Square Foot Gardening

paulgsmithJune 9, 2013

I set up a square foot garden this year (2-4x4 boxes), and I am starting from seed (lettuce, cukes, beans, zucchini, kale, spinach). I am familiar with the recommended spacing per 1'x1' square in terms of how many plants to place in a square, but what about seeds? Would I still follow the same recommendations, so for example, for cucumbers would I place two seeds in a square? Or would I plant many more seeds within each square, then wait to see how many seeds germinate, then thin and reposition in the square per the recommendations? So out of 8 or 10 seeds, I would thin to just two plants per square. Any information along these lines would be appreciated. Thanks.

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alex_7b(7b/8a)

Over-plant, then thin out. Do not however, move the plants you decide to finally grow to maturity as it will require disrupting the roots.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 3:03PM
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GeorgiaStreak(8b GA)

I agree with Alex. Overplant and thin out when square foot gardening.

Paul (and anyone trying Square Foot gardening for the first time) one zucchini plant at maturity is going to be HUGE. Mine are typically 3 feet x 3 feet (or bigger)---that's just ONE plant.

I suggest that you train your cucumber vines to grow up a support---like a bamboo tepee that you can make yourself. The same thing with beans if they are pole beans. That will leave your other vegetable plants a lot more room to grow.

Over the years, I have gardened many ways--from traditional rows to intensive methods of gardening. The very best gardens that I've ever had were those planted by an intensive method. The crop's canopy shaded out the soil below, and I had hardly any weeds to speak off. Plus, I had a HUGE harvest. What you've got to remember is how big your vegetable will grow to at maturity and plant your raised bed accordingly. I am blessed with 1+ acres so space isn't an issue for me. I choose to garden that way because it's easier to take care of, and my harvest is maximized. Each of my raised beds is planted with one crop. For those with limited space, I suggest growing vertically whenever you can. That way you will maximize the space you have.

Best of luck to you, Paul. You're ahead of the game because you are planning. That tells me that you are going to have a GREAT garden and a bountiful harvest. :)

This post was edited by GeorgiaStreak on Sat, Apr 5, 14 at 18:13

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:02PM
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idixierose(z8b Coastal SC)

GeorgiaStreak, thanks for posting your reply.

I was beginning to think that the square-foot garden idea was not realistic here in South Carolina.

Of all the veggie gardening books, my favorite is Garden Way's Joy of Gardening by Dick Raymond. He uses wide rows and raised beds, among other techniques.

At present, my veggie garden is semi-intensive -- six 4'x8' boxes.

I find I get into trouble when I try to plant too closely. Things need to have space between for air circulation and sunlight.
I plant herbs and small things around the edges of the boxes and put taller things in the middle.

Eight tomato, okra or pepper plants pretty much fills up one box once they've reached full size. Plant green beans in close rows and they're a pain to harvest.

Right now my spinach crop occupies one box. It will be finished soon, so I'm planting jalapeno peppers among the spinach -- which will be removed before the jalapenos get big.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 3:42PM
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