Square Foot Gardening

I have never really used a traditional "square foot" garden layout. More of a modified block gardening layout, with the blocks whatever size I needed to hold a single plant type. I find that limiting the space to four by four both directions is not the wisest use of my space, since I can usually either step between plants to reach the middle, or reach from the sides even if the section is longer than four feet long. I usually do about a four foot wide block though.

The purpose behind square foot gardening is to use less space between rows, and more space for actual growing things. I also tend to use VERY narrow pathways between things, and allow some plants to vine out over the pathway.

Approximate planting spacings (number of plants per square foot) for the traditional square foot gardening:

Basil: 1
Beans: bush-type 9; pole-type 8 - plant in double rows
Beets: 16 - I just broadcast seed these, and thin to approximate spacing
Broccoli: 1 - if you stagger the plantings (planting in triangular arrangements) you can fit more
Cabbage: 1 - same as broccoli
Cantaloupe: 1 (grow in row of 4 squares, on trellis)
Carrots: 16 - broadcast seed, and thin to approximate spacing - the thinnings are edible
Cauliflower: 1 - same as broccoli
Celery: 4 (6")
Chard(Swiss): 4 - broadcast seed, and thin to approximate spacing - thinnings are edible
Corn: 4 - plant in single or double rows
Cucumbers: 2 in a row of 4 sqft (6" apart along middle of sqft row)
Eggplant: 1
Garlic: 9 (4")
Leeks: 9
Lettuce: 4 - broadcast seed, thin repeatedly until you get single plants - use thinnings for baby lettuce
Okra: 1-2
Onions: 16 - if you seed in onions, you can thinly broadcast the seed, and thin later - eat the thinnings
Oregano: 1/4
Parsley: 4
Peas: 8 (grow in row of 4 squares on trellis) plant bush type in double rows so they support each other
Peppers: 1
Potatoes: 1 - can plant potatoes in containers and hill up inside the container to grow more from one plant
Radishes: 16
Savory: 1
Spinach: 9 - broadcast seed, thin gradually to right spacing, eat the thinnings
Squash, Summer: vine-type 3 in 4 ft; bush-type 1 in 3 ft
Squash, Winter: 1 in 2 ft
Thyme: 4
Tomatoes: bush-type: 1 in 2 ft, staggered; vine-type 1 (in row of 4 on trellis)
Watermelon: bush-type 1; vine-type 1 in 2 ft  - both kinds along trellis
Zucchini: 1 in 2 sq ft

If you crowd your garden, you must be careful to weed it well, fertilize it well, and watch the plants to make sure they don't overcrowd. Using broadcast seeding, you'll have to thin every week, but the thinnings are often edible, and can give you early harvests from the garden.


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