Making Your Vegetable Garden the Right Size

by April Reinhardt
(last updated October 7, 2015)

So you've decided to grow your own vegetables, and have already polled your family about what types of vegetables they like, so you have an idea of the varieties of vegetables you will plant. But what about the size of your garden? If your garden is too large, it will take a lot of space and much of your time to maintain it, while yielding enough food to sustain several families. But if you make your garden too small, you won't have enough food left over to store away.

Making your vegetable garden just the right size involves a little planning, including how many people you will feed, how much time you are willing to spend tending to your garden, and whether you want to can or freeze the surplus. Here are some great tips for making your vegetable garden the right size for your needs:

  • Determine the size of your garden. Perhaps you live alone in an apartment, and need to grow your vegetables in containers. Or maybe you have a large family and a house with enough land to plot a large garden. Determine how many people you will feed. If you want to grow surplus to store away, add that amount into your equation. Typically, a garden to feed four people should be about 500 square feet, or a plot that is 20 feet by 25 feet. Adjust the size of your garden to accommodate the number of people who will eat the vegetables.
  • Vegetable types. Figure out what kinds of vegetables you will grow based on what everyone likes. It won't do much good to plant a row or container of tomatoes if no one likes tomatoes. Grow only what you and your family will eat often. Don't use valuable space and energy cultivating squash if you only eat it once a year.

Before you start digging your yard or adding topsoil to that garden container, plan where to dig or set your containers so that your plants receive adequate sunlight. Most vegetables require a minimum of five hours of direct sunlight each day, so it's best to plant vegetables away from fences, trees, tall ornamental grasses, or anything that might shade them from the sun throughout the day. Optimally, it's best to face your plants south and never plant a garden next to trees, since the tree roots will compete with your plant roots for water and nutrients.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

How to Pack a Truck

Before you rent a moving truck, take a complete inventory of your home. When you decide the size of truck you need, rent one ...

Discover More

Teen Makeup Styles

The best teen makeup style is one that lends a natural look after the makeup is applied. Choose quality products that won't ...

Discover More

Common Tomato Diseases

Taking the time to plant your tomato plants with adequate spacing, well-drained garden beds, and appropriate fungicides will ...

Discover More
MORE GARDENING TIPS

Understanding Gardening Zones

Growing plants involves much more than simply digging holes and inserting seeds or plantings. Understanding your local ...

Discover More

Identifying Plants for a Winter Garden

One of the most important steps for making any garden work is picking the plants that you will be growing. This is especially ...

Discover More

Gardening in Sandy Soil

Although water moves quickly through sandy soil, washing away vital nutrients and creating air pockets at the root system, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

Links and Sharing
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Comment
  • Free Printable Forms
  • Free Calendars
  • Share