5,000 Sq Ft Food Garden Plan

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Inside: Lessons learned from last year’s 5,000 square feet food garden, including a brief video slideshow, comprehensive food garden plan {including 45 fruits & vegetables and 25 herbs and flowers} and a free downloadable planting calendar for zone 4.

Are you looking for an extra dose of inspiration for the upcoming gardening season? Well, you are in the right place, my friend.

I dare you to read this post and not be energized and motivated to begin growing your very own 5000 square feet food garden.

Don’t consider yourself to be a gardener yet? That’s ok!

Everyone has got to start somewhere, and I am inviting you to start here…with me.

A black graphic with white wording surrounded by vegetables.

This season will be my 4th year growing my own food garden, and in all honesty, I’m not yet fully recovered from the tragedy that was last year’s garden.   My plants produced a valiant harvest for me (in spite of 7 hailstorms and the shortest growing season in 65 years), but the thing that grew the most was my character.

Related Article: Are you a Gardener or Someone who Gardens?

Tending to a 5,000 sq ft food garden is challenging, to say the least.  No, wait!  Tending any garden is challenging….

And when you are attempting to grow heat-loving vegetables in Zone 4, the odds are NOT ever in your favor.  But are the odds truly any gardener’s favor?

I love a challenge, and if you are a gardener, then I know that you do too. Share on X

I have learned so many rich life-lessons in my garden and discovered that tending a food garden is about so much more than simply producing a harvest.  It’s about tending to my soul and becoming the kind of person that nurtures growth in every aspect of my life.

A 5000 square feet food garden enclosed and with a red shed.

When we built our home in the country, we decided to live a different kind of life.  We chose peace and tranquility over the hustle and bustle of the city.

Related Article: Searching for Contentment in the Valleys of Life

It took time, but slowly I discovered a new purpose. Encouraging growth in my children, my friends and my garden taught me that I was created to nurture others.

With my words, my actions, my hands, I help things grow. In my garden and in my life. Share on X

And today, I hope to use my words and my stories to inspire you to grow your own 5000 square feet food garden.

Because, I believe that everyone can grow their own food, no matter their circumstance.

I realize that not everyone has the ability to move to the country and grow a large garden, but most of us are capable of growing a few of our favorite veggies in a small container garden.  There are also many communities that offer gardening plots for rent throughout the growing season.

Related Article: Sarah’s Free 12-Day Gardening E-Series

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

For me, growing healthy and nutritious food for my family isn’t a hobby, it’s a mission!

When failure isn’t an option, you develop the skills necessary to be successful. Share on X

Last year was my first time planting a 5,000 sq ft food garden.   I had to quickly learn how to leave my perfectionism at the garden gate because there’s just no way to perfect gardening on this scale.

The battle against the potato bugs, weeds, severe weather, drought, powdery mildew and dropping nighttime temperatures is never ending, and at best we can hope to do just well enough to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Here is a 4 1/2 minute tour of last year’s garden (hailstones and all!):

Are you ready to see my plan? Keep in mind, this is just a rough guide of what I intend to plant in this year’s food garden and where it is to go.  Although it would be much easier to follow the same plan year after year, it is important to switch things up in order to maintain the quality of the soil.

Check out this inspirational 5,000 square foot food garden design! Share on X

Garden layout drawn to learn how to start a garden.

Related: Sarah’s 2015 Food Garden Plan

This season, I intend to grow 45+ varieties of fruits and vegetables in my food garden along with 25+ species of flowers and herbs.  I find it incredibly beneficial to check my plan against a companion planting guide like this one by IDEP Foundation.

Here is a downloadable .PDF of the plants I will be growing in my food garden this year.

Click the Image to Download:

Detailed list of plants to be started in raised garden beds.

I am starting 100% of my seeds in my basement using this fantastic shelving system my hubby constructed for me.  The seedlings will harden off in our southward facing garage (open during the day, closed at night) for a week or two prior to being set out into the garden.  We ordered all of our seeds from Johnny Seeds this year, for the second year in a row.  They are mostly organic and certified non-GMO.

Related: 10 Seed Starting Garden Hacks

I also believe in the value of a detailed garden schedule.  I always do the math pre-season and work hard to develop a planting schedule.  I figure out when I will need to start certain seeds indoors, schedule a plan to harden them off and plant them outside.

Have you made a plan for your garden yet? Here's some tips to get you started... Share on X

If you live in a different gardening zone, these dates will not apply to you, but I have also included the countdown to last frost (spring) and first frost (fall) so you can apply this plan to your own zone based on that if you want.

Click the Image to Download:

A calendar outlining when to plant in Zone 4.

Are you planning a vegetable garden this year? Be sure to sign up for our free 12-day Gardening E-Series (where I share all my best tips and tricks) and check back often throughout the growing season for inspiration and advice.

Do you plan on growing your own food garden this season?  Please do tell me all about it in the comments section of the post, I’d love to cheer you on!


  1. Karen in the PNW

    love your post. I am working on a multi year plan here. We have a 50 x 60 area in a deer fence. I there I have started 5 raised beds (4 x 8) and 12 blueberry bushes, 4 small fruit trees, Kiwi vines, grapes, an asparagus bed (8 x 8) and a couple of rhubarbs and cardoons. This year is mostly about getting my perennials established. Currently watering with a hose, but hope to put in a real irrigation system next year. Also want to establish a few nut trees. Love reading about what others are doing.

    • Your garden sounds amazing, Karen! Can I just say…I had no idea kiwis grow on vines. You learn something new everyday, right?! Blessings to you and may you reap a huge harvest this fall 🙂

  2. Your garden is so inspiring! After my garden failure last year I’m keeping it simple with just a few potted plants lol. I look forward to following along with your gardening journey again this year! 🙂

  3. Oh wow! A 5000 square foot garden?! That’s what I call ambitious! I don’t have that much space but I’m definitely planning my garden for this year.

    Pinning this for inspiration.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely evening.

  4. Amazing post! I don’t have that kind of space to work with but once i do I’ll refer to here for tips!

  5. This will be my first year of a real in ground garden. [I have tried other forms, but they did not pan out the way I had hoped.] I am excited, because I am also wanting to learn how to store everything by canning, freezing, or other means of storing. I would like to grow enough to have it last through most of the winter. I also want to try my hand at making salsa, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. I am not sure how it will work. Regardless, I am excited, and an excited gardener has to be successful to some degree, right? Thank you for sharing your plans! I am going to save them for next year’s garden!

    Erin | http://www.awelderswife.com

    • Congratulations on your new garden adventure, Erin! I was a total newbie a few years ago, and I agree that PASSION and EXCITEMENT play a huge role in your success. My blogging partner and I can and preserve food too, we haven’t written much about it yet, but are planning to this fall.

      On another note…OH MY GOSH, YOU HAVE BABY CHICKS! Seriously girl, we need to be friends. I followed you on IG and Twitter. Can’t wait to see your garden pics and watch those cute babies grow. We have 12 babies at the moment too, and 17 “Mamas”. Have you seen my chicken posts? You will get a big kick out of this one: https://happihomemade.com/year-1-raising-backyard-chickens/

      Best of luck, girl! Keep us posted.

      • Absolutely! I followed back! I have 5 Easter Eggers, 4 Buff Orpingtons, 1 Barred Rock, and 16 Rhode Isand Reds. I’m excited to see which are hens and roos! I think I have a few figured out, but until they crow or lay, I won’t really know. I haven’t see your chicken posts yet, but I definitely will check them out this weekend!

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