardens

About this Author

Dee Power holds an MBA. She is the co-author of "Attracting Capital from Angels," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "The Making of a Bestseller," the novel "Over Time," and several screenplays. She contributes to several Web sites and is a regular columnist for