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Orienting the Rows in Your Veggie Garden

North to south, east to west – does it matter how you orient the rows in your garden?

An east-west orientation has some advantages for frost protection, while a north-south orientation slightly increases the amount of sunlight reaching the plants.  Since there is no major advantage, consider designing your garden to maximize efficiency and beauty.

Always monitor the sun and shade patterns in the garden no matter how you orient the rows.  If sunlight is a concern, you can minimize shading by planting taller plants at the north end of the garden, medium height plants in the middle and the shorter ones in the southern end.

Use shade cast by taller plants to your advantage.  Plant cool season and more shade tolerant vegetables like lettuce and radishes next to or in between the taller tomatoes, peppers, and pole beans. The shade helps keep the soil cooler, extends the season and reduces bitterness of these cool weather vegetables.

A bit more information:  If you find you have extra produce from your bountiful harvest, share it with the hungry in your community.  Need help finding a drop off site or want to get other gardeners involved? Visit www.gardenwriters.org/Plant-a-Row or call 1-877-492-2727.


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