Square foot gardening makes planning a garden so much simpler. Instead of guessing where each plant should go, you use a simple square grid to plan it out.
In this article, I’ll share 3 amazing 4×8′ raised bed garden plans using the square foot gardening method. While you’re welcome to follow our plans exactly, there is always the option to branch out and make modifications to better suit your tastes.
For each raised bed plan, we’ll assume you have a 4×8′ raised bed for a total of 32 square feet. Keep in mind, some of the plants we include are larger, requiring 2 or 4 of the squares per plant. Each crop is assigned a number which corresponds to the plant list.
The Salsa Garden (4×8′ Raised Bed Plans)
This raised bed layout is designed for the salsa lover. However, the crops included have a variety of uses in the kitchen, from pickling, storing, tomato sauce, dehydrating, and roasting. You’ll be happy with your salsa garden, even if you never get around to making salsa!
Salsa Garden Plant List:
- Tomatoes (2 plants)
- Jalapeños (2-3 plants)
- Green onions (12 plants)
- Hot chilies (2 plants)
- Onions (24 plants)
- Cilantro (2-3 plants)
- Basil (2 plants)
- Garlic (24 plants)
The largest plants are your tomatoes and peppers which line the North-side. In front, this garden has cilantro, basil, hot chilies, onions, and garlic. For a bit of diversity, we’ve also included 2 square feet for green onions (scallions).
Like any of these 4×8 garden plans, feel free to swap out one plant for another. For example, if you prefer mild salsa, maybe grow bell peppers instead of the jalapeños. If you love cilantro, but don’t like green onions, grow 2 times the amount of cilantro!
Tip: If you love salsa, but don’t want to dedicate your entire raised bed to it, you can easily scale this garden down to a 4×4′ area. Simply remove half of all the crops and plant in the same orientation shown above.
These fresh veggies and herbs can be used to make hot sauce, tomato sauce, basil pesto, and so much more. You can even save some of your garlic to plant again in the following fall!
Helpful tips for the salsa garden:
- Plant garlic in the fall (about 2-4 weeks before the first frost)
- Swap a jalapeño for a bell pepper if you prefer mild salsa
- Direct sow cilantro seeds, and plant every 1 week for a constant supply of tasty cilantro
- After harvesting garlic, use this space for a cool weather crop
The Herb Garden (4×8′ Raised Bed Plans)
This 4×8′ herb garden is something to admire. There is nothing quite like picking your own fresh herbs to use in cooking. However, they can also be dried for storage and used in the winter months.
Soups, stews, and sauces simply wouldn’t be the same without culinary herbs! Plus, plants like basil make for great companion plants for the garden.
Herb Garden Plant List:
- Dill (2-4 plants)
- Rosemary (2 plants)
- Cilantro (4-6 plants)
- Borage (2 plants)
- Sage (1 plant)
- Tarragon (2 plants)
- Basil (4 plants)
- Oregano (3 plants)
- Thyme (2-4 plants)
- Lemongrass (1 plant)
- Marjoram (2 plants)
- Parsley (4 plants)
Most herbs can be spaced about 12″ apart, making them easy to plant into a square-foot garden. However, there are some exceptions. Sage plants need more room to spread out, along with lemongrass (which is optional, but recommended).
Even if you haven’t tasted some of these herbs, I recommend giving them a shot in the garden and trying them in your soups and sauces.
There are many other lovely herbs, such as chives and mint, but these are some of my personal favorites. I love having a variety of herbs to choose from all season long.
Helpful tips for the herb garden:
- Borage can become invasive when allowed to self-seed. Deadhead flowers immediately after blooming to prevent spreading
- Sow slower growing herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano earlier in the season
- Regularly cut basil to prevent early flowering
- Plant dill closest to wooded areas to help deter wildlife
Printable raised bed planners:
Veggies + Flower Garden (4×8′ Raised Bed Plans)
If you want a well-rounded garden bed with beautiful colors and a variety of useful foods, this is the raised bed plan for you. You’ll have crisp lettuce greens in the spring, delicious sugar snap peas in the early summer, and beautiful zinnias blossoming while you harvest fresh bell peppers.
Veggie + Flower Garden Plant List:
- Sweet pepper (1-2 plants)
- Green onions (12 plants)
- Cilantro (2-3 plants)
- Cosmos (1 plant)
- Zinnias (2 plants)
- Lettuce (2-4 plants)
- Sugar snap peas (8 plants)
- Summer squash (1 plant)
- Bush beans (8 plants)
- Tomato (1 plant)
- Basil (1 plant)
- Thyme (1-2 plants)
- Carrots (32 plants)
This 4×8 garden design has a little bit of everything. Greens, herbs, onions, beans, tomatoes, and even carrots. The summer squash takes up 4 square feet, so if you’re not a big fan, maybe consider swapping it out.
It is easy to forget about flowers in the veggie garden, but big blooms like zinnias and cosmos will attract beneficial insects, right into the center of your garden.
Variety is a good thing in the garden. It attracts a diversity of life, from beneficial insects to micro organisms. The end result is less pests and disease, and healthier plants.
Tips for the veggie garden:
- Rotate crops each year to reduce pests and disease
- Succession plant lettuce, carrots, cilantro, green onions, and bush beans for continual harvests
- Plant indeterminate tomatoes to have ongoing harvests until frost
Square Foot Gardening Chart & Planner
With the many vegetables you can grow with the square foot gardening method, it’s easy to forget how many of each plant fits per square foot. So, we created an easy chart with over 50 different crops, along with how many plants to have in each square foot.
|Crop||# plants per Sq.Ft.|
*Crop may benefit from more than 1 square foot of space. Example: Tomatoes do best with 4 square feet per plant.
I hope this article helps inspire you to create the perfect raised bed. Our 4×8 square foot garden plans are a great starting point for the beginner gardener. But they can also help experienced gardeners see a new perspective on their raised bed design – happy gardening!