A good vegetable planting plan is all about making the most out of the available space in your garden. Having a planting plan is especially beneficial if space is at a premium. Those with larger gardens or with access to allotments or community gardens will more than likely have ample room to grow multiple varieties of their favourite vegetables. Urban gardens tend to be much smaller and the ground available for growing your own can be quite limited, so taking a minute to think about a planting plan will help maximise results.
Making a planting plan is all about taking full advantage of smaller spaces and raised garden beds to help maximise your crop output. As well as being extremely beneficial to the beginner gardener, planning well in the early stages of the season will also help enure the highest yielding garden possible. Our hope is that our planting plans will provide an easy way in to vegetable growing for the beginner gardener and maybe provide some inspiration for the more seasoned grower.
Vegetable Garden Plans
Plans mainly depend on the size of vegetable plants and how much space they need to grow. There are several other factors such as; which plants make good companions to others, and how tall will the plants grow etc.. Climbing plants should be planted at the outside of the bed as they will likely need support, but not on the side where they might cast a shadow on the other plants for long periods of the day.
Vegetable gardens need a lot of light to sustain the rapid growth they achieve in such a relatively short space of time. This plays a huge role in drawing up a planting plan with proper planting distances. There has to be open areas between the crops to let the light reach the lower growing crops, taller crops should be facing South and reduce height as you move North in the garden. Have a look at our easy to follow planting plans and we'll help you get it right the first time around.
Space is a major factor in a successful planting plan, just like us plants require more food as they grow. A tightly planted garden can look amazing as it grows and various foliage fills out but this can hide myriad problems. If vegetables are planted too close together they will be in competition for the same food and will end up stunted and more susceptible to attacks from pests and diseases.
Proper ventilation can also aid in disease prevention, so tightly planted crops will suffer more. On top of this, and just as important, carrying out work like weeding, feeding, and maintaining your plants is much easier with a little room and you are far less likely to damage them in the process.
Most vegetables can be grown in containers if space is limited. The good news is you can make a planter out of almost anything and the choices are endless. Plant pots are the obvious choice and square or rectangular planters are available almost anywhere. Re-purposing or upcycling something you already have is a great garden project and can be a fun family activity. Taking something that might have seemed like trash and sprucing it up is not only eco-friendly but extremely cost-effective. Over the years around my house, we have re-purposed an old bread bin, some hat boxes, a mixing bowl, the crisper drawer from a fridge, and a couple of old chests.
Square Foot Gardening
You might have come across our Square Foot Gardening (S.F.G.) section on this site and over on our blog. This is a tried and true method of growing vegetables where the vegetable plot or raised bed is divided up into square foot (30CM) sections and each of these sections has a fixed number of plants. The reason we use and recommend these plans for beginners is that they make planting so much easier and quicker, spacing becomes one less thing the novice has to keep in mind.
Square foot gardening has been around for years, but we found that in a lot of cases the distances were too close and a lot of the information available didn't transfer well to our climate. We made a few changes and now have quite a selection of square foot vegetable planting plans already on our site that we are updating and adding to regularly.
We created these plans for our customers to use with our raised beds but the truth is they can be applied to any raised bed or area of soil in the garden. These plans are available above as printable pdfs in case you need a portable copy, and each contains a key or explanatory guide.