Square Foot Gardening is an easy to understand method of planting vegetables which splits a gardeners plot into square foot areas rather than into rows. This system is especially good for beginners as it makes plant spacing much easier and also makes more sense for growing in a small space as most beginners do.The idea is each square foot contains a certain amount of each crop depending on the size of the vegetable and how close they can be planted. The original SFG is an excellent concept but we do feel many of the planting distances are too tight to grow really impressive vegetables. Yes, you can grow some acceptable crops at the recommended spacing but if you have seen really healthy and vigourous fruit and vegetables I think you will be a little disappointed. For this reason we have created our own New Square Foot Garden Plans with more room for the plants to grow.
Here are a few reasons why wider spacings are better for your garden:
Healthy crops There is no big mystery here, the more food a plant gets, the bigger it grows. Vegetables which are planted too close together will be stunted as they aren't receiving enough food which makes them more susceptible to attack from pests and disease. Ventilation is also important in keeping disease at bay so very tightly planted crops will suffer more in this regard.
Easier to work A tightly packed garden plan looks great on paper but when you actually have to work on the beds it can be a different story! You will need to perform various weeding, feeding and harvesting tasks throughout the season and giving you and your plants some extra elbow room means you are less likely to damage foliage and fruit.
Shading All plants need light to grow and this is especially true of vegetables as they need to achieve quite rapid growth in a short space of time. This needs to be taken into account when planning your garden but will also be a factor with planting distances. You need open areas between crops to let light through to lower growing crops. Place taller crops on the North side of the bed with the height reducing towards the South so all plants in the bed receive as much light as possible.
Watering & Feed A very intensive garden required a very rich soil but also needs a lot of water to ensure healthy growth. Slackening your plant spacings will make you garden easier to manage and wont require as much effort to water
Our modified Square Foot Garden plans The boffins at Quickcrop have been working night and day on this problem and have come up with an alternative square foot garden system with spacings we are a lot more comfortable with.
We have created a 'Square Foot Garden' section on our site which contains an ever expanding selection of plans to fit our raised bed range but can also be used in any beds providing they can be broken down into square feet.
Our plans still use a standard square foot block but we have either reduced the amount of crop in the block or used multiple blocks for a single crop. The spacing is still pretty intensive so it will be important to feed your soil well (don't worry, we can help with that) but we are confident you will be a lot happier with the yield when it comes to harvest time.
How does it work? We figured when you are creating your plans or choosing a plan from our range that you would want to quickly see how many of each vegetable you would be harvesting from each section. The large number in each square corresponds to the amount of plants in that square with the name of the crop included below.
When you sow or plant your beds simply check the number for the corresponding plant and add according to the planting plan for that number. You can view the planting plans the different numbers by viewing our printable cheat sheet which shows you a diagram of the 8 different possible layouts. Trust me, it's really easy once you get started.
Quickcrop seedling trays Our square foot garden plans all correspond to live seedling trays so you can pick or design the garden you want and go on to order the plants to fill the bed in one click. These 'plug plant' selections are great for beginners as we take care of the tricky germination part while you enjoy the fun part!
View our selection of square foot gardening plans You can view our selection of plans by visiting our Square Foot Gardening page here.
Watch our Square Foot Gardening Video You can watch our first Square Foot Gardening video here. This is our introductory video with more to come as the season progresses. We will be planting our new urban demonstration garden using our SFG method and will keep you posted with seasonal video updates.