A good-size beginner vegetable garden is 10×16 feet; this is a easy to mange size garden that will still produce plenty of vegetables. You can plant in the normal vegetable garden style, in the ground or you can opt for raised beds or square foot garden techniques.

A plot this size, planted with the vegetables below, can feed a family of four for one summer. There will also be a little extra for canning and freezing or giving away.

There are vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season. These are beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach and turnips. For the plan below, your rows or raised beds should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.

Garden plan

Make your garden 11 rows of 10 feet each or use 2 to 3 raised beds. Plant the following vegetables:

Tomatoes — 5 plants staked

Zucchini squash — 4 plants or two of zucchini and tow other squash varieties

Peppers — 6 plants

Cabbage

Bush beans

Beets

Carrots

Chard

Lettuce, leaf, Bibb or a mix variety

Radish

Grow marigolds to discourage rabbits and some insect varieties! Geraniums also discourage some insects and any flower adds beauty to a garden.

Leave 2 feet between bush beans, 1/2 foot between bush beans and lettuce, and 1 foot between all of the rest.

This is a simple easy garden plan. As you garden you can add new vegetables, get rid of others and experiment with different styles of gardening.

I started out using rows, went to square foot gardening to make better use of my space,

Note: If this garden is too large for your needs, you do not have to plant all 11 rows. You can also make the rows shorter. You can choose the veggies that you’d like to grow or add more flowers!

Tip: Radishes planted by the base of a squash plant will deter squash bugs. Radishes also mature quickly so only plants a few seeds at a time.

If you’re interested in planting potatoes, tomatoes and potatoes are not ideal companions and need “distance.” I myself plant them in barrels or bushel baskets so that I can just dump the crop at the end of the season for easy harvesting.

And for the beginning gardener. Read the instructions on the back of the seed packet. It will let you know how long the crop takes to mature, proper spacing and it will help you determine if you can grow two crops in a season.