Leaving the right amount of space between vegetable plants is quite important as each plant needs a certain amount of room for their roots and leaves to maximise growth. Not only this, but leaving enough air to circulate around and in between the plants really helps to prevent diseases from spreading, especially in wet and humid weather (which we have plenty of during autumn!) This is particularly true of spore carried diseases, like blight and mildew, as well as things like chocolate spot on broad beans.
There are many gardeners who plant closer together than recommended when using raised beds. This is based on the idea that the raised beds have a better quality of soil and so the plants will grow better in a smaller space. Now, there is some truth in this and you could get away with planting most things leaving half the amount of space as you normally would, but we would always recommend that you stick to the planting advice unless you are an experienced gardener. Our reason for this is that it takes a fairly experienced gardener to really know the quality of the soil and to know how the different vegetables grow.
In our humble opinion, the exceptions come when you are growing things like cut & come again lettuces – as long as you pick the leaves regularly and keep the plants small then you can get away with it. Likewise, if you enjoy eating baby leeks/beets etc, then you can plant these a little closer together harvesting every other leek/beet along the row whilst still small and leaving the others to grow to full size.
If in doubt, stick to the plan – all the spacing info you need to know is in the growing guide that we send with your plants. Just refer to that as you plant up this autumn and your veg should thrive.