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New square foot gardener

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New square foot gardener

Post  MSJ on 4/3/2011, 1:57 pm

I have planted a garden the last couple of years mostly to keep the weeds down. I am excited to try this method. I would welcome input. Do my plans look right? Does anybody have any idea how much room to allow for the Jack be Little pumpkins?

Children's Garden: Five Senses theme including nasturiums, strawberries and the little pumpkins. Are there some other fun things to plant for the grandkids to watch over?

7 4x4 boxes: imagine boxes around each of these groups

4x4 bed Pumpkins

4x4 bed Squashes

4x4 bed
Jack be Little pumpkins
Gourds climbing
on a tee-pee

4x4 bed
radishes Sweet Peas radishes
canteloupe Spaghetti squash
greens Beets Beets greens
Beans Beans Beans Beans

4x4 bed
peas peas
cucumbers tomato cucumbers
peas peas
Beans Beans Beans beans

4x4 bed
lettuce lettuce
spinach Tomato spinach
greens greens
cilantro peppers peppers parsley

4x4 bed

I tried to plant cooler plants where bigger plants would fill in over the summer.

I am also planting a mini herb garden in a big pot with chives, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme and sage. I think I saw a post that said some of these herbs may not be compatible. Any ideas?

Would like to plant peas soon but we got 6 inches of snow last night. It's April 3 for heaven's sake!


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Re: New square foot gardener

Post  quiltbea on 4/3/2011, 2:32 pm

Did you read Mel's book yet?

I see some of your boxes have peas on first and also third lines.

It would help if you would list the crops with the ones on the northside at the top, ie:

peas peas peas pole beans
pepper cauliflower broccoli, turnip
pepper eggplant, Swiss chard, cabbage
lettuce carrots leeks cabbage

This way we know what is actually going to be where.

Tall vining crops need to go on the north side where you can trellis them and they won't shade the other crops. That includes tomatoes which can grow over 6 feet tall.

Examples of succession crops:
Fall cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli can follow things like lettuce, early spinach, early turnip, early bush beans

Fall spinach, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, fall carrots, fall greens (Arugula, Radicchio, Claytonia, corn salad, orach), turnip, and bush beans can follow your early broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, peas,

You can stick radishes and leaf lettuce among any of your taller crops in the spring and fall.


Sorry, I can't help you with the Jack Be Little Pumpkins. I don't grow them in my raised beds. Someone else probably has the answer for you.

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Re: New square foot gardener

Post  middlemamma on 4/3/2011, 3:23 pm

I know you are going to love Square Foot Gardening!!

Welcome to the forum!

The kids will LOVE the beans...they grow so fast.

Radishes are a good thing to keep kids interested because from seed to table they are like 3-4 weeks. It helps that instant gratification kids want with a garden. If no one likes them let them stay...they are great fro keeping some pests away. Smile

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Re: New square foot gardener

Post  MSJ on 4/3/2011, 5:45 pm

I did buy the book and have read about half of it. My son-in-law built my grow boxes for me.

I'm just waiting for the weather to stabilize to get chicken wire down (for the gophers) and get started. I will have to cover the beds with netting until plants come up or the covey of quail that stroll through my yard will pick out the seeds and redistribute them. The next pests are the snails that will mow down anything that pops up except weeds.

I have so much room that I am not having my tomatoes or squashes climb.

I can't really plan on the frost being over until the end of May. I was thinking that the greens and peas will be done before the tomatoes get started. Tomatoes will have cages but will probably spread out to nearly fill the north end of the 4x4 box. If not, I will poke some flowers around the edges. I was thinking the same thing about the canteloupes and spaghetti squash. I may plant peas around all of the huge plants. I can easily freeze them if they don't all get eaten as they are picked.

It's all in the planning stages at this point. Every time I look at the plan I tweak it a little. I hope the excitement doesn't die down before I actually plant.


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RE:New sqft gardener

Post  barmstr on 4/3/2011, 7:31 pm

Welcome and happy gardening. I'd get the tomates off the ground as they can get some pretty bad bugs and illnesses.

Also, in Lehi, ut is a blogger who has SQ ft gardens. Her site is called My Squarefoot Garden. Thought you'd like the link. Very informative and lots of pictures.

Good Luck and go vertical.

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Re: New square foot gardener

Post  quiltbea on 4/3/2011, 11:28 pm

MSJ....This is my 3rd spring and the excitement still hasn't slowed down for me.
I love planning and replanning and thinking succession crops and extending into the early winter with a cold frame. Garden thoughts are usually percolating thru my head and I love it all.
Good luck. I'm sure you'll enjoy the experience. Keep us posted on how its going and take pictures. We love pictures.

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Re: New square foot gardener

Post  MSJ on 4/4/2011, 12:08 am


The tomatoes will be in cages and it keeps them up off the ground. I did this last year and they did great but I planted too many varieties too close together. I am only planting one tomato in each 4x4 box and filling in around with cool veggies at the beginning of the summer until the tomatoes spread out.

Thanks for the link to My Squarefoot Garden in Lehi. I found a lot of helpful information for my zone.



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Re: New Square Foot Gardener

Post  jthreadsmith1 on 4/4/2011, 10:39 am

You mentioned using chicken wire for gophers and netting to keep out the birds. I don't have gophers but voles who tunneled through my 2 new sq. ft. gardens last year, birds who eat the seeds and cats who thought those big boxes were such nice, luxurious litter boxes, especially the day after I planted my seeds. This year I hit upon the idea of using aluminum screening (about $7 for a 48"X84" roll at the big box store) and found it works for all 3 issues. To keep the voles out, we stapled it to the bottom of each box (We're now up to 5 boxes-yay!). Then once the early spring veg. seeds were planted, we laid screening an inch or so larger than the size of the boxes over each box and held it down with rocks around the top of the boxes. When the seedlings are up enough for the cats to lose interest and there is no more "birdseed," the screens come off. May not be the solution for everyone but it's working well for us!


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