Visualize the Harvest

In SPG, begin with visualizing what you want to harvest. This simple step prevents you from planting too much. Picture a large plant like a head of cabbage. That single cabbage will take up a whole square foot so you can only plant one per square foot. Its the same with broccoli and cauliflower. Lets go to the opposite end of the spectrum and think of the small plants like radishes. Sixteen can fit into a single square foot. Its the same for onions and carrots—sixteen per square foot. (Yet that's a 3-inch spacing between plants, which is exactly the same spacing the seed packet recommends as it says "thin to 3 inches apart.")

Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large

Think of these plants as if they were shirt sizes. Shirts come in a four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra large, and so do our plants. Its that simple.

The extra large, of course, are those that take up the entire square foot—plants like cabbages, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and geraniums. Next are the large plants—chose that can be planted four to a square foot, which equals 6 inches apart. Large plants include leaf lettuce, dwarf marigolds, Swiss chard, and parsley.

Several crops could be 1 per square foot if you let it grow to its full size or it can be planted 4 per square feet if you harvest the outer leaves throughout the season. This category includes parsley, basil, and even the larger heads of leaf lettuce and Swiss chard. Using the SPG method, you snip and constantly harvest the outer leaves of edible greens, so they dont take up as much space as in a conventional garden.

Medium plants come next. They fit nine to every square foot, which equals 4 inches apart. Medium plants include bush beans, beets, and large turnips.

For larger crops, plant seeds right in the middle of your scjuare.

How to Plant Your All New Square Foot Garden

PLANT SPACING

Extra Large Large Medium Small

1 plant 4 Plants 9 Plants 16 Plants

Placed 12 inches apart: Placed 6 inches apart: Placed 4 inches apart: Placed 3 inches apart:

Broccoli Leaf Lettuce Bush Bean Carrot

Cabbage

Pepper

Marigold

^Vyr

pt f . Ss^ vF jk

4

Swiss Chard

4

4

4

4

t

f

t

1

i

%

t

t

t

f

f

f

f

f

f

?

f

f

f

?

f

f

f

?

f

Radish

sr f

V

V *

Y

7

Y

f

*

Y

y t

Y

f

7

V t

7

Onion

t

?

V

t

V

V

t V

t V

t

->

t

i V

t

f

i

i

To help keep up with this, you may want to copy this chart so you always have it handy. Some people even have it laminated so they can take it outdoors without worrying about the weather destroying it.

Another way to get the proper spacing and number per square foot is to be a little more scientific and do a little arithmetic as shown below.

You can see that one, four, nine, or sixteen plants should be spaced an equivalent number of inches apart. This is the same distance the seed packet will say "thin to." Of course we don t have to "thin to" because we don t plant a whole packet of seeds anymore. So if you're planting seeds, or even putting in transplants that you purchased or grew from seed, just find the seed packet or planting directions to see what the distance is for thinning. This distance then determines whether you're going to plant

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