Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (2024)

Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (1)

Download our basic vegetable garden design and planning worksheets.

Also, we provide free vegetable garden designs and plans to help layout yourgarden!

Design Your Own Vegetable Garden Layout Using our Free "Vegetable Garden Planner" Software!

Finding a basic garden design that fits your needs is an important first step in planning a garden layout.

Ifyou have a sunny location in your backyard for an in-ground garden,these two types of vegetable garden plans will work for you.

If you don't have room for an in-ground garden, there are many otheroptions available such as a container, four-square, or raised bedvegetable garden.

Whatever type you choose, growing your own produce can be a great adventure and learning experience!

Download Free Garden Planning Worksheets, Garden Diary, Zone Chart, Or Planting Guide

Traditional In-Ground Row Garden Layout

20 x 40 Sample Vegetable Garden Design

The traditional basic vegetable garden design has been straight and long rows running from north to south.

  • Usuallyanything growing tall, like corn, beans or peas are planted on thenorth side of the vegetable garden to keep them from casting shade onthe shorter crops.
  • Medium growing vegetables liketomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, squash and pumpkins are planted in thecenter, while the southern end of the garden contains the shorterplants, like carrots, beets, lettuce, radishes and onions.
  • In general, a vegetable garden design runs from south to north, to make the most of sun exposure and air circulation.
  • Thisvery basic vegetable garden design is meant to make cultivation easier,as well as for convenience when weeding and harvesting.

Withsmaller yards and urban gardens becoming common, the traditional basicvegetable garden design is no longer suitable in some situations.

Thisarticle will focus on showing you basic and easy methods of creatingyour own vegetable garden design.

Square Foot Garden Design

Click Here for a Free Square-Foot Garden Plan

This very simple and easy first garden design is called the square footgarden.

This gardening style was developed by Mel Bartholomew.

Click todownload plan and planting instructions.

Basic 4 Square Rotation Basic Vegetable Garden Design

Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (4)Basic Vegetable Garden Design

Take out a pen and paper and draw a square. Divide the square intofour by drawing a cross inside it.

You now have a diagram of foursquare beds that you’ll use as a plan for your very own vegetable gardendesign.

The four beds are for the four main groups of vegetable crops.

The plants are divided into four categories based on the amount of nutrients that they need to flourish.

Below is an example of these categories.

  • Heavy feeders:These heavy feeders demand a lot of nitrogen. Examples of these arethe large leafed plants like lettuce, corn, and even the vine crops likesquash.
  • Middle Feeders: These middle-of-the-road feeders are the mid sized leafed plants with above-ground fruits like tomatoes and peppers.
  • Light Feeders: These feeders include the root crops like turnips and carrots. They like potash in the soil.
  • Soil Builders: These types leave more nitrogen in the soil than they take out. Examples of these are the legumes like peas and beans.

How to Rotate Your
Four Square Garden

Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (5)Four Square Garden Example

Now it’s time to explain the rotation for this most basic of vegetable garden designs!

  • Each of the four types mentioned above goes into one of squares that you’ve diagrammed, called beds.
  • From top-left and counter-clockwise; Heavy Feeders, Middle Feeders, Light Feeders and the Soil Builders.
  • After every harvest and when replanting each season, you rotate eachgroup to the next square, to reduce pests and soil problems.
  • Make sure that when you rotate these four types, they always follow the same order given here.
  • This means, that when you move the Heavy Feeders, they go to the Soil Builder’s previous position.
  • The Middle Feeders move up to the Heavy Feeders' former position, etc.

Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (6)Rotate Garden Vegetables Each Year

Tryto imagine a baseball game where in your players occupy bases.

Eachyear you move the location of each plant group by one space, changingthe location of your plant types.

Another benefit of this kindof rotation is that the Heavy Feeders will grow better by transferringto the Soil Builder’s former spot which gives them more of the nutrientsthey require to flourish.

Conditioning and Preparing Your Garden Soil

Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (7)Add Compost to Garden Each Year

Your garden will grow best in enriched well-conditioned soil.

If youdon't know your soil composition, it is best to find out by taking asample to your local garden center.

Then you can add compost, sand,humus, fertilizer and any other ingredients as needed to create the bestenvironment for your plants.

In order for your garden to thrive, thesoil should also be well-drained.

Watering Your Vegetable Garden

Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (8)Morning Watering of Vegetable Garden is Best

When planning your basic vegetable garden design, be sure to locate your garden near a convenient source of water.

Especially when the plants are small, they will need to be wateredfrequently as the root systems are small and will dry out quickly.

After your plants are well-established, less-frequent deep watering is best!

Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (9)Hand-Watering the Vegetable Garden

Plant your garden away from tree and shrub roots that can take moisture away from your plants.

It’simportant to know that there are many variations of vegetable gardendesigns.

These are two of the most basic and easiest garden plans.

Youcan certainly use what you’ve learned here and design your own gardenby basing it on one of these easy methods.

Whether you are a beginner oran experienced gardener, finding the right design for your vegetablegarden is part of the adventure.

So experiment, and have some fun!

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Basic Vegetable Garden Design Plans and Tips (2024)


How do I design my vegetable garden layout? ›

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 is the most common garden layout for growing vegetables? ›

The most basic garden plan consists of a design with straight, long rows running north to south orientation. A north to south direction will ensure that the garden gets the best sun exposure and air circulation. A garden that runs east to west tends to get too shaded from the crops growing in the preceding row.

How do you set up a simple vegetable garden? ›

Most plants should be spaced 2 to 3 feet apart, so they'll have room to grow and get plenty of sunlight and air circulation. Put your plants in the holes and cover them with soil. Don't bury them any deeper than they were in their containers. Gently press the soil down around them.

What is the basic pattern in garden design? ›

Grid lines drawn at 45 degrees can be used as a guideline to design the garden. Rectangular themes are the most popular and widely used. They are adapted to give a formal look to the garden. Long or narrow gardens can be easily divided into even sections using this particular theme.

What should tomatoes not be planted with? ›

Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi can stunt the growth of your tomato plant because they out-compete them for the same nutrients. These vegetables are in the brassica family.

What vegetables to plant together chart? ›

Vegetables and Herbs Companion Planting Chart
PlantGood Together
PotatoBush Bean, Cabbage, Carrot, Corn, Horseradish, Onion, Parsnip, Peas
RadishBeet, Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Parsnip, Peas, Spinach, Squash
SpinachCelery, Corn, Eggplant, Cauliflower
SquashCorn, Onion, Radish
15 more rows

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

If you have the space for it, row gardening allows you to plant more and harvest more vegetables. Squares are limited because if they are too big, you can't reach the plants in the middle. You are also limited in the amount of plants/veggies you can grow in the given space.

How far apart should vegetable garden rows be? ›

Most experienced gardeners like to keep wide rows to no more than 3 feet wide to ensure that you can easily reach the center of the row from both sides. Keep at least 18 inches of space between the wide rows to provide access; 2 to 3 feet is even better.

How to draw plans for a garden? ›

Make a rough sketch first and use it to log all your measurements. Then transfer them onto paper to make a precise scale plan. If you have an established garden with lots of plants or structures that make access to the boundary tricky, you might find it helpful to look online at an overhead view.

How do you layout a garden plant? ›

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 best layout for a vegetable garden? ›

Additionally, arrange the plants in such a way that the tallest ones are at the north end of the row, followed by medium-height veggies, and finally, the shortest ones at the south end. This arrangement maximizes sunlight exposure for all the plants.

How to start a garden bed for beginners? ›

How to Dig a Garden Bed and 7 Other Steps to a New Garden
  1. Step 1: Mark It Out. Make your new garden the best it can be. ...
  2. Step 2: Get Rid of the Grass. ...
  3. Step 3: Dig the Garden Bed. ...
  4. Step 4: Edge Your New Bed. ...
  5. Step 5: Site Your Plants. ...
  6. Step 6: Get Planting. ...
  7. Step 7: Spread Mulch. ...
  8. Step 8: Water It In.
Aug 2, 2022

What is the best starter vegetable garden? ›

The Easiest Fruits and Vegetables to Grow for Beginners
  1. Bell Peppers. Bell peppers start out green, but they mature to red, orange, yellow, purple and even chocolate brown. ...
  2. Blackberries and Raspberries. ...
  3. Cabbage. ...
  4. Cucumbers. ...
  5. Garlic. ...
  6. Strawberries. ...
  7. Tomatoes. ...
  8. Zucchini and Squash.

What vegetables should not be planted together? ›

14 Vegetables You Should Never Plant Together—Gardening Experts Explain Why
  1. 01 of 14. Beans and Onions. ...
  2. 02 of 14. Tomatoes and Potatoes. ...
  3. 03 of 14. Corn and Tomatoes. ...
  4. 04 of 14. Tomatoes and Brassicas. ...
  5. 05 of 14. Cucumber and Squash. ...
  6. 06 of 14. Lettuce and Celery. ...
  7. 07 of 14. Fennel and Tomatoes. ...
  8. 08 of 14. Peppers and Cabbage.
Jan 16, 2024

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