Vegetable Garden Designs
Space is at a premium for many gardeners, but with careful planning you can have a fruitful garden no matter the size. Here you’ll find plans for all seasons to give you some ideas for your garden.
Bed 1: Cool Season
A semi-permanent tepee constructed of three to four vertical stakes made of bamboo, spiral stakes, or rebar provides support for vining plants season after season. Wrap the tepee with twine to give the plants horizontal supports on which to climb.
Sugar snap peas (1): Substitute green peas or snow peas.
Collard greens (2): Substitute cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, or mustard greens.
Lettuce (3): Substitute carrots, radishes, dill, parsley, or cilantro.
Cherry tomatoes (1): The plant has rambling vines that bear fruit all summer. Training the vines around the tepee and not just up the legs of the support will help handle the plant’s vigorous growth. You can also tame unruly vines by pruning them midsummer.
Peppers: Plant any variety you like, including serrano, cayenne (2), bell (3), habanero, jalapeño, and Thai chile. If your plants grow large, add a tomato cage for additional support.
Lemon thyme (4) and chives (5): Th ese are perennial herbs that, once planted, will carry through from season to season unless they’re transplanted to another location.
Eggplant (6) and basil (7): Plant any varieties you like.
Squash (2): Substitute crookneck, straightneck, zucchini, or pattypan squash.
Garlic (2): Substitute onions.
Arugula (3): Substitute lettuce or other salad greens. Stagger planting one corner every few weeks for a continuous harvest.
Broccoli (1): Substitute cauliflower, cabbage, kale, or collards.
Carrots (2): Substitute radishes, parsley, or arugula.
Green (3) and red (4) lettuces: Substitute leaf lettuce, romaine, or a mix of different types.
Bush cucumbers (2): Substitute summer squash or bush-type watermelons.
This traditional row-type layout lends itself to a variety of options.
Cauliflower (1): Substitute cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, or mustard greens.
Swiss chard: The red (2) and yellow (3) varieties shown in this design make a pretty contrast to the blue-green of the cauliflower in the center of the bed. Substitute Asian greens, such as pak choi or bok choy.
Radishes (4) and dill (5): Radishes grow quickly, which means you can replant as soon as they’re harvested and get in a few plantings each season. Substitute cilantro or parsley for both the dill and the radishes, if you like.
Watermelon (2): Unlike the bush type, vine watermelon needs room to ramble. Plant just one, and train the vines to cover the bed rather than the path around the bed. Substitute pumpkins, winter squash, or melons.
Containers: Warm Season
Tomatoes (1): Plant tomatoes in a larger urn, and choose varieties bred for containers, such as Patio or Sweet ‘N’ Neat, which can be grown without support. You can also plant a determinate (Better Bush, Bush Early Girl, Bush Goliath) or dwarf indeterminate (Husky Cherry Red) that can be supported using a tomato cage or homemade tepee. If you have an area next to a railing or fence that gets adequate sunlight, you’ll have more options because the vines can use it for support.
Zucchini (2): One plant can be quite prolific in an 18- to 24-inch pot. Substitute crookneck, straightneck, or pattypan squash.
Chives (3): Perennial herbs such as chives or thyme can remain in a small pot year-round. Substitute creeping thyme or Spicy Globe basil.
Kale (1): Substitute cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.
Lettuce (2): Potted lettuce won’t provide endless salads, but it’s ideal to supplement store-bought greens and provide enough for sandwiches.
Cilantro (3): Substitute parsley, chives, or dill.
Rosemary (1): A large urn is perfect for a large plant like rosemary. This woody shrub is cold-tender and better suited for gardeners in warmer states, although it will tolerate temperatures in the 20s without a problem. Choose a cold-hardy variety, such as Hill Hardy and Arp, for those areas where temperatures dip into the teens. Until the rosemary grows large, creeping thyme (2) can be planted on the sunny side (south or west) of the pot to trail over the edge.
Basil (3): Plant basil in an 18- to 24-inch pot. This annual is only perennial in gardens that are frost-free. Plant any variety you’d like.
Parsley (4): Plant parsley in a small pot. Substitute chives, creeping thyme, or mint.