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Saving space in your garden with wide rows

In the Garden

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Some yards are large and some are small. Some gardens are large and some are small. Some gardeners can spread their gardens out and some need to take advantage of every inch available.

There have been numerous books written on gardening in small spaces. This article will address a very basic concept — wide-row gardening. Wide-row gardening saves space because there are fewer foot traffic areas between the planted beds.

Wide rows should be only wide enough that you can easily reach to the middle from either side. For most people, this is 3 – 3.5 feet wide (36 – 42”). A four-foot bed will throw most people out of balance. I like gardening to be fun and easy. Four-foot wide planter boxes that are twelve inches tall, or more, are a little easier because you can lean on the side of the box for support as you reach.

Row Gardening05
Courtesy Dennis Worwood

The final consideration is how many plants to fit into that area. Well, that depends on the plants and the width of the rows.

There are certain vegetables that don’t do well in multiple rows, such as vining squash where one plant will fill a four-foot bed. You may be able to have two rows of summer squash in a four-foot bed, but they will definitely encroach on your walking path, so you may prefer one row down the middle. Potato, tomato and corn rows will work nicely at two rows, 24 inches apart, in a four-foot bed.

If you want to set your garden up on 30” rows, you can plant potatoes, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and cucumbers as a single row with 30” spacing. You can run double rows of peas, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and other similarly-sized vegetables. Onions, garlic, spinach, radish, carrots and lettuce plants may be planted in triple rows.

With the recent inflationary trends, it will help to stretch your food dollar if you can get more out of your garden space. As you can see, it takes timing and organization, but a lot of produce can be grown in small spaces. Some can even be grown in and harvested from your flower beds.

Have fun getting the most out of your garden space.

Row Gardening04
Courtesy Dennis Worwood
Row Gardening02
Courtesy Dennis Worwood
Row Gardening01
Courtesy Dennis Worwood
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