How to Plan a Garden Layout

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Garden layout

How to Plan a Garden Layout

In some areas of the world, the snow is starting to fall while in another Spring has sprung. Still, no matter what time of year it is in your backyard, it’s never too early to start figuring out how to plan a garden layout. There are certain things you need to figure out before you just start planting vegetation willy-nilly. Here are some tips on how to plan the perfect garden layout for your backyard.

What You Want vs What You Can Grow

We would all love to have an acre or so to play with where we had rows of every vegetable we’ve ever loved but the reality is, where you live greatly dictates what you are going to be able to plant in your garden. You may want corn, but if you have a small backyard, you might have to skip it for space availability and not to mention the shade it will generate from other sun-loving plants.

19' 11" x 9' 11" Garden plan

Know what you want and make sure you have the space, the weather, and the sun availability for that kind of vegetable, herb, or flower. Don’t forget to find out the way your choices interact with each other. This helps when you decide where to place each plant or seedling.

Sketch It

You don’t have to be a professional artist with a Copic marker sketchbook to do this part. However, if you are adept with this, your sketch can be as detailed as you want it to be and maybe sell it to a collector someday. But if you are an average artist like the rest of us, grab some paper and a pen and draw out your space.

Get the measurements and write it down on that paper. When you start assigning spaces for your choices, be sure to leave enough space around them to grow. Most plants require a specific amount of space to grow into so make sure to take that into consideration when you are sketching out your garden. When in doubt, leave a little more room.

Get What You Need

Now that you know what you want, and you made a map of your garden area, it’s time to get supplies. If you are a beginner, then you might need to pick up some tools like a hand shovel, gardening gloves, tiller, hand saw and Sprayer. Your knees can become very sore when bent over a backyard garden so consider investing in a nice cushion meant to be knelt upon.

Plant Your Garden

Now you can start. You have your plants, soil, tools, old clothes, space, and time to put your garden into place. Be sure to plant all your purchases soon after you bring them home. Plants can become damaged if left out of the ground or a container with new soil for too long.

Things to Consider Before Starting

There are some more things that are important to think about before you decide what you will be putting in your garden. Here are some we think are essential.


As we mentioned earlier, what space you have available is probably the most important factor when it comes planning a garden. We used corn as an example earlier, but let’s consider another vegetable, the potato. This hearty tuber is a staple in a lot of households and would be nice if we could just pop out to the backyard and dig some up.

But they need a foot of space on each side of the plant and nearly three feet between rows. So, this wouldn’t be a great choice if your space is limited. Plants that work well in small spaces include lettuce, tomatoes, herbs, pole beans, chard, eggplant, and zucchini.


Some plants, like tomatoes, require a lot of sunlight. Other plants, like spinach and chard, need shade. Consider this when planning. If you are using a spot that has full sunlight but a lot of space, then growing some larger plants like the corn or sunflowers could provide shade to other vegetables for a part of the day.


Your vegetation will not do well if they don’t have access to water daily. Unless you are a fan of hauling buckets, make sure you plant close to your water source and somewhere near your kitchen. This way you always have water access.

Ideally, you will have a hose and a sprinkling system, but if not, there are some DIY ways to create a simple irrigation system for your garden.

Seeds or Seedlings?

You can either get a packet of seeds and start them out in your home, but this requires at least two weeks and additional planning. Or you can go to the nearest nursery and purchase starter plants that go directly into your garden. If you wonder why anyone would want to start seeds if seedlings are less work, just keep reading.

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Organic or Not Organic?

Answers to your question. Do you want to go through all the trouble of planting a food source for yourself and your family only to fill it with chemicals that will eventually go into your body? There are natural ways to repel pests like insects, rabbits, deer, opossums, raccoons, and any other animal that might find their way to your garden.

But, organic doesn’t start there. It starts when you purchase your plants. If you purchase seedlings, then you need to be sure they are coming from an organic farmer. Or you can get organic seeds and start the process yourself.


The reasons why everyone should have a garden goes much deeper than just having a sustainable food source at your disposal. Planting and working in a garden relieves stress, helps with depression and anxiety, burn those unwanted calories, and just makes you feel good. Reconnecting with the Earth is an amazing experience that everyone should have access to.

One thought on “How to Plan a Garden Layout”

  1. Every year I try the seed route. And every year one type of plant or another refuses to grow from seed which I then have to hunt down that plant, or plants, from a nursery. But with each failure come knowledge of what went wrong. I have a shorter growing season in my new place of 6 years than where I came from, which pretty much you could at least grow lettuce year ’round. So it’s been a challenge of what seeds are better for the shorter season. Gardening is all a big experiment. It helps to keep all of your sketches of each year so you can rotate your crops accordingly, too.

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