Is there a proper lay to set up a garden for success in regards to what to plant next to what?
You ought to love the spring season, everyone is asking gardening questions!
There are several posts recently covering the same topic, scroll down the page and look..
You could research "companion planting".. The best advice I could give you is layout your beds and plant to optimize sun exposure. Don't plant big tall plants(tomatoes) to the south of smaller plants(peppers,root crops,herbs) because the bigger plants willshade out the smaller ones..
Every garden situation is different.. You have to first look at your space restrictions, where the water goes(drainage), where the sun Is,etc,etc.. Observe your property throughout the season to fully understand your little own "microclimate"... There are a thousand ways to garden, do it the way that makes you happy.
Depends on how you define success. Just follow the planting guidelines (from the packet of seeds or plant label) for each type of plant and make sure taller plants don't shade smaller plants and vining plants don't sprawl everywhere and you'll be fine. A garden layout (size and shape of garden) in most cases is for the aesthetics of the garden or comfort of the gardener and less about the needs of plants, though it should be in full sun for vegetables.
There is a concept known as companion planting which has some guidelines for what should and shouldn't be planted next to each other. Though they aren't accepted by everyone and violating those guidelines will not cause you to have an unproductive or unsafe garden. A simple search for "companion planting" will give you all the information you could ever want.
Laying out a garden isn't as some people make it sound. I've been gardening for year and still spend hours trying to get it right.
But basicaly you need to make a plan with indications of north , west, east, and south.
Put the tall plants on the north end and work tward the south with the shorter items.
But the tricky part comes when you start putting in summer crops after the spring crops are over.
All of the above! Plus, there are so many variables that you will learn by doing, reading and observing!
Like maybe I should have my tomatoes in a bed next to the house on the south side to get a few more degrees of heat (I'd have to build a new bed, so not this year!) or I can have a few more beds for winter in this area, and still have some lettuce and shade lovers in this bed!
Check out your neighbors' set ups! I get whip lash driving places and checking out the gardens! We often have to stop and admire a random garden at my insistence! ;)
I still have troubles with summer/winter gardens cause we have a very long growing season, lasting into Nov/Dec sometimes! This is why I have a couple of dedicated beds right near the deck (less mud!) for fall/winter stuff. I do tone it down in the winter to a couple of beds and work on amending the spring/summer beds during the winter (we don't freeze much, just some frost)
Keep reading and learning! And Happy Gardening! Nancy