Vegetable garden layout

by Kate Dalby
(Northern Virginia, USA)

No fresh eggs from this rooster!

No fresh eggs from this rooster!

Most every year for my vegetable garden layout (and it's been 40 years or more off and on) I order more seeds than I ever plant. I get so excited looking through seed catalogs; I want to plant everything.

Not all went to plan
Last year I decided to plant a garden about four times as large as the year before (an extra 150 ft by 6 ft). I planted three types of corn, six varieties of potato, and a bunch of other stuff and then it rained, and the deer came, and it rained some more, and then I went on vacation for three weeks to see my parents and my grandkids. When I got back the potatoes had all rotted, the corn never germinated, the sunflowers had been eaten by the deer, and that part of my garden that still flourished was over grown by pigweed and other fun weeds.

Planning a vegetable garden layout
In the remaining 400 sq ft (the garden from the previous year) I grew 4 varieties of sweet potato (I double dug and planted on raised beds and so they survived the heavy rains), okra, peas, heritage cotton, 4 types of eggplants, 2 types of peppers, 2 varieties of tomatoes, chard, zucchini, yellow squash, and beets.

I got real small this fall and built a 36inX6ft cold frame and used a storm door for the top. I have gotten lots of spinach, cilantro and baby bok choy from that. The onions and beets are pathetic but that's because the chickens got into the frame one day and scattered the seeds.

So, if I had just planted a little more than I had the year before (20x20ft) I would have gotten the same production as the year before without the cost or disappointment.

Vegetable garden layout plans for next year
My advice, start small and only increase a little each year unless you know you've got lots of help to control the environment.

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