Vegetable garden layout ideas
In this vegetable garden layout guide you'll find quite a few different ideas for getting creative in your yard and planning a garden to suit your own personal style. Although the traditional way is for the vegetables to be set out in long rows, your garden need not follow these traditions. I have chosen, like many other home gardeners, to use raised vegetable garden beds where the vegetables can be planted in blocks rather than rows. But you don't even need to be limited to these two options. There are many more creative layouts, as the vegetable garden layout plans featured on this page will show.
Don't feel as though you have to have a dedicated vegetable garden either. If your yard is small (or even if it isn't), you could plant vegetables in your flower bed or flowers in your vegetable bed. Alternatively you may chooses to grow your vegetables in pots.
One way to layout your kitchen garden is a potager garden, which is a beautiful ornamental vegetable garden where vegetables, herbs and flowers are chosen according to their aesthetic value as well as their edible value and are mixed together in one or more vegetable garden beds.
Take a look at these vegetable garden layout examples and see if you get any ideas for your own vegetable garden plans this Spring.
The vegetable garden layout diagrams pictured below were all produced using this online vegetable garden layout tool.
Planting in rows
The traditional way is to plant the vegetables in rows, each row growing a different type of vegetable. Each row usually runs from north to south to take full advantage of the morning and afternoon sun. The seeds are sown in single rows using string and stakes to keep the rows straight. Enough space needs to be left between the rows to allow room to walk and to comfortably gather your produce. If your ground is not level, and you want to plant in rows, the rows should run across the slope rather than up and down, to prevent the soil from being washed away when the garden is watered.
Planting your vegetables in rows makes it easier to distinguish between vegetable and weed seedlings. Watering is also made easier since a soaker hose or a trench of water can be run alongside each row, allowing the water to easily reach the base of each plant. Because a row garden is reasonably open, there is good circulation of air thus restricting fungus and mildew which could grow after rainfall or a dewy night in a more closely planted garden. Because of the layout of this style of garden, a lot of space is taken up with the paths between rows which means there is less space for planting your vegetables. So this layout would not be the first choice for the smaller yard. Also constantly walking on these paths will compact the soil there, making it more difficult to rearrange your vegetable beds at a later date. In this traditional row layout, there may possibly be more pest attacks because vegetables of the same variety are planted in a row, allowing the pest to move easily from one plant to the next.
Vegetable Garden Layout Raised Beds
Although it is not strictly a particular layout, the raised garden bed (an example of which is square foot gardening) is included here because it is often planted in blocks rather than rows. Vegetables are normally planted closer together than in the row vegetable garden layout making this is an ideal choice if you only have space for a small vegetable garden. These beds need to be narrow enough so that you do not need to tread on your beds to plant, weed, water or harvest your veggies. A good width would be 3 to 4 feet, (.9 - 1.2 metres) if you can get at the bed from both sides. You can build raised beds out of recycled wood, bricks, concrete blocks, stones, an old bathtub, or just pile up the soil on top of the ground. A good depth would be about 8-12 inches (20-30 cm).
A raised bed will enable the soil to warm quicker so you can plant earlier in the season. It will also improve drainage. Even if you have very poor soil or even a concrete slab (make sure you have a soil depth of 12 inches or 30cm for this situation), a raised bed will allow you transform a barren patch into a bountiful harvest. A raised bed also alleviates the problem of tree roots competing with your veggies for nutrients and water but make sure that any tree will not cast too much shade on the garden beds.
The French kitchen garden
A vegetable garden need not be hidden away out of sight. Another type of vegetable garden is the potager style, a beautiful French kitchen garden, where flowers are mixed in among your herbs, fruit trees and vegetables The potager garden is traditionally made up of a symmetrical or repeating pattern of small rectangular, square or triangular plots separated by brick or stone paths (though of course, in your own garden, you could choose to use hexagons with gravel paths or even irregular blob-shaped plots with mulched paths.) The whole garden is usually bordered by a clipped hedge. You could use something useful, such as a hedge of rosemary plants. Planting in the beds tends to be in groups or patterns.
These plantings can be delightful to behold as many ornamental vegetables are colourful and attractive, from the frilly red or green leaves of lettuces to the brilliantly coloured stems of the rainbow swiss chard to the blue-green leaves of kale. This style of garden lends itself to companion planting which can help to repel pests naturally. For example, planting French marigolds next to tomatoes can reduce the number of nematodes in the soil which can stunt the tomato's growth, and the scent of the marigold could deter whitefly. You will need to research companion planting since some combinations will actually be detrimental (e.g. don't plant peas next to onions or garlic).
Sample potager layouts - click on the small pictures to see a larger version
Four Square Garden Layout
The four square garden is based on a very simple layout. The garden is usually divided into four square or rectangular garden beds with two perpendicular paths (like a plus sign +) running between them. These paths could be composed of paving stones, packed earth, gravel, wood shavings or even lawn. At the intersection of the two paths, there could be a focal point such as a statue or a pond. In 12th century England, this garden was generally in the front yard, with the entrance to the garden being a white picket gate, although it could be an arbor or trellis covered with a flowering vine. Typically the garden was surrounded by a protective enclosure such as a rock wall, fence or hedge. Of course, you must be careful to avoid shading your vegetables growing inside though!
Formal Asymmetrical Garden Layout
A formal assymetrical garden layout is ideal if you don't want to be too rigid but you do prefer a sense of order. You can do this by experimenting with different geometric shapes (for the paths or the garden beds) next to each other or overlapping, strong lines or repetition of elements to get the desired effect. Using curving lines, modern materails or casual furniture will make this style seem less rigid.
Adding a formal clipped hedge as the border of the garden, pond, or individual beds will add to the structured feel of the garden. Or you could grow your own topiary using a potted boxwood or bay tree and trimming it to fit a frame.
Cottage Vegetable Garden - An informal vegetable garden layout
A cottage garden is an informal, sprawling garden containing a mixture of flowers, vegetables, herbs and maybe a fruit tree or two. In the garden layout shown here, there is a heavier emphasis on the vegetables. I have grouped the plants together to give them more visual impact than scattering them individually throughout the garden. I have included meandering paths, a sundial, two dwarf apple trees, a few fruit bushes, a picket fence - you can only see the gate ;-) and a seat situated to enjoy a view of the garden pond.
Kids' Vegetable Garden Layout
Educational and fun!
A child's garden is very educational and a great incentive to get your children helping in the garden and also to eat vegetables which they have grown themselves. If your children are old enough, get them involved in choosing which vegetables to grow and in creating their own vegetable garden plans.
The plan shown on the right consists of a tepee made from 5 long sticks, fastened together at the top. Sugar snap peas, which are fun to pick and eat right there, are then planted around the base and allowed to climb up the tepee on strings which have been strung between the sticks (leaving one section free for the doorway so the child can crawl inside). Mulch inside the tepee.
See some vegetable garden layout plans and ideas for children.
More Ideas and Information for Kids' Vegetable Gardens
Kids' Vegetable GardensFind out about planning, planting, and maintaining a child's vegetable garden even if you don't have a lot of room. Get more ideas of fun elements to include in the garden and which plants to grow.
Pizza garden layout - A novelty vegetable garden plan
Are you a gardener who loves cooking? What about pizzas? Do you love pasta sauces? For the freshest, best tasting Italian tomato sauces you could grow your own ingredients. And if you want something a little special, you could always try this novelty vegetable garden plan.
Shaped like a pizza, this vegetable garden includes basil, oregano, garlic, marjoram, onions and tomatoes (for the sauce) and peppers (for the pizza topping). Or simply blend all these ingredients together and add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper for a yummy pasta sauce. And all from your own pizza garden. :-)
Winter vegetable garden layout
In this winter vegetable garden, I have chosen the following vegetables:
- cabbage (an early and late variety)
- corn salad (or lamb's lettuce)
- perpetual spinach
- swiss chard
In the garden planning software I used here, I was able to enter my frost dates and the program showed me the planting and harvesting times for my selected vegetables.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, position your winter vegetable garden on the south side of a wall if possible. In the southern hemisphere place the garden on the north side of the wall. This will enable the garden to still receive the winter sun, while protecting it from the colder winds. A brick, concrete or stone wall is also a thermal mass which will store the sun's heat during the day and radiate it at night, keeping the area close to the wall warmer.
Choose your vegetable garden layout
Don't feel as though you need to stay strictly in the guidelines for each layout. Be creative. Find your own style. Choose what suits your situation the best. Be prepared to use different shapes like the circular garden on the right. Take a little time to decide which vegetables to grow. Be prepared to add herbs and flowers to your vegetable garden or herbs and vegetables to your flower garden! And don't be afraid to try a mixture of vegetable garden layouts - for example a potager style garden in raised beds.
One of the easiest ways to design your vegetable garden layout is by using software on the computer to just drag and drop the veggies like I did for all of the above vegetable garden plans. In the same piece of software, you also get access to a planting list of all the vegetables you have placed in your vegetable garden plan showing sowing and harvesting dates. This works for both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook
Traditional Vegetable Garden Pictures - Click on the vegetable garden photos for a larger view
Potager Vegetable Garden Pictures - Click on the vegetable garden pictures for a larger view
Cottage Vegetable Gardens
Pizza Garden Pictures - Click on the vegetable garden pictures for a larger view
Children's Vegetable Garden Photos
Favorite Vegetable Garden Layout Designs
Please share with us any vegetable garden layout help
Fellow vegetable gardener
Celticep from North Wales, UK on May 05, 2014:
Great information, lots of "food for thought" here! Thanks
Jordan on April 07, 2014:
Paula Hite from Virginia on February 20, 2014:
Your lens is awesome and has been shared on our "The Green Thumb: A Place For Gardeners To Gather" Facebook page.
evawrites1 on February 16, 2014:
GrammieOlivia on February 14, 2014:
I will add this lens to the Weekend Gardeners page on FB. If you want to check it out, come on over and like the page at the same time.......https://www.facebook.com/GrammieKnowsWeekendGarden...
chrisilouwho on February 14, 2014:
This is fantastic, thank you!
tonyleather on November 10, 2013:
Some very good ideas here. Thanks.
websitescolumbu on September 23, 2013:
This was a really useful lens. Thank you.
bluelily lm on July 21, 2013:
You have listed quite a number of different vegetable garden layout to choose from but I like the Cottage vegetable garden layout the most.
And thanks for compiling these garden pictures, I really enjoyed it.
fcinternetmarketing on July 10, 2013:
Very interesting !
DLeighAlexander on April 01, 2013:
Very interesting with great information too! Thanks!
getmoreinfo on January 18, 2013:
I like these Vegetable Garden Layout ideas.
William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on January 18, 2013:
Easy to see why this was an LOTD - love the many designs! Visually neat! ;-)
Iloveflowers on January 17, 2013:
I have to say this is extremely a high quality lens!! Well done!
greentiger11 on January 01, 2013:
Great ideas and I wonder if some of these ideas can be scaled down for my wife who is about to embark on our first garden in our new house! Thanks and great lens.
anonymous on December 26, 2012:
Wonderful ideas and descriptions. Thank you for doing this.
outdoorprojects on December 16, 2012:
I want to use the children's garden layout for my daughter, good ideas here. Thanks!!
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 01, 2012:
I love the different layouts and wish I can often be in my garden. Unhappily or happily, we have to go and do some work.
attraction 42 on September 13, 2012:
I love it! Thanks.
dream1983 on July 30, 2012:
I really like your lens, great job!
sally-james-56232 on July 19, 2012:
Having moved to a paved yard house, we have to grow everything in raised beds. But we love to do it, and the veg tastes wondeful.
CristianStan on July 18, 2012:
I'm starting to plant some fruits and vegetables in our garden. So far I tomatoes, string beans and corn. I hope to add more since it's pretty raining over here.
Sher Ritchie on July 17, 2012:
Your lens is great - I've featured it on mine: https://hubpages.com/family/too-many-men-in-a-resi... . Thanks for sharing.
SpenceG on July 15, 2012:
I like the pizza garden layout. New and unique to me.
Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on July 13, 2012:
Great lens, with lots of ideas for different garden layouts and designs. Mine is a combination of a cottage and potager garden, and I enjoy mixing plants and gardening styles.
Stephen Bush from Ohio on June 06, 2012:
SquidAngel blessings for the great ideas and descriptions.
SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on June 05, 2012:
These layouts would make excellent patterns for a cross stitch sampler!
antoniow on June 04, 2012:
Great lens, nice job!
atlanticheart on May 31, 2012:
Enjoyed reading this lens. Lots of good information that I can go back and look over for inspiration.
microfarmproject on May 31, 2012:
Thank you! I enjoyed looking at these layouts and thinking about how I could rearrange my own garden.
tomazg on May 31, 2012:
I have a vegetable garden and I love to spend my free time growing vegetables.
VeseliDan on May 31, 2012:
I like all vegetable garden layouts on your lens. Spring is my favorite time because of gardening. *blessed*
Jeff Johnston from Alberta Canada on May 30, 2012:
Great lens, gave me some great ideas for my garden for next year :D
steph-naylor on May 29, 2012:
What a great Lense, I really enjoyed reading!
kimberly ann po on May 28, 2012:
Informative lens. Just became a member today. Working on my very first lens. Love it already
Dickstucki1 on May 24, 2012:
I have been a master gardener for many years and enjoyed your page a lot. Thanks for the information.
coincrazy98 on May 22, 2012:
Great comprehensive lens! I love the links to free software for planning your garden!
anonymous on May 13, 2012:
One of the best space savers for small gardens is to use a keyhole layout plan
seemarahate on May 11, 2012:
This is a great FREE vegetable garden layout for anyone to use who is designing a vegetable garden. The vegetable garden planting guide is unique to this specific garden. I personally researched this myself, planted it in my own garden and can verify that it was quite successful. .....Thanks for sharing
mjdraper on May 09, 2012:
Very useful garden. I am trying to plan my new garden right now and these tips will sure come in handy.
faber80 on May 09, 2012:
Definitely an impressive and interesting layout.
GailDL on May 05, 2012:
It is that time of year again when we begin planning our garden. Great information.
gee5 on May 03, 2012:
My daughter and I planned our raised garden of tomatoes and a variety of peppers. She's going to love this lens.
Andrew Douse on April 26, 2012:
I'm a bit random in my layout, using whatever I come across to make raised bed and paths, many plastic bottles have been used in the past.... and equally random in what I plant. Nice lens cheers!
minz781 on April 26, 2012:
Michelle Obama has told Oprah Winfrey's "O" Magazine that her purpose for planting the new
organic garden is to promote good nutritional habits in her own children, while also bringing
attention to nutrition among children across the nation.http://tiny.cc/rytadw
AgingIntoDisabi on April 25, 2012:
Love the planning tool.
Mark Falco from Reno, Nevada on April 18, 2012:
Just what I was looking for. We just started planning out our new raised garden which we are making out of cinder blocks. This information will come in handy.
amsmitty on April 16, 2012:
This is really cool. I have been looking for a garden planner. Thanks.
SmBizGuru LM on April 14, 2012:
I really like the graphics in this lens. Very good ideas.
savateuse on April 13, 2012:
anonymous on April 10, 2012:
Nice to see the vegetable garden lay out lens up in the Top 100 again, I was waiting! Love this! :)
Gottusch on April 10, 2012:
Very educational page. I didn't realize there were so many vegetable garden layouts or so many considerations and possibilities when planting a garden.
mommafox on April 10, 2012:
Beautiful lens. One I'm glad I found it and will bookmark.
wahrsein on April 10, 2012:
SewingMama on April 09, 2012:
I don't have any ideas, but I'm sending my mom here. She wants to do a veggie garden and has no idea how to do it. This lens is the perfect reference! Thanks!
lftypjk900 on April 09, 2012:
great information on garden layouts. I am making my first garden this spring and will be using you lens as a guide!!!thanks so much
lclchors on April 09, 2012:
love all the fun layouts
goo2eyes lm on April 09, 2012:
my beans are already climbing up high but i can't bring them out yet. still too cold outside. thank you for sharing this beautiful work. my garden would be like a jungle this year and i don't mind.
KittySmith on April 09, 2012:
I also like hanging planters or stagger stacking terra cotta pots on a pole.
gamrslist on April 09, 2012:
cool lens im thinking of starting some veg thank you
LadyCharlie on April 09, 2012:
Great lens packed full of ideas! Blessed!
anonymous on April 09, 2012:
Designing vegetable gardens is just like working with Adobe InDesign for magazines as they involve creativity. Thanks for this informative lens.
pinoyrecipe on April 09, 2012:
amazing vegetable layouts I've ever seen. thanks for sharing this. :-)
LooLooBird on April 09, 2012:
that veggie garden tool looks so cool! I'm def playing with that later!
jordanmilesbask on April 05, 2012:
This is awesome..Great lens!
writer4 on March 29, 2012:
Incredible lens on vegetable garden layout very nice!
emmesinger1 on March 28, 2012:
Question: I've become increasingly interested in Companion Planting (ideas like "the 3 sisters" (corn, pole beans, and either pumpkins or squash). ... Would you suggest the layout that really take advantage of space and allow for such a planting style? Thanks!
Find-Online on March 24, 2012:
Such great ideas. These layouts are wonderful.
WorkitSmart on March 23, 2012:
you have the most colorful lens going here!
SunshineLollipops on March 22, 2012:
Well I have been boring with my rows through the years. My best idea was when I turned the whole dang garden into a pumpkin patch because I was in a place in my life where I just didn't have the time to tend it. Great idea and the kids loved it!
bbires on March 12, 2012:
Very creative lens. Love the designs; massaged my brain.
infiniti99 lm on March 11, 2012:
Since I own a landscape company I'm going to setup a 15x60 area that gets good sun and will adjust shade as needed by moving some larger trees around with the bobcat.I'll be back for more info this is my first real shot @ a garden.thank you for sharing.
anonymous on March 10, 2012:
thank you so much for sharing this!
sousababy on March 02, 2012:
Belated congrats for your purple star and LotD!
sousababy on March 02, 2012:
Oh, I can't garden (haven't done much other than plant Gerbera daisies and Mums - but I may give it a go this summer). Love the designs you've created . . extremely helpful. Thank you for the education and sharing your expertise.
Rob Hemphill from Ireland on February 29, 2012:
Really good lens with some fabulous layouts, well done!
mumsgather on February 26, 2012:
This is so lovely. What a great idea. At the moment, mine is nothing but clutter. I must use some of these ideas.
awesomedealz4u on February 16, 2012:
Interesting layouts. NIce job!
awesomedealz4u on February 16, 2012:
Interesting layouts. NIce job!
chwwalker lm on February 06, 2012:
Something I've seen a lot of on Pinterest recently is the vertical garden, where you use pallets or other materials leaning against a wall or fence and encourage the vegetables to grow up. I'm thinking about container gardening since I don't have a lot of outdoor space at my apartment.Thanks for an interesting lens.
gardeningchoice on February 05, 2012:
I hope one day to have the space to create a lovely garden such as the raised bed layout.
anonymous on February 01, 2012:
Fantastic lens, I was able to learn a lot about the garden layouts here. Thanks!
You can also see my lens on the Aquaponics System
Stephanie Tietjen from Albuquerque, New Mexico on January 30, 2012:
Super lens! Thank you
flicker lm on January 29, 2012:
Excellent lens! In my veggie garden, I plant both in raised beds and right in the ground. I use whatever layout works to keep my vegetables rotated, ie, planted in different spots each year. And I use wide rows (as described in from Joy of Gardening book) for many of my plantings.
Art-Aspirations on January 28, 2012:
These are gorgeous layouts. The diagrams alone are inspiring!
Jimmy Gavin on January 27, 2012:
My old Dad (gone now) used to keep a diary with every minute detail of his veggie patch, don't believe I got his genes!
MaartjeJepsen on January 26, 2012:
Cool lens! I will borrow a couple of ideas for my garden!
MarysSerendipity on January 18, 2012:
Love this lens.
Vallygems1 on January 09, 2012:
Great Lens Thanks
Ellen de Casmaker from Powell RIver BC on January 07, 2012:
THis is a great lens. I like the layout ideas - very handy and I will be recommending this to folks. How do you get the pictures all in a line like that?
Buchamar on December 12, 2011:
seosmm on November 27, 2011:
Very nice lens!
sheilaseven on November 27, 2011:
Interesting ideas. Hope everyone will go green after this.
JoshK47 on November 26, 2011:
Absolutely marvelous lens - great way to keep your garden organized.
anonymous on November 25, 2011:
Nice lens. What a great way to start my reading today. Squid-liked!
anonymous on November 23, 2011:
I really liked the lens. So many different layout ideas. Great information, thanks for sharing.
thomasaden on November 15, 2011:
I just love your layouts here in the lens. You did a great informative lens. Thanks for sharing it with us and keep up the great work.
markettrol on November 09, 2011:
I just use rows for my plants, usually two rows for each type.
MadHaps LM on November 01, 2011:
Nice depiction of layouts. The one foot by one foot squares is the grid design that is used when space is limitted, but if you have room treat your garden like part of the rest of your landscape.
SIALicenceUK on October 28, 2011:
Wow, incredible lens this is how its done! love the colors and layout. Was thinking of starting a veg garden next year have bookmarked this lens i`m sure it will help a lot, thanks.