Here's How Far Apart to Space Your Plants for Big Yields

When you’re planting vegetables, plant spacing is one of those things where there seems to be no definitive answer.

Since different growing methods call for different spacing requirements, it’s hard to know exactly how much room your plants need for healthy growth (and how densely you can plant them before impacting yields).

This crop spacing guide is specific to raised bed gardening, and it can help you determine proper spacing for growing vegetables and herbs intensively.

Benefits of biointensive planting

Compared to traditional gardening methods, plants are spaced closer together (so that their leaves touch) and you can stagger your rows to fit more plants in a smaller area.

Not only does this increase your yields, it also protects the soil by using the plants themselves as mulch for neighboring plants. When there’s less space available, weeds have less opportunity to take hold.

Spacing for transplants vs. seeds

One thing to keep in mind is if you direct sow seeds in a raised bed, you should sow them a little more densely to account for varying germination rates.

Once the seedlings are a few inches tall (and it’s easier to see which ones are stronger and healthier), you can thin them to the appropriate spacing.

For example, cabbage needs 15 to 18 inches of space between plants, but you’re better off sowing seeds every 4 to 6 inches to ensure good germination. For thin-skinned seeds like snap beans, soak for 2 to 4 hours.

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