Home Vegetable Garden Guide

Designing your Home Vegetable Garden

Plotting out your garden on paper before planting will help you visualize your space and use it efficiently. The size of your garden depends on your interest in gardening and how much care you'll be able to give to your garden. Of course, the bigger your garden the more maintenance and time it will require. That's great if you have had a successful garden before, otherwise you may want to start a little smaller.

Popular Garden Vegetable Recommendations

Choose a sunny location, preferably close to your kitchen. This will make it easy to run out to pick a few items you need when preparing meals, and is also a perfect way to get them at their best! Especially if grown for their fruit, vegetables plants will need a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct light each day. Just be sure to avoid the shade of large trees, shrubs, and buildings when selecting a spot for your garden plot.


Arrange your plantings to make the best use of your available space. It all about convenience. Put the plants that you will be picking the most in the most convenient and accessible place. Plants like potatoes that aren't picked frequently can be located in a spot that is more out of the way. Plan your garden with taller plants near the back (preferably to the north or northeast side) so they won't shade shorter plants. Keep herbs and small vegetables to the front. Tall vegetables like pole beans or tomatoes require support. And since corn is pollinated by the wind, for optimum pollination, it should be planted in blocks of several short rows, rather than two or three long rows. Squash, pumpkins and melons will spread and fill a large space as they grow. However, you can train some vine plants to grow on a trellis to save space for planting.

COMPANION PLANTING: Some plants just make a good team. Sometimes one attracts a pollinator that another one needs, or one chases away a pest that likes to attack another. Lettuce likes green onion. Tomatoes like basil and marigolds. Check out our Maintenance Section on Companion Planting for more tips!

Plant a diverse garden. Mix perennial and annual flowers in with your veggies. Gardens can be a wonderful sight with all the textures, colors, shapes and even flowers to choose from. Added bonus to the beauty, you can really pack in the plants if you skip the traditional rows and go for more interesting designs.

Staggering the Harvest

An important part of vegetable gardening is staggering harvest times. It can take a little practice, especially in unpredictable and short growing seasons, but once accomplish can ensure supply of vegetables. Select different varieties of the same plant - ones that ripen in 50-60 days, others in 60-70 days, and, in longer season climates, 80 days and above for example. This can also be accomplished by starting your seeds at intervals, or purchasing your plants at intervals.


Be sure to rotate your crops each year to reduce unnecessary disease, nutrient and pest problems.

Crop Family Plants
Cole Cabbage family Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Rutabaga,Turnip
Cucurbits Cucumber family Cucumber, Gourd, Muskmelon, Pumpkin, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Watermelon
Solanaceous Tomato and Pepper family Eggplant, Irish Potato, Pepper, Tomato.