When planning out your garden, understanding plant spacing is important in ensuring a healthy crop. This is one of the most common mistakes beginner gardeners make, often trying to grow too much in too small of a space. Read the spacing on the seed package if direct seeding, the tag on the plant if purchased from a nursery, or research online to determine the proper spacing for each of your plants.
If plants are spaced too close together, they may compete for sun, soil nutrients and moisture. This can put undue stress on the plants, reducing overall yields. In addition, large plants with dense foliage that are spaced too closely together can restrict air flow between plants, increasing the risk of airborne diseases.
If plants are spaced too far apart, weed seeds may germinate in between plants and a larger area will need to be utilized, potentially increasing the time and effort expended in cultivation.
Did you know that if you growing plants to save their seeds, you need to give the plants lots of additional space? For most plants, you want to wait until the seeds are fully ripe before harvesting. This occurs later during the plant’s growth and therefore the plants need more space and more nutrients.
For container gardens, many people tend to space their plants too close together. In our opinion, it is better to give each plant a bit of extra space rather than overcrowd them. However if you do overcrowd, a bit of slow release organic fertilizer during the growing season and regular watering can help to ensure the plants continue to grow strong and healthy.