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Had anyone tried square foot gardening?

(7 Posts)
CaptainWarbeck Thu 06-Apr-17 07:53:11

I've got four wooden raised veg boxes which I've been idly planting stuff in over the last year, but not very dedicatedly. While it's been good, and we've eaten veg from it, it's also been a bit of a hodgepodge.

I'm keen to have a go at this proper method of spacing plants correctly per square foot and planning it all out a bit better. Does anyone do it and think it works well? Any general advice?

AlternativeTentacle Thu 06-Apr-17 08:03:06

Yes I had a display garden last year - it worked well and was very popular with all the school aged kids that came to the gardens.

Advice from me:
Put the taller stuff at the back or tuck lettuce in behind stuff like Runner beans.
Put courgettes or pumpkins, if you grow them, in the corners so that they grow over the sides and don't take up too much space.
Always have seedlings ready to go in where you are taking crops out. The main waste of space in food growing is not planting something else immediately back in.

However if you only have 4 veg boxes, I'd just plant bigger and longer stuff at good spacings, and infil with shorter and more regular stuff and infil those with successional crops.

And I'd only grow stuff that I use regularly or love. So tomatoes, infilled with basil, coriander, spring onions, and those infilled with lettuces, carrots, beets, a courgette in a corner or two, and a crop of peas early doors before the toms go in. SFG does waste space in my opinion. You can really pack it in in a raised bed.

CaptainWarbeck Thu 06-Apr-17 08:20:28

So is SFG different to raised beds? I'm confused! Mine are 1.2x1.2m, so 4 feet square I think.

I think I need to get better at stuffing things in spaces while bigger crops grow. We would eat a lot of basil and coriander, parsley etc, can I just put that in in any spare gaps and keep it small by cutting herbs regularly?

BarchesterFlowers Thu 06-Apr-17 08:26:44

I did this a few years back just for variety in my raised beds. It was really productive. I followed a planting guide on a paleo site if I remember correctly.

I have got a big garden but found it was a real time saver. I had four raised beds 8ft x 4ft and planted this way in two of them.

One of my beds was herbs and the other strawberries so I didn't plant those in my square foot one.

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Thu 06-Apr-17 08:50:50

I've done it with basil, coriander, carrots, peas, radishes and spring onions. You can pack a lot in that way.

CaptainWarbeck Thu 06-Apr-17 11:48:26

Looks like you can pack a lot of spinach in too, 9 per square. I might try a few varieties planted out in the beds, baby spinach can be expensive in the shops.

clarabellski Fri 07-Apr-17 11:02:10

We follow it loosely in our raised beds i.e.:
- we roughly follow the recommeded soil mix (Mel Bartholomew advocates a 1:1:1 mix of compost peat and vermiculite but we don't use peat in our garden so our mix is around 3:1 compost to vermiculite). I must say that it is really easy to remove plants from the mix when they're spent, as the mix is nice and loose due to the vermiculite addition.
- we don't rigidly mark out the squares within the beds and just eyeball it.
- take Mel's advice about spacing plants with a pinch of salt. For example, I think some of his brassica spacing and strawberry plant spacing is unrealistic!! We do 4 spinach plants per square for instance (in fairness, perpetual spinach, not baby spinach which I've never tried to grow)

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