Martha Stewart’s Vegetable Garden

Written by on May 16, 2011 in Gardening - 2 Comments
Martha Stewart's vegetable garden, an aerial shot row by row

The other day I was researching various solutions to create (relatively) weed-free paths between gardens for easy maintenance around our new raised beds. Stepping stones, pavers and mulch are a few options but something new I discovered is salt hay. It is a grass harvested in marshes along the coast that contains no weeds.

My Google search for salt hay was varied. Some critics mentioned damage to the coast due to harvested salt hay and it was noted that use of this for mulch and weed-free paths was not environmentally friendly. Note: Do more research here.

Another search result — which sent me in another direction — led to today’s post: Martha’s Vegetable Garden called Cantitoe Corners. Martha Stewart (or her gardener?) uses salt hay, apparently, so Google sent me her way. Whether or not Martha is prone to using salt hay even if it is a destructive practice (again… more research), I was intrigued by her beautiful garden, its practical layout and the few tips and tricks worthy to share and archive here.

First, I took note of the 7-foot metal fence to keep hungry critters out. And I was impressed with the extensive notes recorded to insure proper crop rotation. Other highlights taken directly from include the following:

Martha Stewart's vegetable garden, an aerial shot row by row

Row by Row

Martha’s Homes Martha’s vegetable garden was laid out with rigorous geometry to yield maximum results and easy access. The major cross-axial paths are 10 feet wide and can accommodate a garden cart or a pickup truck. Each row of vegetables is 30 inches wide, and the paths between them are 12 inches wide, which makes it simple to hoe and weed from both sides. To minimize weeds and retain moisture, each row is mulched with salt hay, a grass harvested in marshes along the East Coast that contains no weed seeds.

Dibble design by Martha Stewart

A Dibble Designed by Martha

This dibble, inspired by the one Martha saw in her friend David Rockefeller’s greenhouse, is used in the garden beds to make evenly spaced holes for crops such as lettuce and Asian greens

Paper collars protect plants from predators

Paper Collars

Collars of heavy paper are pushed into the soil around a ‘Romanesco’ cauliflower and the other brassicas to keep cutworms at bay. They are removed when the danger from cutworms has passed.

Protect pumpkins by resting them on a layer of fresh straw.

A Great Pumpkin

Clean straw is slipped below each pumpkin and winter squash to keep them from rotting and to put them out of reach of soil-dwelling insects.

Read the complete article and view more photos. For related articles, check out Martha’s Homes.

Images and captions © 2011 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Designer Rob Russo loves to work and play on the homestead with his wife, Jes, their three daughters and a big flock of chickens. He blogs about social media design and marketing at and is the marketing director of You should follow Rob on Twitter.

2 Comments on "Martha Stewart’s Vegetable Garden"

  1. Erica / Northwest Edible Life April 28, 2012 at 11:21 am · Reply

    I have studied that overhead shot aggressively, including in the original magazine article that first featured it, and I have come to the conclusion that that photo is aggressively retouched. I actually think they may have merged more than one photo taken at different times of the year to get the look of more fullness. Now, I could be wrong, but that’s what I suspect.

    Popping over after your guest post on Common Sense Homesteading. I agree with the suggestions you gave there. Cheers!

    • Rob Russo April 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm · Reply

      Good point, Erica. I never studied it THAT close! And never thought of that! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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