Square Foot Gardening: Maximum Food in Minimum Space!
Developed by Mel Bartholomew, Square Foot Gardening maximizes food yields in small gardens by using successive planting techniques and intensive spacing. It’s perfect for raised beds, but it works well in the ground too.
The garden is divided into one-foot square blocks, and each square is planted with a different crop. Instead of planting thickly and later thinning the seedlings, gardeners plant based on the “mature” or “thinned” spacing recommended on the seed packet. For example:
· The seed packet says to sow lettuce 1″ apart, then thin to 6″ apart.
· Instead, plant the lettuce seeds 6” apart.
· In a 1′ x 1′ square, you plant 4 lettuce seeds 6” apart.
Plants that should be spaced 3” apart can be planted 16 to a square, while 1’ plants are planted 1 per square. Bigger plants are either trained up trellises or planted in an 18″ x 18″ square.
As soon as plants are harvested from a square, more compost is added, then the square planted with a different crop. A 4’ x 4’ square foot garden can provide enough salad crops for two adults for the whole growing season.
Check in with IWFM sponsor Spotts Garden Service at the Market this Saturday for a demonstration of planting a raised bed, square-foot-gardening style. For more detailed information, visit their latest blog post here.