Upon starting your very own vegetable garden in the backyard or elsewhere, a good idea would be to first think about the design and layout. Whether you want a square garden, a round, or even a labyrinth one, the vegetables growing in it have to be laid out according to some criteria. Here are the basic considerations for creating the perfect vegetable garden layout in no time at all.

​Vegetable garden layout example.

#1. Time

Before starting the actual work, take some time to research and investigate what kind of vegetable garden you’re looking to build. Think about the plants that will be predominant, because they will play an important part in the whole layout.

Also, think of criteria such as weather, direct sunlight, pests and rodents, and whether your garden is prone to them or not, your fence situation, your budget, your space and how much work and time you’re actually willing to put into this.

In addition, think and plan ahead about whether this is solely going to be a vegetable garden or if you want to

​include some shrubberies, herbs, flowers, or even fruit. Your later designs will very much depend on these criteria.

#2. Location

Another crucial aspect to consider in designing the layout of your vegetable garden is the location. You will need to choose the sunniest, brightest, and warmest spot you possibly can. If you have it, you’re lucky, but if you don’t, one should not despair.

You can switch the plan and the layout from growing vegetables directly in the ground to growing them in containers. You will be amazed at how many of them actually thrive in confined spaces such as an open box or a container. The best thing about this layout is that it’s versatile, meaning you can move the containers around as you wish. You can place them on your veranda, on your balcony, even on the rooftop, or in between your flower beds.

​Another great idea concerning location is that, if you don’t happen to have enough space or some space in direct sunlight, you can always choose the option of the vertical vegetable garden. This vegetable garden layout means building a rack and using one of the walls of your house as a support.

​#3. Method of growing

You have two options here for your vegetable garden layout. You can plant directly in the soil, which is pretty straightforward, or you can plant in raised beds. This might help you, especially if you live in a colder climate. When the earth is elevated, it dries up quicker, it warms faster and provides a lot more soil for the plants to develop roots in.

Their width is up to you, the gardener and it depends on the design and landscape of your vegetable garden. Normally, they are about 21 inches. You can make them four feet wide, so that they are easier to reach into, having two feet from each side. If you have a small garden with a limited space, you can try using wooden frames to keep the soil in.

​This way you won’t be wasting any space in between the rows and your landscape will look like a beautiful greenhouse, with neatly organized wooden cases of luscious vegetables.

#4.  Amount of crops

This is, probably, the most crucial aspect of finding a beautiful layout for your vegetable garden. Vegetables, evidently, look different, grow differently, and have different sizes. This is why they need to be placed in special sections of your garden. It would be ideal for you to draft a simple pencil-on-paper sketch or some plans and layouts before you begin, which will serve as a guide, as you progress.

Of course, if you want to be more thorough about the design, you can build a large model or a mock-up on your computer, using the free and very user-friendly software and apps existing online.

Also, for a certain result, you can employ the help of a professional botanist planner, horticulturist, or experienced farmer, who will make the layout perfect for you. You can also try to find pictures online, which is what usually helps beginners. A companion might be just what you need in order to best plot your future permaculture garden.

However, if you have decided to do it yourself, here are some practical things you need to know about the most common vegetables, so that you can choose the perfect spot for them in the garden. Also, learn how much you need to grow for a family of four, so you know how to divide the space you have.


​needs to be spaced out 9’’ to 12” between the seeds, so that the plants have room to grow. For a family of four, you need 32 plants;


​takes more space, with 24” to 30” between them and you will need 12 to 15 plants to feed your family;


​need 2” to 4” and it takes a 40 foot row for a decent harvest;


​needs 8” to 12” and a 140 foot row;


​need some 8” up to 36” between the seeds and 6 to 8 plants;


​requires 12” of spacing between each seed and you will need to plant a 20 to 30 feet row;


​needs a lot of room, with 36” to 48” between each seed, but you only need 3 plants;


​take free space from 24” to 36” and you will need 10 to 15 plants to feed your family of four.

​#5. Layout

Once you have decided on all these things, you can finally think about the actual layout in the backyard garden. Here are some facts you should take into consideration:

​Tall vegetables,

​such as peas, beans, and corn should be planted on the north side of your garden, so that they don’t shade the rest;

​Medium sized ones,

​such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, squash or pumpkin should go in the center of the garden;

Low growing crops,

​such as radishes, carrots, beets, lettuce and onions should go at the southern end of your garden.

Pro tip: try to arrange your rows on the north-south direction. If you arrange then east-west, you will find that the first row shades the next and so on.

Remember that, by taking some time for thinking over and planning the layout of your vegetable garden, not only will it look better, but it will yield a better harvest as well. A good vegetable garden layout is essential to the long-term results of your work, so make sure you get it right as to enjoy increased rewards later on.

Image Sources: 1, 2.

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