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Vegetable Crops for Narrow Beds and Wide Rows

Wide Row Planting Bed
Wide row-narrow bed planting
Wide row-narrow bed planting

There are more than two dozen vegetable crops well-suited for planting in narrow beds, also called wide rows.

A wide row—or narrow bed—is about 3 feet across, never wider than you can reach to the center of the bed from one side or the other. The wide row-narrow bed means you will never have to step in the bed and compact the soil.

This method insure you will get more production from less space, simply because plants grow within a few inches of each other—sow seed or set transplants equidistant from one another so that their leaves just touch at maturity. Plants do not compete for sun or water, and this method does not require extra space for walking between rows of single-spaced individual plants. (Traditional single-line straight row planting may be suited for tractor farming, but means only a skimpy harvest in the home garden.)

Vegetable Crops for Narrow Beds-Wide Rows

Here are more than two dozen crops suited for planting in narrow beds-wide rows (after each crop, I have given you the number of inches between the center of each plant—set each plant equidistant from the surrounding plants):

Planting distance between each plant in wide beds:

  • Beans: 4-6”
  • Beets: 2-4”
  • Cabbage: 15”
  • Carrots: 2”
  • Cauliflower: 15”
  • Celery: 6-8”
  • Chard: 8-12”
  • Chinese cabbage: 12-18”
  • Collards: 15-18”
  • Endive: 6-12”
  • English peas: 4-6”
  • Garlic: 4-8”
  • Kale: 12”
  • Kohlrabi: 5-8”
  • Leeks: 6”
  • Lettuce: 6-9”
  • Mustard: 4-6”
  • Onions: 3-5”
  • Parsley: 6-8”
  • Parsnips: 3-4”
  • Peppers: 24”
  • Radishes: 2-4”
  • Rutabagas: 6-8”
  • Southern peas: 6”
  • Spinach: 4-6”
  • Turnips: 2-6”

For more on Narrow Bed-Wide Row planting click to these articles:

Narrow Beds, Not Rows, for Planting

Wide Row Vegetable Garden Beds

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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