Planting distances. What distance to leave between the plants in the garden

Today we are going to talk about one of the first aspects to take into account when planning the garden: the distance between plants. Whether you have a garden on cultivation tables or on terraces on the ground, knowing the planting or planting distances of the different vegetables is very important. This will help us know what the garden will occupy, where to place each crop and how many plants we can put in total.

To make a garden at home you have to start by planning the space. There are many types of cultivation containers for the urban garden or, if we set up the garden on raised beds, different options for plant placement, so it is very important to first know the planting distance of the plants we have chosen to know where to put each other.

What distance should be left between the lettuces, how far apart should the garlic be planted, or what is the planting distance between tomato plants, are some of the questions that we will answer in today’s post.

☝ What does the planting distance or separation between plants depend on?

The free space that must be left between the plants in the garden depends on several factors.

In the first place, and as is logical, the size of the plants and how they develop (if they grow a lot laterally, if they occupy or “cover” the soil, like cucurbits, etc.) have an influence.

The space between plants must be sufficient so that they do not block the sun from each other and so that aeration is adequate (if it is not, the chances of the appearance of fungi from the garden or pests that nest among the matted leaves increase).

On the other hand, the size and development of the roots must be taken into account. An onion, a carrot or a radish, with a single root or main stem that is not very deep, is not the same as plants such as cabbage or tomato plants, with a much more extended root system, with a multitude of lateral roots and more depth.

The planting distance or separation between plants in the garden should be enough so that their roots do not collide, become entangled or compete too much for water and nutrients.

✅ Planting distances for garden plants

Next we will see the planting or separation distances that must be left between the horticultural plants.

Although these are not all the crops in the garden, they are fairly representative examples and with them we can get an idea of ​​what the planting distances of other vegetables should be (in the last section, there is also a summary table with other crops).

Distance between tomato plants

Tomato plants have a short taproot and a large «network» of secondary and adventitious roots, so each plant needs a fair amount of soil for proper root development.

The roots can extend 1 meter around the plant and deepen up to 30-50 cm (although most of the roots are distributed in the first 20 cm of soil), so if it is placed with other plants in association Of crops, those with a very superficial root system should be chosen, such as chard, lettuce or garlic.

Multiple rows of tomatoes in a home garden

Roughly (since it depends on the size of the chosen variety) we could say that the distance to plant tomatoes is about 50 cm between plants. For large bushy varieties, the distance between tomato plants will be greater, about 60-70 cm.

Between rows or rows of tomato it will be necessary to leave, in any case, at least 60-70 cm and it may be necessary to separate them up to 1 meter.

Tomato plants can develop (depending on the variety and the type of trellis we use) creeping, semi-erect or erect. The type of development is something that we must also take into account because, in general, the distance between tomato plants should be greater in creeping varieties than in those that we maintain vertically with stakes.

How far apart are garlic and onions planted?

In the case of garlic and onion, the main root is the bulb itself (the onion or the head of garlic with all the cloves), so, as expected, the space between plants is not very large because the other « «rootlets» coming out of the bulb do not take up too much space.

The planting distance of garlic and onions is therefore quite easy to calculate if we know the size of the onions and heads of garlic of the varieties that we are going to plant (there are larger types of onions and garlic and others smaller).

Distance between onion plants

In general, for a medium size, the distance to plant the garlic is about 10 cm.

In the case of onions, it is better to leave a little more space: a separation to plant onions of about 15 cm will be enough for them to grow properly.

Separation between lettuce

The planting distance for lettuce, Swiss chard and other leafy vegetables is not very large since their root system extends very little.

Starting from a distance between plants of about 15-20 cm, the separation between lettuces will depend, above all, on the variety. If we plant large lettuces, we will have to leave more space between them so that the leaves do not collide and fungi appear, while for dwarf varieties, 15 cm between them will suffice.

Carrot Planting Distance

In the case of carrots, the planting distance is less than in other vegetables. The carrot itself is the root itself, so the space that each plant needs in the soil is the one that the same vegetable occupies.

The separation between carrots is not very large, 15 cm between plants will suffice. The same happens with radishes and other root vegetables in which, in addition, the aerial part of the plant does not occupy much.

Separation to plant pumpkins and courgettes

In this case the distance between plants is greater. Cucurbits (such as pumpkins, courgettes or cucumbers), in addition to having a deep root system and a dense network of secondary roots that extend laterally, are creeping plants.

This implies that they spread out and cover the ground with leaves and stems, so you have to leave enough space so that they do not get entangled with each other, receive adequate sun and water, and the fruits can grow with enough space.

In general, the planting distance for pumpkins is at least 1 meter (except for dwarf pumpkin varieties, which can be planted at a shorter distance).

Vegetable planting frame

The planting frame is the minimum distance that must be left between plants so that the crops have enough space and can grow and develop correctly.

Although there are many types of planting frames – staggered, five of gold, royal frame…-, or even plants can be arranged in circles (as in spiral gardens), the typical planting frame for vegetables is usually rectangular. That is, the plants in the garden are arranged at the vertices of a rectangle whose dimensions are:

(Dist. between rows) x (Dist. between floors).

Plantation frame. Source:

In the previous sections we saw the planting distance or distance between plants of some of the most typical vegetables, but… what is the distance between crop lines? What is the frame of vegetable planting?

We have prepared a table with indicative planting frameworks for the different plants in the garden.

Keep in mind that this planting distance is not an exact science (there are varieties of the same species, for example, that differ greatly from each other in size), but approximately these are the main planting or planting distances of the vegetables:

garden cultivation
Distance between
rows (cm)
Distance between
plants (cm)
Chard 40-50 30-40
Garlic fifteen 10-15
Celery fifty 20-30
Eggplant 80-100 50-60
Broccoli 60-70 60-70
Zucchini 100 50-70
Pumpkin 100 150-200
Onion 20-30 10-15
cabbage cabbage 60 40-50
Cauliflower 70 70
Endive 30-40 twenty
Endive 30 30
Strawberries 40 30
Broad beans 30-40 30
Green beans 50-70 30-40
Lettuce 30-40 20-30
Cantaloupe 150 100
Potatoes fifty 30-40
Cucumber 100 50-60
Pepper 70 40-50
Leek 30 fifteen
radish fifteen 10
Watermelon 150 100
Tomatoes 60-100 fifty
Carrot twenty 15-20

I hope that today’s post has been useful to you and that, if you want, do not hesitate to make your contributions on the subject of planting distances or leave photos of orchards where you can see the planting frame. Cheers!


  1. Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, 2008. Types of plantation systems.
  2. Vallés, 2009. The urban garden. Organic cultivation manual on balconies and terraces.
  3. GRAMA Association – Action Group for the Environment, 2012. Garden Manual.
  4. Diputación de Valencia, 2014. Cultivation Guide for urban gardens.
  5. Madrid City Council, 2017. Ecological Urban Garden Course.

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