Vegetable Plant Spacing – A Full Guide

Introduction to vegetable plant spacing

Vegetable plants spaced appropriately produce bigger yields. You will get more products with fewer plants, saving time, effort, and money. When planting vegetables, the spacing can be a confusing topic. So many different kinds of vegetables require different spacing; it’s hard to remember how much space goes between each plant. To make this easier, we have put together this handy plant spacing chart to help you and use this vegetable plant spacing guide to help you plan how best to place vegetables in your garden.

A step by step guide to vegetable plant spacing

Properly spacing your vegetable garden plants and rows prevents your plants from competing for water and nutrients. The best spacing to use in your garden depends on the size of the garden and the types of plants you are growing. Each vegetable species has a minimum amount of space that it needs to sustain healthy growth. To find out how much space you want to leave between plants, check the plant tags, which usually list spacing requirements. In traditional in-ground gardens, vegetable plants are planted in long and single rows spaced a uniform distance apart. The simple system works, but it takes more space than many gardeners have these days because of the room you want to leave for the paths in between the rows. The plant spacing guidelines for planting refer to the distance between plants within a row.

Why is plant spacing so important?

There are several good reasons why providing the right amount of space between your garden plants is so important. The right plant spacing will;

  • Help to reduce competition for the sunlight that is vital to plant growth
  • Help to conserve water by keeping the soil around the vegetable plants shaded
  • Help to ensure each vegetable plant gets the maximum amount of available nutrients
  • Help to reduce the amount of space for weeds in your vegetable garden
  • While you can add more nutrients to the soil in your vegetable garden, it is much better for your plants if they don’t have to struggle for those that are already there. It is much better for plants if you leave the right amount of space between them.
  • The proper amount of vegetable plant spacing helps to ensure the entire plant receives plenty of healthy sunshine. In turn, this will help to ensure you have robust plants that bear lots of vegetables.

Row spacing in vegetable plants

Row spacing in vegetable plants
Row spacing in vegetable plants.

The ideal spacing between the rows in your garden provides ample room for plants to grow and for you to work in. In most cases, it is a good idea to leave at least 18 to 36 inches of space between each row of vegetable plants. Large garden vegetable plants, such as cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins, have sprawling growth habits that grow best with rows spaced 60 to 72 inches apart. Spacing rows slightly farther apart than the minimum spacing for the vegetable plants you are using can provide you with a more comfortable working area that encourages healthier plants. Making breaks about 2 feet long in the center of long rows provides easy access to the center of large gardens.

List of vegetable plants spacing

Spacing your vegetable plants appropriately reduces the risk of disease in two ways. They are contagion and an improved immune system. It is very easy for disease to spread from one plant to another if the plants are growing on top of one another, so vegetable plants growing too closely together are not as healthy as vegetable plants with enough space.

Overcrowding reduces air circulation, which helps prevent disease. This makes your vegetable plants much more likely to get sick. Harvesting is so much easier when your vegetable plants are spaced appropriately. You can access your plant from all sides without worrying about sabotaging its neighbor, and you will be able to more accurately assess yields. Row spacing is also important. If it is hard for you to walk between rows, thanks to an overambitious garden plan, harvesting is going to be difficult, as is weeding, and weeds impede harvesting.

Shade can help to conserve water during the heat of the day, but if you plant everything too closely together, the plants will end up fighting for any available water. Ultimately, you have to come up with a perfect balance between spacing and how much water you can afford to use to keep your vegetable plants healthy. The one place you cannot see the competition between garden plants is underground where the plant roots are constantly expanding in their never-ending search for water and nutrients. If you don’t leave enough room for the root structures to spread out, you will end up with stunted plants that produce little in the way of edible fruits or veggies.

You should not miss this: How to Build a Rooftop Garden.

Plant Spacing.
Plant Spacing.

Different vegetable types require different amounts of free space to ensure healthy growth and a good crop. Use this information to make sure vegetable plants at accurate plant spacing.

Amaranth – The spacing between plants 7 to 10 inches and the spacing between rows 10 to 12 inches

Artichoke – The spacing between plants 18 inches and the spacing between rows 24 to 36 inches

Asparagus – The spacing between plants 12 to 18 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 48 inches

Alfalfa – The spacing between plants 6 to 12 inches and the spacing between rows 35 to 40 inches

Asparagus – The spacing between plants 12 to 18 inches and the spacing between rows 60 inches

Beans-Bush – The spacing between plants 2 to 4 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 24 inches

Beans-Pole – The spacing between plants 4 to 6 inches and the spacing between rows 30 to 36 inches

Beets – The spacing between plants 3 to 4 inches and the spacing between rows 12 to 18 inches

Black-eyed peas – The spacing between plants 2 to 4 inches and the spacing between rows 30 to 36 inches

Bok Choy – The spacing between plants 6 to 12 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 30 inches

Broccoli – The spacing between plants 18 to 24 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 40 inches

Brussels sprouts – The spacing between plants 24 inches and the spacing between rows 24 to 36 inches

Cabbage – The spacing between plants 9 to 12 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 40 inches

Chinese Cabbage – The spacing between plants 6 to 12 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 30 inches

Carrots – The spacing between plants 1 to 2 inches and the spacing between rows 12 to 18 inches

Cauliflower – The spacing between plants 18 to 24 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 24 inches

Corn – The spacing between plants 10 to 14 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 40 inches

Cucumber – The spacing between plants 8 to 10 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 48 inches

Cassava – The spacing between plants 40 inches and the spacing between rows 40 inches

Celery – The spacing between plants 12 to 18 inches and the spacing between rows 24 to 60 inches

Chinese kale – The spacing between plants 12 to 24 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 36 inches

Cress – The spacing between plants 1 to 2 inches and the spacing between rows 3 to 6 inches

Eggplant (Brinjal) – The spacing between plants 18 to 24 inches and the spacing between rows 30 to 36 inches

Fennel Bulb – The spacing between plants 12 to 24 inches and the spacing between rows 12 to 24 inches

Greens-Mature harvest – The spacing between plants 10 to 18 inches and the spacing between rows 24 to 36 inches

Greens-baby harvest – The spacing between plants 2 to 4 inches and the spacing between rows 12 to 18 inches

Hops – The spacing between plants 36 to 48 inches and the spacing between rows 96 inches

Jerusalem artichoke – The spacing between plants 18 to 36 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 36 inches

Kale – The spacing between plants 12 to 18 inches and the spacing between rows 24 inches

Kohlrabi – The spacing between plants 6 inches and the spacing between rows 12 inches

Leeks – The spacing between plants 4 to 6 inches and the spacing between rows 8 to 16 inches

Lettuce loose – The spacing between plants 3 inches and the spacing between rows 3 inches

Lentils – The spacing between plants 0.5 to 1 inch and the spacing between rows 6 to 12 inches

Mache Greens – The spacing between plants 2 inches and the spacing between rows 2 inches

Okra – The spacing between plants 12 to 15 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 42 inches

Onions – The spacing between plants 4 to 6 inches and the spacing between rows 4 to 6 inches

Parsnips – The spacing between plants 8 to 10 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 24 inches

Peas – The spacing between plants 4 to 6 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 24 inches

Peppers – The spacing between plants 14 to 18 inches and the spacing between rows 18 to 24 inches

Pigeon Peas – The spacing between plants 4 to 8 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 40 inches

Potatoes – The spacing between plants 8 to 12 inches and the spacing between rows 30 to 36 inches

Pumpkin – The spacing between plants 34 to 72 inches and the spacing between rows 60 to 120 inches

Peanuts-Bunch – The spacing between plants 6 to 8 inches and the spacing between rows 24 inches

Peanuts- Runner – The spacing between plants 6 to 8 inches and the spacing between rows 36 inches

Radishes – The spacing between plants 0.5 to 4 inches and the spacing between rows 2 to 4 inches

Radicchio – The spacing between plants 8 to 10 inches and the spacing between rows 12 inches

Rhubarb – The spacing between plants 36 to 48 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 48 inches

Rutabagas – The spacing between plants 6 to 8 inches and the spacing between rows 14 to 18 inches

Shallots – The spacing between plants 6 to 8 inches and the spacing between rows 6 to 8 inches

Spinach – The spacing between plants 2 to 4 inches and the spacing between rows 12 to 18 inches

Squash-Summer – The spacing between plants 18 to 24 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 48 inches

Squash-Winter – The spacing between plants 24 to 36 inches and the spacing between rows 48 to 60 inches

Sweet Potato – The spacing between plants 12 to 18 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 48 inches

Swiss chard – The spacing between plants 6 to 12 inches and the spacing between rows 12 to 18 inches

Tomatillos – The spacing between plants 24 to 36 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 72 inches

Tomatoes – The spacing between plants 24 to 36 inches and the spacing between rows 48 to 60 inches

Turnips – The spacing between plants 2 to 4 inches and the spacing between rows 12 to 18 inches

Zucchini – The spacing between plants 24 to 36 inches and the spacing between rows 36 to 48 inches

Small vegetable plant spacing

Smaller garden vegetable plants, such as beets, carrots, mustard plants, onions, pea plants, and radishes, need approximately 3 to 4 inches of space between plants in a row. Slightly larger plants such as lima beans, bush beans, leeks, leaf lettuce, rutabaga, spinach, and turnip plants grow best with roughly 4 to 6 inches of space between the centers of each plant. Pole beans need roughly 6 to 12 inches of spacing, and mustard, Swiss chard, and kohlrabi perform best with a spacing of 6 to 9 inches between plants. Heads of lettuce, potato plants, and Chinese cabbage need about 10 to 12 inches of space between each plant.

Large vegetable plant spacing

Vegetable plants with broad foliage or root systems, such as broccoli, cucumber, and okra, need between 12 and 18 inches of space between each plant. Providing 15 to 18 inches of space between asparagus, cabbage, endive, cauliflower, corn, and kale plants helps to promote healthy plant growth. Large plants that need significant amounts of water need even more room to grow. Providing a spacing of 18 to 24 inches for eggplant, summer squash and tomatoes ensures that they can get the water they need. Winter squash, pumpkins, and watermelons perform best when they are planted with a minimum spacing of about 36 inches.

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