Square-foot Gardening.

Permaculture is for everyone.

Permaculture is for everyone.

I’m really digging square-foot gardening. Square-foot Gardening was developed by a retired civil engineer Mel Bartholomew. In square-foot gardening (SFG) a 4’x4′ raised bed is constructed. Then it’s filled with Mel’s mix: 1 part peat moss. 1 part compost, 1 part vermiculite. This bed is laid out in a grid creating 16 one foot squares. Then depending on what is grown, each square is planted. Depending on the spacing requirements of what is planted determines how many of that plant can fit into a square. For instance 16 carrots or 1 tomato for a square. This makes planning simpler to me. SFG appeals to my personality. I like the idea of several 4’x4′ beds with enough spacing to get my mower in between. The cons of SFG is the initial cost of set up. I have just priced construction of each bed, and it will cost me $50 to create. I have budgeted in one bed per month, so by spacing the construction of the 4-6 beds out I lessen the impact. SFG is very kid friendly in that each of my girls will have her own bed to decide what to plant and care for. I will have a weed block down under each bed to keep weeds down. I want to get my children involved in all that I do as much as possible, and SFG fits into this perfectly. SFG allows for companion planting perfectly. Plant companion plants in adjacent squares. It takes much less effort to plan and keep records. I made a 4 x 4 table in just a few minutes in word. It is available to you as an PDF click here.

Square-foot Gardening

Square-foot Gardening

I also like SFG because is real crisp and clean looking. Maybe it’s the computer geek in me, but I don’t like clutter. It’s still all organic. No pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Here is an example of spacing for plants.

Recommended Number of Plants per Square Foot
•Asparagus: 1
•Bean, Bush: 9
•Bean, Pole: 8
•Beet, Large: 9
•Beet, Small: 16
•Broccoli: 1
•Cabbage: 1
•Carrot: 16
•Cauliflower: 1
•Chard, Swiss: 4
•Corn: 4
•Cucumber: 2
•Eggplant: 1
•Lettuce: 4
•Melon: 1 per 2 sf
•Okra: 1
•Onion: 16
•Pea, Sugar Snap: 8
•Pepper: 1
•Potato: 4
•Radish: 16
•Spinach: 9
•Strawberry: 4
•Summer Squash (bush): 1 per 9 sf
•Summer Squash (vine): 1 per 2 sf
•Winter Squash: 1 per 2 sf
•Tomato (bush): 1 per 9 sf
•Tomato (vine): 1

I hope to have pictures of when I complete the first bed and get it planted for fall.

Here is a small guide on SFG. Click here.

Please give me your thoughts by commenting or hit me up on Twitter @freedomfarmtv

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One thought on “Square-foot Gardening.

  1. Pingback: Square-foot Gardening. | freedomfarmtv | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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