The Q&A Archives: how do I plan my vegetable garden?

Question: I bought starts (eggplants, tomatoes, zuchinis, red and yellow peppers, brussel sprouts, summer squash, lettuce, rhubarb, mint) and seeded (?) brocoli, carrots, arrugula, mesclun, beans) but I do not know how to plan the garden, is there an optimal order to plants veggies? Maybe some do better when grouped? Would greatly appreciate your help Smiling thank you. Geraldine, Redmond

Answer: Whenever possible, I think the rows in the vegetable garden should run north and south, for best sun exposure and air circulation. If the rows run east and west the first row tends to shade the second row, the second row the third and so forth... Now that you know what you want to plant, here's how to plan so they will perform at their best: The tall crops such as peas, beans and corn, should be planted on the north side of the vegetable garden. In this way they will not shade the rest of the vegetable crops. In the center of the vegetable garden area, plant the medium sized crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, squash, pumpkins and other medium sized crops. Then at the very southern end of the garden is where the low growing crops like radishes, carrots, beets, lettuce, onions and other low growing ones are planted. You can plant in rows or in blocks, it doesn't really matter. The only caution I would make is about the mint. It can be terribly aggressive and once the roots get into the soil they will be there until you dig out every last little bit. I've known gardeners who curse the day they planted mint because they have to battle it every single day in the garden. So, plant your mint in its own container and be sure to cut off any flowers before they set seeds so you won't have mint everywhere. Good luck with your garden!

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