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Testing limits of 1 square foot.

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Testing limits of 1 square foot.

Post  jimmy cee on 5/25/2015, 11:34 pm

I have so much confidence in my compost that I am putting it to the test...
4 pepper plants and 8 onions in 1 square foot.
Before starting with SFG I had an 8 gallon conatiner, planted 4 pepper plants and they did wonderful, that is until the deer got them.
At that time I had no compost, was using those chemical granules for fertilizer.
A farmer once told me pepper plants like to be touching each other..well these will be very soon..
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Re: Testing limits of 1 square foot.

Post  Kelejan on 5/25/2015, 11:47 pm

Watching with interest, jimmy cee. hungry
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I do this too

Post  Razed Bed on 5/26/2015, 10:34 am

We have tested as well.  With enough water and nutrition, you can plant more in a square than you are supposed to do.

I got the idea with lettuce, because our lettuce kept having to compete with weeds that popped up.  So, we grow about 12-14 romaine lettuce plants in a 2 foot by 1 foot by 1 foot planter using Mel's Mix with Azomite, and Sea Minerals.  Our compost is supercharged with alfalfa, kelp, fish hydrolysate, humus from the woods, brewer's yeast, liquid aminos, and other goodies.  Our mesclun boxes have more plants than we can count.  I just broadcast the seeds all over the boxes and let them make a thick carpet of mixed lettuces, arugula, kale, etc.  We go out in the morning and carefully snip away parts of the mesclun and romaine and have greens for our lunch.  The two of us pick from the planters 3-4 times a week and never run out.

Look at it this way:  if you plant 4 pepper plants in one square, each plant may not grow to 100% of its potential, but the 4 plants might grow to 50% of their potential, which means you will get 200% of the pepper plant per square foot.  Since many veggies taste better when they are on the smaller side and lose flavor when they get too big, it might even be better if your peppers stay 75% of their size??? 

This does not work with squash plants.  The plants continue to expand, and the squash/zucchini still grow and grow.

The easiest vegetable to grow well past its space limitation is corn.  I figured this out when I saw a flourishing cornfield with about 6 corn per sf of row.  The last year I grew corn, we had over 100 plants in a 20x2 section.  The corn was just fine and super delicious, and we even had a few ears to ourselves after the raccoons had first dibs.

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Re: Testing limits of 1 square foot.

Post  jimmy cee on 5/26/2015, 10:50 am

Razed Bed
Interesting info, thanks
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Re: Testing limits of 1 square foot.

Post  vortex on 5/26/2015, 12:41 pm

@Razed Bed wrote:The easiest vegetable to grow well past its space limitation is corn.  I figured this out when I saw a flourishing cornfield with about 6 corn per sf of row.  The last year I grew corn, we had over 100 plants in a 20x2 section.  The corn was just fine and super delicious, and we even had a few ears to ourselves after the raccoons had first dibs.

This is quite interesting. I'm playing around with corn a little bit this year. 2 corn and 2 bush beans per square. Top right and bottom left quarters of the square are corn, other 2 are beans. Makes for 32 corn, and 16 beans. (No beans in the middle two rows of squares.

Thinking of filling in the 2 open quarted in the middle two rows of sqaures with corn.
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Re: Testing limits of 1 square foot.

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/27/2015, 9:38 am

We did 4 corn/square last year.  I think it would have been fine if we had had enough MM & nutrients in there...

Jimmy - how far down do your jars go?  Are they just to keep out critters?  Do you take them off at some point?
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Re: Testing limits of 1 square foot.

Post  nosmok on 5/27/2015, 8:19 pm

The smaller the seed the harder it is to plant the recommended number per square foot.  I just spread the seeds around, particularly lettuce as mentioned above.  I'll cull the baby plants, some wont germinate and my heavily composted soil seems to support the rest.
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