Starting a veggie garden can seem a daunting task. But if you’ve been building up your veggie game, a potted tomato here a window garden there, it may be time to graduate to a larger patch of land. Location will be critical to your success as a farmer and you will need to have a space that receives sun for 6 to ideally 8 hours of sunshine per day. In my personal opinion it should also be designed in a location where it becomes an aesthetic part of your landscape so that it blends in seamlessly. Building a raised bed or adding floral plantings around the edges can help disguise this utility based garden venture. However, be careful not to plant any large shrubs or trees near your veggies or vice versa as the resulting (or future resulting) shade will certainly cause duress. Planning is so important as shorter plants can be interspersed with taller plants to maximize garden space.

These things, amongst other factors can dramatically vary success. One of the most important is a topic of great interest, proper garden structure. People often ask about the amount of space individual plants need to thrive. It’s very tempting when plants are little to shove a bunch into a small bed in order for it to look full. This will look like it’s working until it falls apart like of house of cards. Plants grow until they begin to choke each other out and the crowded plants produce less fruit because they are competing for sunlight. Trapped moisture can lead to different types of rot and disease that spreads quickly in these stressed conditions. So, what is the right distance for plants? Browsing online the other day we came across an outstanding chart that easily explains the distancing an planting requirements of some of our favourite veggie varieties. Remember, you should choose plants that your family is likely to eat. If the kids hate peppers and are unlikely to eat them try a lettuce blend instead, no point growing things no one wants.

Vegetable

Spacing in row

Seed to sow per foot Distance between plants when thinned or transplanted Distance between rows Planting depth
inches inches inches
Asparagus (2 years to yield) 12-18 36-60 6-8
Bean, bush, lima 3-4 Do not thin 18-30 1-2
Bean, bush, snap 6 Do not thin 18-24 1-2
Beet 10 2-4 12-18 ½-1
Broccoli Start from seed indoors 18-24 30-36 (d)
Cabbage Start from seed indoors 9-18 18-30 (d)
Carrot 15-20 1-3 12-18 ½
Cauliflower Start from seed indoors 18-24 24-36 (d)
Chard 8-10 4-8 18-24 ½-1
Corn, sweet 1-2 in row
4-6 per hill
9-12, single plants
36, hills (3 plants per hill)
24-48 1-2
Cucumber 3 in row
4-5 per hill
12, single plants
36, hills (3 plants per hill)
48-72 1
Eggplant Start 18-24 30-36 (d)
Endive 4-6 9-12 18-24 ½
Garlic, from cloves Plant as bulb in fall 3 12-18
Kale 4-6 8-12 18-24 ½
Kohlrabi 6-8 3-6 18-24 ½
Lettuce, leaf 10 2-4 12-18 ½
Muskmelon 3 in row
4-5 per hill
12,single plants
36, hills (3 plants per hill)
48-72 1
Mustard 20 1-2 12-18 ½
New Zealand spinach 4-6 12 24-30 1
Okra 3 12-15 36 1
Onion, from seed 10-15 2-4 12-18 ½-1
Onion, from plants or sets Plant as bulb 1-4 12-18 1-4
Parsley 10-15 4-6 12-18 ½
Peas 10-12 Do not thin 18-24 2
Pepper Start from seed indoors 18-24 18-24 (d)
Potato 1 10-12 24-36 4
Pumpkin 1-2 in row
4-5 per hill
24-36, single plants
72, hills (3 plants per hill)
84-120 1
Radish, spring 10-15 1 12-18 ½
Radish, winter 10-15 2-4 12-18 ½
Rhubarb Plant from crown 24-36 36-48 (d)
Rutabaga 4-6 6-8 18-24 ½
Spinach 12-15 2-4 12-18 ½
Squash, summer 2-3 in row
4-5 per hill
18-24, single plants
48, hills (3 plants per hill)
36-48 1
Squash, winter 1-2 in row
4-5 per hill
24-36, single plants
72, hills (3 plants per hill)
84-120 1
Sweet potato Grown from “slip” 12-18 36-48 (d)
Tomato Start from seed indoors 18-36 36-60 (d)
Turnips 6-8

15-20 (greens)

2-4 12-18 ½
Watermelons 1-2 in row 4-5 per hill 24-36, single plants 72, hills (3 plants per hill) 84-120 1