Summer Vegetable Garden Plans

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Several months ago I shared a spring 4′ x 4′ garden plan that is perfect for beginning gardeners. With summer gardening not far off, I’ve got 3 new summer vegetable garden plans that are perfect for a small backyard garden.

These vegetables can be planted as soon as you harvest the spring garden, as I have prepared them in succession. I’ll also share how to plant this garden while still harvesting some of the spring vegetables.

This summer gardening plan is loosely based on the square foot gardening method and is great for beginning gardeners. Its small size makes it easy to “try out” gardening to see if it is something you enjoy.

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How to Get Started Using Your Summer Vegetable Garden Plans

To start your summer garden, you will need to purchase some plants and some seeds. I’ve suggested purchasing plants for several of the vegetables because in most areas, it is too late to start these veggies from seed.

Other vegetables will do just fine being started from seed sown directly in the ground. Many of them may even do better since you don’t have to worry about transplant shock. That’s why I’ve suggested seeds for some of the vegetables.

summer garden plans
These 3 summer garden plans are perfect for beginning gardeners. Their small size makes them a perfect garden to plant to see how you enjoy growing your own vegetables.

You Need to Purchase:


  • a tomato plant (1) of your choice-cherry, grape, paste, or slicer, whatever you prefer. If you aren’t sure, go with a cherry type.
  • basil (1)
  • peppers (2) They can both be bell peppers or you can choose 1 bell and one jalapeno. I’ve got all the details about how to grow peppers in this post.
  • eggplant (1)


Miscellaneous Items:

If you don’t like a particular vegetable included in this plan, feel free to swap it for something else. There is no point in growing a vegetable you don’t like. Keep in mind the space requirements for each vegetable if you do switch things up.

If you need a reminder of how much room each vegetable takes, check out my square foot gardening post. For instance, if you aren’t a fan of eggplant, swap it out for a jalapeno pepper. Or if you aren’t a fan of squash or zucchini, you can plant a second tomato in the same space.

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If you planted the spring plan, start harvesting from the right side of the spring garden. This summer plan will allow you to plant the left side while leaving the spring crops in the garden. 

You can go ahead and plant the tomato and the squash or zucchini among the existing vegetables. As the summer vegetables get bigger, you will be finished harvesting the spring garden.

You can download this plan completely free (no strings attached) right here.

See the Summer Garden Plan in Action

I planted this garden on April, 9. It really doesn’t look like much. Less than a month later you can see the progression of the garden with the beans and squash coming up. The tomato plant had grown significantly.

By July, we were harvesting lots of vegetables from this small area. If you plant this garden, I would love to see your pictures as well. You can tag me on Instagram using @dogwoodsanddandelions.

This is a small garden plan, but even so, you may end up with extra vegetables. If so, share with a neighbor.

If you want to save some of the summer goodness for later, check out my post on The Easiest Way to Preserve Tomatoes. I promise, it’s super easy, and no special equipment is required.

If you have extra peppers, you can roast them and freeze them for later. Roasted red peppers are delicious on a grilled cheese sandwich.

Summer garden plan in June
Summer garden plan in June.

If the summer garden plan isn’t your style, keep reading to see how you can get two more plans (a summer salad garden and a salsa garden) completely free.

More Summer Vegetable Garden Plans

I also have two more summer garden plans, a salad garden plan and a salsa garden plan.

The Salad Garden Plan

The salad garden plan is full of all the wonderful vegetables you would enjoy on a salad like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, and more. And of course, we are growing lettuce.

I’ve also included Swiss chard, as lettuce will bolt more quickly during the summer months. Swiss chard handles the heat a bit better than lettuce.

You will also notice that, unlike the spring garden, the summer plan has you plant your leafy greens on the North side of your tomatoes.

This will provide some shade for the leafy greens as the tomatoes get bigger during the hottest months. The lettuce may still go to seed, but providing some shade will help the plants last longer.

The Salsa Garden Plan

With 3 boys, we can run through lots and lots of salsa around here, so I’m especially excited to grow this garden. The salsa garden plan includes 2 kinds of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and even a recipe to make a delicious fresh salsa.

There will be plenty of veggies for fresh eating too. You may even have extras. If you do end up with a bunch of extra vegetables, try this recipe for salsa that you can freeze from Lambert’s Lately.

You can get all 3 summer garden plans, plus the spring and fall plans including a full list of the plants and seeds you need for each plan, by signing up below. As always, I’m here to help if you have questions. You can leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected] {dot} com.

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Your Turn

Do you grow a garden? A big one or a small one? What’s your favorite vegetable to grow? Inquiring minds want to know. I would love it if you would leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media channel.

For More Information

summer vegetable garden plans
These 3 small space summer vegetable garden plans are perfect for a backyard garden.

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2 thoughts on “Summer Vegetable Garden Plans”

  1. Hi Julie, It looks like you do what I do with my raised beds. I use string rather than wood slats to separate my squares. I find the slats annoying, especially for plans that need to utilize more than one square in the bed, like you have in some of your plans above. Thanks for the easy plans. I think this is absolutely the best method of gardening for beginners and it will get more people gardening. I talk about that in my post here that I think your readers would enjoy:


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