Calling all Gardeners!

I have fond memories of wandering the rows of my grandmother’s raspberry bushes and eating about as many berries as I put into the basket.

Mmm. I especially love raspberries (or peaches) with a little bit of sugar and cream.

Anyway, my parents had a small garden growing up as well, but we mostly had fruit trees scattered throughout the yard. Which was pretty amazing as well. We had peaches, apples, cherries, pears, and maybe something else.

Nate and I have a plot of land in our back yard (it measures about10x29 feet) and its just dirt (though I don’t know the quality of the soil) it is the perfect spot for a garden. I have decided what I want to plant in our garden (if I have enough space). But everything I read online says everything needs a ridiculous amount of space in between plants (or seeds) and even more space in between rows. That’s where you come in. Have you had a garden in the past? I want to know your experience with what you planted. By the way, we are going to do planter boxes, to keep things separate.

I am thinking I want to plant raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew for fruits. And onions (yellow), peppers (anaheim, jalapeno, bell and sweet), tomatoes (roma and big boy), and squash (zucchini and yellow). I would love to plant a lot of tomatoes because those are things we can can and store for the winter.

So my main questions are:

  • What are your experiences with these fruits and vegetables?
  • How much space do you think they actually need between each plant, or between the rows?
  • How much produce does one plant seem to produce (if cared for properly). There are only 2 of us, how many of each plant should we do, that would give us a reasonable amount to eat, and can (tomatoes, raspberry and strawberry jam)
  • What was difficult to take care of? What was easy?
  •  What fruits and vegetables can be near each other in the garden? Are there any that we should keep apart?
  • Do you have any other bits of information that we need to know about these fruits or vegetables.
  • Are there any other fruits or vegetables we should try? Beans, corn, pumpkins (some I’m still thinking about)
  • Do you have any other advice for us on how to best grow these fruits and vegetables to the best of their abilities?

Okay, I think that’s it. Let me know everything that you think I should know. PLEASE.


  1. Mary F.Stump · · Reply

    Try web search on garden layout. Some vegetables are not compatible growing next to each other. These sites explain that. And some have a drop down menu placing your choices in your spaces. Really cool, educational garden layouts. I use it every year

    1. my go to for that is googling list of companion plants – wikopedia has great info!!

  2. Contrary to what many gardeners and seed package instructions say, after 50 years of home gardens, I plant most vegetables at 1/2 the recommended space. For root and leaf crops I start by harvesting every other one allowing more space as the crops mature. I also stage plant, as soon as I remove a plant I plant a new seed in that spot insuring a long spring to first fall frost harvest period. Happy Gardening

    1. What do you mean harvesting every other one? Do you grow the plants then pick out every other when they start to mature, or you pick out the plants when they actually have ripe fruit/veggies? And plant another seed in the place? Is that what stage planting is, I’ve never heard of it. Can you get plants to produce out of their traditional season this way?

  3. Hi! I think that if you’re trying to garden in a small space, you should check out Mel Bartholomew’s book Square Foot Gardening. It gives you spacings much closer than the traditional wide rows. But his spacings only work if you fertilize and weed well, water frequently during dry spells, and train vining plants (like canteloupe and honeydew) on trellises.

    The traditional spacings (which I personally use, because I have the space) are good for producing food at the least cost in time and money. The plants use the extra space to get more natural fertility and moisture from the soil. So when you space your plants more closely, you have to give them more care as well. Just prepared for that! (You also can’t weed with a hoe when the plants are close together. You have to get down on your hands and knees and take everything out by hand.)

    A lot of the plants you mention wanting to grow are space hogs. For instance, my two Sugar Baby watermelon vines last year easily covered a space 6′ by 10′. They produced about 70 lbs., more than enough for two people. You might want to try a few crops that are really easy to grow in limited space, like leaf lettuce. Each plant needs only 1 sq. ft. of space, and they mature in just a couple of months. Plus, their taste is a world away from store-bought leaf lettuce. So flavorful and succulent. It’s an extremely rewarding crop.

    Anyway, if you’d like more ideas, feel free to check out my blog: It’s largely devoted to gardening, and I give quite a few how-to tips you might find useful, even if your approach will be slightly different with limited space.

    All the best of luck!

    1. Thanks so much for your advice Sharon. I didn’t consider our space to be small until I started reading online. I have heard that the melons take tons of space, so I try to have them grow up, or just decide which fruits and vegetables are most important to us. I will definitely look into that book (gotta love amazon, — or the library). So we can see whats best for us. :)

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