All New Square Foot Gardening

Lets plant one 4X4 and see how much we will grow in those 16 square feet. We'll start with tall plants on the north side of the box so they dont shade shorter plants. Then put some colorful flowers in each corner. Let's assume it is still springtime, but that we re past the last frost, so we could put four pansies in each corner using our favorite colors.

Carrots require little care until they're harvested. So lets plant two squares of different carrots in the center squares, one square of sixteen onions and a low-maintenance square of sixteen radishes in the center. Then well put one square of nine beets in an outside square because we'll harvest their leaves during the season and then finally pull the beet bottoms later. We can plant two or three varieties of leaf lettuce on the outside, depending on your tastes. In another square we could put sixteen chives, and four parsley plants in another, which would provide us a continual harvest. For more color we might want to put a square of red salvia along the back. And perhaps in one corner some dwarf dahlias, one per square foot. Or perhaps some nasturtiums spaced at one per square foot. One of the first things we would have planted in the spring is one or two squares of spinach, nine per square foot. Then depending on your family's taste we could have one or more squares from the cabbage family. That could be red or green cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower. Keep in mind this is not the only 4X4 in the whole garden. So we don't have to put all the cabbage into one SFG. It's better to space them out throughout the garden—makes it harder for the cabbage moth to find them all.

Plans and Drawings

Remember I mentioned that some people feel a desire to think ahead and draw up a list of everything to be planted in their garden. Then there are even some people who want to assign those plants to spaces ahead of time. So it means drawing a chart, more or less to scale, of your garden and assigning those particular crops to each square foot. Despite being an engineer, who loves charts and diagrams, I don't usually do that. I just like to plant as I see fit. Its very easy to stand in the garden and as the square becomes vacant you just look around and decide its time to plant another square of radishes. Or maybe you'd like to have some more beans, but this time you'll put in the yellow variety instead of green. Its also very easy to spot and plant where you'd like some color. I find it very easy to just bring home a four-pack of flowers I liked at the nursery and decide by looking at the garden where they would look best. But it's your Square Foot Garden, and you should do whatever makes you happy.

How to Plant Your All New Square Foot Carden

Replanting

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Keep in mind that, as soon as you harvest, it wont be a big deal to replant because youre going to do it one square foot at a time. Once your newly planted garden starts maturing in the spring—for example, that square foot of radishes will be ready to harvest in four weeks—you'll be ready to replant just that one square. The season has changed and it's warmer, and most of your summer crops can now be planted. So your choices have increased and also most of the summer crop is fairly long-lived and will be in that spot through the whole summer season. As you replant you keep the same criteria in mind—taller plants on the north side to keep them from shading other plants, working your way to cascading Bowers on the front corners to look pretty. Place plants that don't need much attention and only occasional harvesting like peppers on the inside, and shorter plants and those that need constant care or harvest to the outside just to make them easier to tend.

Weeding

This could be the shortest paragraph in the entire book. To start with, your Mel's Mix has no weed seeds in it, and any weeds that do sprout are easily observed because they're not in the proper space and they look different from the plants that are there. Because the soil is so soft and friable weeds come out easily—root and all. You have to weed about once a month. End of paragraph; end of story.

This is a good example of a rootbound container plant. You 11 want to trim the matted roots before planting. (Dorit worry, it) better for the plants anyway.)

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