Choosing the right size for your garden can help produce the veggies that you want at a size that you can manage. Many home gardeners use raised beds as a way to reduce the garden footprint, grow lots of veggies in a small space, and keep the work to a manageable level. Even a few container gardens with veggies can be a good place to start.
Go big or go home – that is the question when it comes to vegetable gardens. Where do you start? It is easy to bite off more than you can chew when you are a first-time vegetable gardener. As a rule of thumb, you should start small then add if needed. A good starting size for a garden would be between 75 and 100 square feet. As you start planning your garden ask yourself the following questions: 1) How much time do you have to commit to your garden 2) Do you have easy access to water 3) What vegetables to you like 4) What are your plans for the produce when it matures 5) How will you store/preserve your harvest.
Next, take inventory of what you want to grow. Some crops such as leafy greens do not take up much space while others sprawl out over the entire yard. Determine what you want to grow but do not be shy and add one or two new plants to your garden.
Spacing is key to healthy a healthy garden. Each plant will vary on the footprint and spacing between plants. Tomatoes are a large plant and can take up 2’ of space and you’ll need 2’ of space between plants. Cucumbers when grown without a trellis will take up a 4’x4’ footprint. Squash will take up a 12’x12 space. Bush type cucumbers take a 2’x2’ of space.
A typical 10’x10’ garden space you could grow the following:
- 3 indeterminate tomatoes or two tomatoes and 1 cucumber on a trellis.
- 4 eggplants
- 5 peppers
- 12 bush beans
- Container Vegetable Gardening
- This NebGuide will address the basics of container vegetable gardening for people with limited space, limited accessibility, and how to start gardening on a small scale