Row by Row Episode 98: Best Layout for a Small Beginner Gardener

Small Beginner Gardener

If you are a small beginner gardener that only has room for a 20×20 vegetable garden, what can you plant in that area? Although that seems like a simple question to answer there is actually a couple of different factors that play into that like weather temperatures, soil types, certain crop nutrients, etc.

Small Beginner Gardener with 20×20 Area

The 20×20 small beginner gardener diagram that we discuss is subject to change depending on what vegetables you like to eat or plant in the garden. However, this plan is designed to get the most out of the area you have and we suggest planting thick and incorporating some vertical gardening to achieve maximum space. In the 20×20 garden area, Travis sectioned it into 4 foot wide quadrants for row spacing. Along the first row in the diagram, we suggest pole beans because they can be grown vertically on a trellis and easy to maintain along the edge of the garden in that beginning row. If you are planting one row of pole beans we recommend planting Kentucky Blue which is extremely productive and has sweeter flavor profiles than traditional pole beans. On the second row, is where we can plant some nightshades such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Within a 20-foot row, you can get about 10 plants in the area that are 2-feet apart. Therefore, you can plant five tomato plants of the Brickyard variety, three pepper plants like a Bell Pepper or Cubanelle, and two eggplants of the highly productive Purple Shine variety. Next, along the third row a great crop to grow is Jambalaya Okra. However, if you do not like picking okra every other day the jambalaya variety may not be for you because it is best picked at around three to four inches long. If you prefer to pick okra every three to five days choose a variety like the Perkins Long Pod, Cowhorn, or Red Burgundy to plant in the garden. Then, on the fourth row, you can plant some squash and zucchini along that garden row. Although there’s several good varieties if you just had to pick two to grow we would recommend Goldprize Squash and Pascola Zucchini. On the last row, we suggest planting cucumbers specifically the Stonewall variety, but that can vary depending on if you prefer pickling or slicing cucumbers.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, the guys discuss a little information about the Row by Row Garden Show and little insight into what gardening all involves if you are new to the gardening world. Travis has some mulberries that were harvested this year from his mulberry trees. After a heavy storm this past weekend, the guys talk about the importance of getting in the garden as soon as that rain is over to cultivate the area and let that soil breathe. The new South Anna Butternut Squash is a hybrid that grows excellent in the heat and is disease resistant. The guys also compare their different sized onions and how they grow onions in the vegetable garden.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment this week, the guys answer questions about controlling thick crabgrass, dependable tomato variety, removing bermudagrass, and hilling potatoes in a raised bed. Travis mentions the best way to remove crabgrass is to control it when it is small and remove the whole thing. You can also plant a cover crop like Sorghum Sudangrass or Sunn Hemp to help block or cover the soil from sunlight, therefore, you are able to break up that crabgrass seed from germinating. When discussing the three most reliable tomato varieties out of the cherry, salsa, and sandwich-type tomatoes which one is the best to plant. Greg says for the cherry type tomato he recommends the Yellow Pear which produces smaller yellow fruits that have a tangy, almost citrus flavor profile. For the salsa type tomato, the Amish Paste is the best type which is an excellent open-pollinated variety as well. While the best sandwich-type tomato is the Bella Rosa which is one of our popular tomato varieties. Travis suggests the best way to remove bermudagrass from the vegetable garden is to use a silage tarp to bake the area for a couple of weeks until everything is dead under the tarp. Then remove the tarp and till the area and place the tarp back over the area for two more weeks and continue to do that method for at least three or four times to get rid of the bermudagrass completely. Greg says in a raised bed situation you can take a hoe and pull dirt up on the potato plants or if you have room to add soil and compost that works too.

Product of the Week

All search results
Scroll to Top

Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter and Get a Free Garden Planner with Your First Order

Shipping Info

For the contiguous 48 United States:

Orders less than $49:
$4.99

Orders between $49 – $99:
$7.99

Orders more than $99:
FREE

For Alaska and Hawaii, select your state on the following checkout page for a shipping quote.