It’s entirely possible to have your vegetable garden planted and blooming in no time at all! Learn how to plant a square foot vegetable garden and grow more food in less space.
If you are wanting to plant a veggie garden and are new to gardening it can seem quite overwhelming. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. The good news? You can plant your veggie garden successfully in 5 easy steps. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a veggie garden yet or you have one already, going through the planning process will give your garden the love it needs.
From planning what to plant to where to plant the veggies, there are things that you need to put into consideration!
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The good news? I’ve created an efficient planning system that will allow you to get your veggie garden primed and ready for planting!
Planning Your Vegetable Garden In 5 Easy Steps
Here are 5 simple steps to plan your garden.
Find A Direct Sunlit Area For Your Garden
Before you do anything for your veggie garden, you need to find a well-lit area. Veggies need the sun to survive, some more than others. A good rule is about 8 hours of direct sunlight. This will allow your veggies to thrive and grow well.
If you are having a hard time finding a big enough spot for your garden that has direct sunlight, keep in mind that there are veggies that can do with a little less sun. Veggies like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuces like cooler and less sunny areas and are actually quite simple to grow.
Need a veggie garden planting tip to keep those vegetables thriving and growing during those hot summer months? Plant them next to a bigger plant to offer them shade!
I know where I’m from if I don’t plan my lettuces next to a big plant to help shade it, my lettuce will go to seed way too quickly. Nobody has time for that.
Square Foot Gardening Spacing
Before anything, you need to figure out how big your veggie garden is going to be. This is something that you really need to ask yourself! There are many things that you need to consider when you’re planning out your garden. If this is your first year, you may not want to start off with a huge garden. (the bigger the garden, the more the work)
Questions to consider when planning a vegetable garden:
- How much time do I have to commit to this garden?
- How much time will it take me to prep the area?
- Will this be a year-round-garden?
- How much time do I have per day do I have to spend in the garden?
- How much money am I willing to spend on this garden?
- Will you be only gardening during the spring and summer?
- How much food do I want to produce each year?
While these questions may seem like a lot, they are valid to ask.
How much time do you have to commit to your vegetable garden?
This is a pretty vague question because there are some many aspects of creating a garden. You’ll need to prep the area, maintain the area, plant the plants, maintain your veggies, and the list goes on.
If you start your garden out too big, you may fail, and that’s not going to be a good experience for you to base other gardens off of.
How much time will it take you to prep the garden area?
If this is your first veggie garden then you’ve probably got a lot of work ahead of you. If this isn’t your first year, you still need to ask yourself that question.
There’s a lot that goes into prepping the garden area. You’ll need to figure out compost, raised beds, pH levels, and so much more when it comes to the prepping part.
How much time each day will you be spending in the garden?
Remember your garden is a living thing, it needs attention just like everything else. You’ll need to water, maintain the plants, and check for bugs and slugs every single day. Taking care of a garden is a lot of work, but so worth it if you are committed.
How much money are you willing to spend in your garden?
You think of gardening as a way to save money but that’s not always the case. You’ll need to add compost and you might need to get tools if you don’t have any. The list goes on when it comes to the cost. In the end, if your vegetables grow, you’ll be saving money at the store but in the starting phase of planning your garden, you will be spending money.
However, in saying that, the rewards are amazing! By planting a garden, you are going to get super fresh food for you and your family. That in itself is priceless. The experience and the nutritional value of your garden are worth so much!
How much food are you wanting to produce?
Do you just want to grow some beans, tomatoes, and a few carrots? Or, are you wanting to replace the grocery store?
This is something that you’ll need to keep in mind when planning your garden.
Will this be a year-round garden or a seasonal garden?
If you are planning to keep your garden year round, then you’ll need to add that extra time and cost to the equation. If you plan accordingly, it is possible to have a garden all year long.
Yes, gardening is quite a commitment, but as I said earlier, it’s totally worth the outcome!
Building raised beds
Creating raised beds for your garden isn’t mandatory but you’ll find that you’ll have an easier time with them. I have raised beds in my garden and I love them. They help me so much that I just don’t know what I would do if I had to go without them.
I find that weeding is a little easier to maintain and it is a lot easier to keep the soil soft in the raised beds.
How to make a simple raised bed:
(2) 2x8x8 and decking screws
I made my raised beds using 2x8x8 and cut them into 4-foot pieces and screwed them together with decking screws and made myself 4’x4′ square raised beds.
I like to use decking screws because of the weather. This is a trick my dad told me, I’m not sure if it’s true or not…it’s just what I used.
I like the size of 4’x4′ beds because I can easily grab into the center of the bed on any side I’m on. Since my garden is a square foot garden this was a very simple way for me to measure this all out.
Vegetable garden raised bed layout
If this is the first year that you have your garden, you may have grass underneath. If that’s the case, you can either dig up the grass or you can lay a thick layer of newspaper down, then lay the raised bed down over the top.
You’ve just saved yourself a ton of weeding time by laying the newspaper down, trust me.
Vegetable garden soil mixture
Without soil, your veggies will not thrive. The soil is an important part of the equation and good soil is needed to achieve a great garden.
Year after year of planting a garden, plants take nutrients from the soil, it is important to replace the nutrients. Once a year I add an organic compost, peat moss, and vermiculite to the soil. Then about once a month, I add organic vegetable plant food. I only choose organic when it comes to my garden because this is food that I’m going to eat I don’t want to take any chances.
If you’d like to learn more about your soil and really everything about gardening, I’m going to link 2 of my all-time favorite gardening books for you to enjoy!
These two books have taught me so much about gardening and I refer back to them year after year!
The following are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. You can read my full disclosure here.
Square Foot Gardening
Square Foot Gardening with Kids
Have a great plan!
Gardening is a huge project, and huge projects can have a tendency to overwhelm. That’s why having a great plan is so important from the beginning.
Unfortunately, your garden isn’t going to grow itself. It needs a lot of hard work and attention for it to produce for you.
The best way to tackle this giant project is to create a solid plan. You need to pick your spot, make your beds, prep the soil, pick the plants, and so much more.
Each year, I create a plan of what I want to plant and whether or not I want to start it from seed or from a start. Then I look back year after year on my planner to see what the average rainfall, the sun, and temp each month and each season.
This gives me a good idea of when I can plant what. It’s actually a huge help.
Each year I take notes on what worked and what didn’t so I know if I should try something new. Since I’ve been planning out my garden I’ve been about to double the amount of food I grow year after year.
I started out just creating 2 raised bed where I planted a few things in the spring and harvested in the summer. I’d let it die down and then I’d start again the next spring.
I now grow food year round and have 9 raised beds, fruit trees, and berry plants. It’s all because I keep track of what I’m doing year after year.
If you’d like to preview this planner, I’ve put together a free preview for you.
I hope this helps you to get started on a vegetable garden this year. With commitment and hard work, you can grow beautiful homegrown veggies with ease!