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Square Foot Gardening

JCDEERMAN

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Joined
Jul 19, 2008
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12,307
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
Does anyone plant using this method? Seems adequate enough for most things, but some thing have me scratching my head.

For example, I totally get 1 tomato per sq foot, 1 pepper plant per sq foot, 1 eggplant per sq foot etc......What gets me is it says 1 squash per sq foot, 1 zucchini per sq foot, BUT 2 cucumbers. That doesn't quite make sense to me. Neither does 4 heads of lettuce per sq foot. How does 4 heads of lettuce grow in that area? How would those even fit?

Anyone have any feedback? I am in the process of building a 90 sq foot raised bed. Got 2/3 of it done yesterday - will update with pics when completed. I plan on using 72 sq feet in the first planting, and staggering the other 18 plants several weeks later for a early fall crop. I have about 120 fruit and veggie plants growing from heirloom seeds that I started 2 weeks ago under grow lights. Cant wait for some (hopefully) fine eating.
 

DaveB

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Sep 3, 2008
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13,930
Location
Shelby County
Yeah, don't know. I like having lots of room. Some member here has tomatos-in-cages pics that look to be social distancing. I think that is a great way to go.....if you got room. I just looked at a prospective 23 acre home site and even wife said we could have a BIG garden.
 

backyardtndeer

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Joined
Jul 29, 2015
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3,335
Location
West Tennessee
Honestly never put that much thought into it. Our garden has shrunk each year, and did not even do one last year. I do however like to have enough room between plants to run the tiller through to make weeding easier.
 

WTM

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Oct 16, 2008
Messages
9,678
Location
Birdsong Creek, Holladay side
the cucumbers will run on a trellis or you can let them spill out on the ground if not on grass and some people grow patio cukes. those are 4 leaf lettuce bunch plants or romaine lettuce. head lettuce need 1 sq per plant, same as cabbage.

the guide i use gives squash varieties 2 sq per plant. you might try 1 sq per plant IF you have enough air circulation. if squash gets too cramped you will have moisture problems, ie mildew rot.
 

WTM

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Oct 16, 2008
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9,678
Location
Birdsong Creek, Holladay side
if you have any luck with head lettuce varieties, let me know which variety you used. ive never been successful. my guess is its not cool for long enough then it bolts. ive thought about trying in the fall/ early winter under cold frames.
 

hard county

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Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
763
Does anyone plant using this method? Seems adequate enough for most things, but some thing have me scratching my head.

For example, I totally get 1 tomato per sq foot, 1 pepper plant per sq foot, 1 eggplant per sq foot etc......What gets me is it says 1 squash per sq foot, 1 zucchini per sq foot, BUT 2 cucumbers. That doesn't quite make sense to me. Neither does 4 heads of lettuce per sq foot. How does 4 heads of lettuce grow in that area? How would those even fit?

Anyone have any feedback? I am in the process of building a 90 sq foot raised bed. Got 2/3 of it done yesterday - will update with pics when completed. I plan on using 72 sq feet in the first planting, and staggering the other 18 plants several weeks later for a early fall crop. I have about 120 fruit and veggie plants growing from heirloom seeds that I started 2 weeks ago under grow lights. Cant wait for some (hopefully) fine eating.
Your lettuce yield is higher because they have a short growing span. You can reseed more after harvest. A guy near me does a salanova mix that gets carried in several grocers and he's harvesting the same bed maybe 10 times per season. That's with the aid of caterpillar tunnels of course but still pretty impressive. That said, you need to stay on top of cabbage worms and the like to grow lettuce. Especially putting them in the same ground for succession planting.
 

JCDEERMAN

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Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,307
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
the cucumbers will run on a trellis

the guide i use gives squash varieties 2 sq per plant. you might try 1 sq per plant IF you have enough air circulation. if squash gets too cramped you will have moisture problems, ie mildew rot.
Great responses guys - keep them coming.

They'll go on a trellis, along with the squash, zucchini, cantaloupe and beans. I'll look more into the squash spacing - may go 18". I'm going to have 4 trellises going, all on the north end, so they aren't shading out everything else. Just picked up everything for the drip irrigation system. I like the fact that I don't have to worry about watering! I'm sure the wife will have me ordering more poly tubing for her flowers :rolleyes:
 

WTM

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Oct 16, 2008
Messages
9,678
Location
Birdsong Creek, Holladay side
Great responses guys - keep them coming.

They'll go on a trellis, along with the squash, zucchini, cantaloupe and beans. I'll look more into the squash spacing - may go 18". I'm going to have 4 trellises going, all on the north end, so they aren't shading out everything else. Just picked up everything for the drip irrigation system. I like the fact that I don't have to worry about watering! I'm sure the wife will have me ordering more poly tubing for her flowers :rolleyes:
flowers are good for repelling bad insects and attracting good ones especially marigolds. you wont have many weeds either. im thinking of growing everything in raised beds or at least partial beds. tired of my wife mowing and slinging crabgrass and dallas grass seeds into my garden.
 

Chapman

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Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Messages
895
Location
South Louisiana
I would not try to grow tomatoes one foot apart. Leaf lettuce you can pack pretty close together if you keep the leaves picked as they grow. Marigold flowers are good for repelling some insects. My eggplant make big wide plants, they need more room also.
 

JCDEERMAN

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Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,307
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
I would not try to grow tomatoes one foot apart. Leaf lettuce you can pack pretty close together if you keep the leaves picked as they grow. Marigold flowers are good for repelling some insects. My eggplant make big wide plants, they need more room also.
Yeah, digging deeper, I probably won't plant them 1 foot apart. I may do more of checker-board with the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Can't wait to get this last section done and start filling with soil.
 

DoubleRidge

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Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
3,335
Location
Middle Tennessee
Does anyone plant using this method? Seems adequate enough for most things, but some thing have me scratching my head.

For example, I totally get 1 tomato per sq foot, 1 pepper plant per sq foot, 1 eggplant per sq foot etc......What gets me is it says 1 squash per sq foot, 1 zucchini per sq foot, BUT 2 cucumbers. That doesn't quite make sense to me. Neither does 4 heads of lettuce per sq foot. How does 4 heads of lettuce grow in that area? How would those even fit?

Anyone have any feedback? I am in the process of building a 90 sq foot raised bed. Got 2/3 of it done yesterday - will update with pics when completed. I plan on using 72 sq feet in the first planting, and staggering the other 18 plants several weeks later for a early fall crop. I have about 120 fruit and veggie plants growing from heirloom seeds that I started 2 weeks ago under grow lights. Cant wait for some (hopefully) fine eating.

We're planning on doing raised beds in the future so I'm curious what materials you used? Sounds like you have made great progress! Keep us posted....looking forward to seeing pics.
 

JCDEERMAN

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Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,307
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
We're planning on doing raised beds in the future so I'm curious what materials you used? Sounds like you have made great progress! Keep us posted....looking forward to seeing pics.
I've got it built, weed fabric down and hardware mesh down. Going to get the soil over the weekend and build the trellises. Will update with pics when that's done.

I used 2x4x12's untreated, but treated them with raw linseed oil. Screwed them together with 3" deck screws (in case I want to disassemble). The lumber was, you guessed it, a pretty penny :confused:
 

DaveB

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Sep 3, 2008
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13,930
Location
Shelby County
I tried cantalope on a trellis once. It was such a huge failure I was dumbfounded. Mockingbirds and one other unknown flying fruit eater demolished my crop in like 3 milleseconds.

I could have covered the trellis with a netting but it never crossed my mind. You think that would have worked? The netting works on trees because the birds cannot get to the fruit but the cantalope is pretty much exposed.

just wondering because store bought cantalope is a far cry taste-wise from growing your own.
 

JCDEERMAN

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Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,307
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
I tried cantalope on a trellis once. It was such a huge failure I was dumbfounded. Mockingbirds and one other unknown flying fruit eater demolished my crop in like 3 milleseconds.

I could have covered the trellis with a netting but it never crossed my mind. You think that would have worked? The netting works on trees because the birds cannot get to the fruit but the cantalope is pretty much exposed.

just wondering because store bought cantalope is a far cry taste-wise from growing your own.
Not sure on the netting for protection, but I imagine so. I also have a fake owl sitting above mine. I plan on using some type of netting when the time comes.

I know what you mean by store-bought cantaloupe. I brought some I bought from the Amish to the office a couple years ago and you could smell how right it was from down the hall. SO much better than the store.
 

JCDEERMAN

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Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Messages
12,307
Location
NASHVILLE, TN
We're planning on doing raised beds in the future so I'm curious what materials you used? Sounds like you have made great progress! Keep us posted....looking forward to seeing pics.
Here are some updated pics. The first one is from 5/18 and the rest are from 5/25 - just one week of growth - it exploded! Notice the drip irrigation. That is the best thing about the entire thing. It's on a timer and I don't even have to water it :p

Everything planted here I grew from seeds, except the 6 okra plants.

90 square feet:
2 canteloupe
2 cucumber
4 zucchini
4 squash
17 tomatoes
3 eggplant
5 bell peppers
4 jalepenos
6 okra
21 potatoes (7 squares)
11 squares of carrots

We'll see what happens......I've got some pruning to do this evening.

5/18/21
garden1.jpg

5/25/21
garden2.jpg
garden3.jpg

garden4.jpg
garden5.jpg
 

DaveB

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Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
13,930
Location
Shelby County
Looks good. The color is better than perfect, congrats on your progress.


Just askin: why Okra? You do something bad when you was little?
 

Popcorn

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Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
573
Location
Cookeville, TN Cadiz, KY and random other places
Nice ! I like the use of the slope!

This is a bed where I plant early cool season stuff like the romaine and butter crunch lettuce and broccoli Then later add tomatoes and herbs. Soon the broccoli will be harvested and the lettuces will be consumed or removed as they bolt leaving the tomatoes and herbs. It gets crowded but it works and actually preserves moisture

Raised bed blend.jpg
 

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