The Q&A Archives: Spacing Plants for Wide Rows

Question: I am rather new at vegetable gardening and have been reading about the benefits of wide bed planting (less wind around individual plants, better water retention, fewer weeds). My garden is in very sandy soil, with strong daily breezes off the ocean, soany help I can give these plants is deserved. However, in following the directions on seed packages (I started peppers, cauliflowers, cukes, watermelon, cantaloupes and some herbs), the distances apart for transplanting seem very far. Is there a shorter distance used in wide bed planting? Christine Griffith Bohemia, NY

Answer: Yes, when you plant in wide rows, my experience is you can plant closer together. The peppers and cauliflowers can definitely be planted closer (say 8-10 inches apart). The cucumbers and watermelons can be spaced closer if they are a bush-type variety.It should say so on the packet. The herbs can be squeezed closer by about 1/4. The only crops that still need the normal spacing are root crops such as carrots and beets. They need to be thinned adequately to develop proper sized roots. With wide rows, the advantage is you concentrate the fertilizing, watering and weeding into a small area, so the plants are healthier and more productive. Have fun!

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