Raised Bed Vegetable Garden Plan and Layout

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Neat rows of raised garden beds, with gravel and stone walkways
Photo Credit
Lynn Grillo

Using Companion Planting and Crop Rotation

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Like many folks, Lynn started gardening during the pandemic and now finds much fulfillment in growing luscious vegetables for her family. She also enjoys companion planting. See Lynn’s garden journey and what she’s learned (good and bad) along the way.

Lynn’s Garden Journey

I began gardening in the spring of 2020 when the world was in lockdown due to the pandemic. Some of the beds were already built, as my husband was the original gardener and had put them in, but he was ready to give it up, so I decided to try my hand at it. Over the past few years, we added some grow bags, another raised bed, a garden bench, a potting bench, trellises, and a fence with a gate.

I primarily grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers in my garden for my family to enjoy, but there are only three of us, so I give veggies to neighbors and friends. A giant bowl of sweet, luscious cherry tomatoes is perfect for parties—everyone loves them. 

I learned how to garden by watching the GrowVeg videos, which led me to the Garden Planner. Ben’s videos are perfection—he provides excellent information presented in a clear and enjoyable way. He has a very funny, subtle sense of humor.

Using the Garden Planner to design my plan was wonderful for me. It is easy to use and has helpful features like companion planting and a timeline for showing when to start seedlings indoors, when to sow them outdoors, and when to harvest. I like the feature that indicates where you had planted crops from the same family in a previous season, which aids with crop rotation. This gives my garden the best possible chance of success. I have noticed improvements getting snuck into the app each season, too. 

One thing I’ve learned is that I can grow too many of certain crops and too few of others. Now, I use the Garden Planner to adjust the number of plants I grow to serve our family better. We go through lots of onions, shallots, and garlic, so I’m upping the number of those while planning to grow fewer tomatoes.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced is with insects, specifically squash bugs, squash vine borers, cucumber beetles, and flea beetles, and every year, like clockwork, all New Jersey gardeners can expect powdery mildew. Also, I’ve not been successful with cool-weather crops like brassicas, although my lettuces do quite well. But I will keep trying!

The biggest joy for me is being outside and seeing these lovely plants grow and bear fruit. There is a bench in the garden, and I often sit there and just breathe. It’s amazing how fulfilling it is.

Having so much fun with gardening led me to sign up for the Rutgers University Gardeners program, which I completed in December. I felt equipped to take the challenging course thanks to the head start from my hands-on experience. I also discovered Winter Sowing and have been using that technique to start plants with great success.

Lynn’s Garden Plan

(New Jersey)

The Results! Lynn’s Garden Photos

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About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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