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How to Plant a Compact Vegetable Garden

What makes this compact garden so productive is that you will be placing plants close together in squares instead of traditional rows. You can continue to plant as you harvest.


What You’ll Need

  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Shovel
  • Wire cutters
  • Tape measure
  • 4 4-foot 2-by-10’s
  • 16d galvanized nails
  • 2 6-foot 2-by-4’s
  • 4-foot 2-by-4
  • 49 feet of 12-gauge galvanized wire, cut into 7 7-foot lengths
  • 8d galvanized nails
  • About 1/2 cubic yard or 14 cubic feet of good garden soil
  • A sunny spot for your garden

What You’ll Do


1. Using the 2-by-10’s and 16d nails, hammer together a 4-foot square.


2. Nail the 6-foot 2-by-4’s to the back of the frame.

3. Nail the 4-foot 2-by-4 across the back of the uprights.

4. Attach the 7 wires on the back of the trellis by wrapping wires around nails.



Fill the frame with good garden soil. Divide it into 16 squares. The smaller the mature plant, the more you can plant in each square.

A Helpful Garden

Nail 5/8-inch or heavier exterior plywood to the bottom of the frame and lift the frame to table height by placing it on sturdy saw horses or legs. Once filled with soil, it will be easily accessible to a person in a wheelchair or someone who is more comfortable sitting than kneeling.

More Go Green! projects:

12 Comments on How to Plant a Compact Vegetable Garden

  1. What kind of soil do you put in a raised bed? I used special raised mixture and my plants did not do well.

  2. Strong wings // August 7, 2016 at 11:14 pm // Reply

    It’s not the same layout as in the diagram. I see one square with strawberries, not possible to grow like this, everything is too tight and sometimes not enough for a person. This would have to be a lot bigger.

  3. Very good idea, looks great. Looking forward to trying it. Thank you for the idea. 😊

  4. Troop 254 🏆 // April 16, 2016 at 11:37 pm // Reply

    Try this : take a empty soda bottle / can / milk jug / large plastic container cut it in half . Then nail/glue/duct tape it to a wall then put dirt in it and put in plants or seeds repeat this multiple times to make a garden on a wall😀

  5. Not a lot of veggies for all of this effort. Shame.

  6. I have raised beds and use a thick permeable membrane secured down the sides and across the bottom then I use a 2 inch layer of stone chips. I use 6 inch wide treated decking on the bottom leaving 1.5 to 2 inch gaps in between for drainage, 2 years on all still intact and drainage working fine. The beds are on old bricks, again I use gaps so underneath can be hosed or swept.

    • Don’t plant tomatoes near Cucumbers. Do not store them in your frig near each other either. The chemical that a cucumber releases causes the tomato to go bad faster than it should. They compete in the garden.

  7. Love this idea. I’m doing it.

  8. Indian yogi // July 20, 2015 at 9:48 pm // Reply

    liked it a lot. So nice if I could find the video to get more details

    • Not all these plants grow at the same time. Broccoli is a cool weather plant and tomatoes require sun and heat. Untreated lumber is preferred if garden soil touches it. No need for gravel at the bottom of a raised bed; it does not improve drainage. Good soil, compost, and proper amount of sunlight for the plant, plus appropriate watering are the requirements for a successful garden.

  9. Would you please post a picture of the garden at maturity? These are feasts for my eyes.

  10. after looking at this now I know how to make a really nice garden. thank you

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