veg garden layout,straight rows or random plantings?t

dan_nz_gardenerSeptember 2, 2012

hey all, 3 days into spring and planing the spring summer garden. I am a sucker for nice neat rows of veggies but my wife thinks we should have random mixes of plants to create interest and colour etc.

What are your expieriences of intermixing all your veggie plants?

I wonder how it can work with different veggies requiring different soil ammendments etc.

Any thought or pictures would be inspiring


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feijoas(New Zealand)

Hi Dan, looks like you're from my neck of the woods!
I plant some things like root crops and garlic in blocks, but a lot of my decisions are based on plant soil/water requirements, size etc.
I have a small area and rows would seriously reduce my planting space, as well as being just not my thing.
In my (totally unscientific) studies, a variety of complimentary plants grown together seem to do better than when they're segregated.
Maybe compromise and plant in blocks?
I find, say, carrots too much of a pain to grow purposely among other species, although since I save seed, I get all sorts of things popping up everywhere.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:23AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day dan,

for me straight row beds seems to make better use of space when wanting to grow enough.

new home so new beds going in this time full width corrugated roofing as edges to cut down on stooping. so far working well.


Here is a link that might be useful: lens straw bale garden

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Different crops have different harvest times, and different requirements. Better to keep the mixing to the flower garden. Of course, there's not reason why you can't plant flowers in the veggie garden for a little color.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Depends on what you are planting.
Put Corn or potatoes in rows, that for blocks.
You can mix carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, lettuce and other in in varied locations just be sure the soil is prepared for them and that they get along fine, especially when the get large.

I put my chiles and tomatoes all over the garden as space allows.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:20PM
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dan nz, I have to put in a second garden for my daughter & have ask myself the same question.
Maybe a 12'x12'/4m X4m deck in the middle of the garden with grapes,blackberry vines around the edge. then put in bed /rows for perennial vegetables, then beds for annuals vegetables. Larger fruit tree on the side of the main garden.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Cool, thanks everyone, still a little inconclusive. Might just have to do my own experiment.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:49AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I like rows myself...especially if you are doing a serious garden of much size.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Remember to plant the taller plants to the north so they don't shade the shorter plants, unless you purposely want keep some crops from getting sunscald.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:52AM
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I intermix, but I garden in raised beds (ie, I have a lot of beds but limited space to grow in each.) It might not make sense in very large spaces to intermix. For me, I use the shade of a tall plant to keep my lettuce slightly cooler on hot days. I use my beans to trellis my tomatoes for me (they wrap around the tomato plant and hold it up.) I plant cool season crops and warm season crops in the same space (I have figured out the timing, more or less... for example, I grew carrots, lettuce and beets in the spring in a space that is now overrun by tomatoes and cantaloupes. When the carrots and beets were getting large, my warm season crops were seedlings.)

I think your answer could depend on who is the gardener in your family... you or your wife? Who is taking the time to garden, weed, harvest, etc? Also, how big is your space?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:43AM
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