How to Layout Your Garden

Set a reasonable scale for the paper and grid that you have. 1”=1’ is a good scale for starters, especially if your garden is small, and/or you are considering square foot gardening. Download a garden grid here.

List all the crops that you might want to grow. Create a legend by assigning a color or symbol to each crop (colored pencils work best).

Determine which direction is North and draw an arrow pointing North on or beside the map grid (not sure which way is North? Use either where the sun sets (West) or rises (East) to determine North and South.)

Draw the perimeter of your garden on the map grid (or sketch in containers

Pencil in any structures (fence, garden gate, shed, etc.) large trees, sunny and shady areas, as well as the general path of the sun (directly overhead, from East to West in summer, slightly to the South, from East to West in the winter). If relevant, make note of other traits that you notice in your garden, like wind direction, any standing water, etc.

Choose where each crop will go based on the needs of each plant (keep seed packets near by, or a reference guide handy for planting needs of each crop). For each crop, label and draw in the required area. Taller plants (tomatoes, corn, pole beans, etc) should go towards the “rear” of your garden (aka, North) to avoid shading other plants. Check plants that you have “planted” (sketched onto your garden map) off of your master list.

Create your planting calendar. Now that you know how many of what plants you will need, you can use the planting information on each seed packet to determine the seed starting and/or planting out date for each crop. Some plants can be planted while there is still a risk of frost, while others must wait until all danger of frost has passed. Some shorter season plants, like lettuce, may grow quickly enough that you can plant more than one crop in a given space in a season. Now you are on your way to succession cropping!


Phone: 814.231.7140

Address: 1800 East Park Ave

State College, PA 16801


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Centre Moves is a community action group, comprised of individuals and organizations with the vision of all Centre County residents choosing healthy habits to live better lives.  We work together to create a community that supports physical activity and healthy eating.