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Wide Row Planting

If space is becoming a problem in your garden or if you are just trying to squeeze a higher yield from the same space this year in response to economic conditions, then wide row gardening may be for you.

The concept is very simple , instead of planting a single row of vegetables in your garden, plant 2 or 3 or 4 side by side close together. the back of the seed packet will tell you how close you can plant. The only restriction to the number of rows you can plant together is your ability to reach the center for weeding, watering or harvesting. Most people consider a 2 to 3 foot row to be the optimum. If you find that you are having to step on your rows to get to plants for weeding or harvesting, you made the row too wide. Wide row gardening is ideal for small raised beds.

This example from gives you and idea of how wide row compares to single row gardening. Take a traditional 1 foot by 4 foot garden bed with a single row of beets down the middle, and a 2 foot by 2 foot wide row garden with a checkerboard style of planting. The traditional single row garden will have 12 plants compared to 48 for the wide row garden. It’s a matter of using the space more efficiently.

Advantages of Wide Row Gardening

Increases Yield
: More square feet of space in your garden will be used to grow plants. There may be a slight decrease in production per seed, but the increased production per square foot more than makes up the difference.

Saves Time
: Because the ground will be shaded, less time will be spent watering and weeding.

Saves Mulching
: You will only need to mulch between rows. The shade provided by the plants eliminates the need for mulching in the rows.

Makes Harvest Easier
: You will be able to pick a lot more from a single location.

Delays Bolting
: Your cool weather crops such as lettuce and spinach will not go to seed as quickly in a wide row.

Reduced Nematode Damage
: The soil temperature will remain more constant, discouraging nematodes.

Makes Companion Planting Easier
 You can spread more than one type of seed in a wide row. When you sow root crops such as beets, carrots,and radishes with other plants, you cultivate and aerate the remaining plants as you pull up the roots.

Keeps Plants Cleaner
: In a heavy rain, mud will not splash up on you produce. This reduced damage and keeps the plants healthier.

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