So you want to have an ideal garden, or an ideal orchard, where all of the plants are lined up in perfect rows. The thing is, though... How many plants exactly do you need? With the plant spacing calculator, you will be able to answer this question in a few seconds - regardless of whether you want a rectangular grid or a triangular spacing, you will be able to calculate the amount of plants you can fit in no time at all. Make sure to take a look at the mulch calculator, too.
Rows vs triangular spacing
A rectangular grid of plants in rows is fairly simple to understand: you divide the area into rows, and spread plants evenly along each row. Planting in rows means you can have more space between rows and less space between plants within the row. It makes walking between rows easier and has potential benefits for disease management, but isn't as space efficient as triangular spacing.
If you want triangular spacing, you need to create a lattice of equilateral triangles (they all have sides of the same length, and all internal angles are equal to 60 degrees), and place a plant in each corner. This maximizes the use of space, but can have the consequence of diseases spreading more easily in large plots.
How to use the plant calculator
- Determine the width and length of the area you want to cover with plants. We will assume an orchard with a length of 320 m and a width 240 m.
- Determine the width of the border where you won't be putting plants. For our orchard, we will assume the border is 2 m.
- Decide on the spacing between the plants. Note that this is the spacing between the centers of the plants, so, if you plan for your trees to grow, leave some extra space for it! We will assume spacing of 3.5 m. For this scenario we will also assume 3.5 m spacing between rows.
- The plant spacing calculator will tell you how many plants you need in a rectangular and a triangular grid - here, 6,188 for a rectangular grid and 7,059 for triangular spacing.
- Now simply choose one of these options and start planting! :)
- Notice that you can also use the plant spacing calculator to find the total rows and number of plants per row. For triangular grids, the calculator will also tell you how far apart to space each row to make the layout easy. For this example, the rows should be spaced 3.03 m apart to result in exactly 3.5 m spacing between each plant in all directions.
- For triangular rows, sometimes the offset rows (i.e., the "even" rows, if we label the rows 1, 2, 3...) will have one less plant like the example image above the calculator. The plant spacing calculator factors this into the total number of plants.