Square Foot Gardening?
Thanks for this we need more advice on gardening. I would really appreciate some help! Cannot seem to get my vegetable seeds to start growing?
Welcome forrester –
Here are some established threads on gardening you might find helpful.
We need a little more info to help you with your problem.
What are you trying to grow? Where do you live/what growing zone are you in? Are you using heirloom seeds? etc……
There is a ton of knowledge floating around the site – keep on asking and your questions will get answered.
http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=NJ17Z&m=1f.hQhGa0Eg3dL&b=GkZkFUkOQYXwGb3bHPz_ZQ starting spring garden on the survivalistpodcast . After listening to this podcast I need to clear the calender and get busy !!
Good news in our county is that they are having classes ,open to the public, on growing our own food, expanding our farmers markets ,wine making , and wind energy . It all makes the County paper and people even write in about how they appreciate knowing where their food comes from . Sure we are a tiny little corner of the world but we like it that way .
Not sure I will get into selling anything just because of BIG BROTHER politics ….. but some are really making a go of it . It also helps that we have several small Locker plants and everyone supports them to keep IBP afar off . Today I was asked to raise and butcher chickens , heirloom corn and such …. I just do not want to jump through hoops or get anyone snooping around here. We quit taking animals to the fair because you have to register and have them blood tested . Even the goats or sheep had to be tested for something called scrapies . All this is to protect each others prized products I am sure .
Opps, back to the SFG time is a wasting .
So I have a question for all you SFG vets — how do you factor in intercropping/companion/succession planting into your crop rotation schedules? I know that you need to rotate each family every year so you aren’t planting on top, but what if you’ve planted another family in that same area as well?
- In Bed 1, I plant Cabbage (Brassicaceae) interplanted with Onions (Alliaceae).
- In Bed 2, I plant Spinach (Amaranthaceae) interplanted with Tomatoes (Solanaceae).
- In Bed 3, I plant Beets (Amaranthaceae), succession planted with Carrots (Apiaceae)
- In Bed 4, I plant Broccoli (Brassicaceae) interplanted with Lettuce (Asteraceae)
- In Bed 5, I plant Peas (Leguminosae) interplanted with Cucumbers (Cucurbitaceae)
- In Bed 6, I plant Corn (Poaceae) succession planted with Endive (Asteraceae)
- In Bed 7, I plant Potatoes (Solanaceae)
- In Bed 8, I plant Sunflowers (Asteraceae)
- In Bed 9, I plant Herbs (mostly Lamiaceae & Apiaceae) but some Chives (Alliaceae) and Tarragon (Asteraceae) as well
Now, when I go to rotate these Bed 1 can’t go to Bed 4 (Brassicaceae), Bed 2 can’t go to Bed 3 (Amaranthaceae), Bed 4, Bed 6 & Bed 8 can’t go switch (Asteraceae), Bed 2 can’t go to Bed 7 (Solanaceae)…. see my issues? And lets not even get into the matter of perrenials and bienniels hosing up the rotation.
Are there some families that don’t have as much issue with being planted where another of their family has just been? I know you really want to be careful the Solanaceae & Brassicaceae, etc… but are Asteraceae & Apiaceae less picky?
So here we are 5 weeks into the growing season (more or less depending on where you live).
Has anyone seen any sign of Early Blight on their tomatoes. We had a couple of spotty Golden Boy plants that may or may not have had blight, I went high order conservative and pulled them and then nuked the whole place with copper fungicide and everything looks great.
Gearing up for all out guerilla warfare with the squash bugs on my squash, zukes and cukes.
Dual posted into the Ag/Perm thread……..
I’ve been a sucessful SF gardener in the past. My disability due to needing the hip replacement I just underwent last Friday has slowed things WAY the heck down for the ambitious SFG I had planned for my new home. We have the boxes, we have the seeds, we have Mel’s Mix. I just don’t have mobility and my husband does not have much time. Early crops for the Deep South will have to wait until next year. So far we have tomatoes, onions, and sweet potaotes in the boxes. Other than some fruit bushes and trees, the rest is in seed packets and it’s frustrating!
We had a vacation planned for next weekend. It’s a no-go due to my recovery from surgery, but I will hobble out there and direct what little he can get done in four days.
Oh, and Mr Geek Tech (who’s been bit hard by the gardening bug!) tells me our seed tomato plants are uniformly yellowish green. I’d prefer to go organic but Miracle Grow, here I come.
What I think you guys are disregarding is how valuable a topsoil screener could be in this situation. You clearly want to make this as compact as possible, and if all of the topsoil is screened and made extremely fine, than you will save a ton of space on your square foot garden. Just a thought!
OK – I’m planning to build my SFG up on a platform… 1) my knees aren’t what they used to be, 2) my yard is a bog all spring, and 3) there’s no topsoil here anyway. So, if I build boxes, how deep should I make them? I figure lettuces and radishes would grow fine in 6″ of soil mix, but carrots and turnips would probably need 12″ (unless I got stumpies). Since you succession plant, would that mean I should make all the boxes 12″ deep? Do you think that haing the bottoms exposed would make them freeze harder in the winter or warm up faster come spring (remember it gets -40 here for at least a month in the winter).
We started with 6″ deep boxes and next year we are building up some of them, not all of them, to 12″. Certain crops will therefore not do as well this year–like sweet potatoes, red potatoes, peanuts–but we got our garden in late due tpo my hip replacement. I’ll let you know what did well in 6 inches of soil.
And yes, our carrots are stubbies.
Can’t vouch for sweet potatoes or peanuts (they don’t like it up here), but I know that you can add a frame around your potato squares and keep building them up into a “high rise” rather than making the bed deeper. One of our neighbors did this and made one side of the frame removable so he can harvest the fingerlings from the bottom without waiting or digging up the whole plant. So maybe I can get away with 6″ beds and just add frames for things that need 12″ of soil… easier on the wallet that way!
Read on the permaculture thread that your soybeans weren’t happy… is it the temps or the soil, do ya think? We were planning to try out edamame, but I can’t find diddly about the best conditions for soy.
Trying to plan out the garden beds and getting stumped trying to convert the row spacings provided on the seed packets and catalogs to SFG spacing for things he didn’t list in the book. If your instructions say to plant in 18″ rows and thin to 6″…. is the final SFG spacing 18″, 6″ or 12″ (the average of the two)?
Potatoes, I found, were one per square… but what about asparagus? Is it even reasonable to grow asparagus in SFG since it’s a perrenial? Can you plant any of the alliums with the same spacing as onions? Do all herbs use the parsley spacing? Do you plant arugula with leaf lettuce spacing or head lettuce spacing? Do you plant turnips and parsnips using the beet spacing?
I really like the SFG method, especially since I need raised beds to grow anything up here anyway and I hate to waste seeds with row planting and thinning… just wish there was more information about more crops, or at least a formula for determining proper spacing from row instructions.