- Gardening year: 2010
- Location: Boise, ID
- Planting By Color: Green
I’ve loved having my readers send me their square foot gardening plans and pictures.
I found your website last night while doing some research on growing a square foot garden. It was so helpful! I found tons of great info. I was hoping you could take a look at what I have planned for this year and give me any feedback. This is my second year growing a garden, and I am hooked! I love it! We have a 4×16 foot garden and a 2×16 foot raspberry patch along a south fence. I didn’t use the SFG technique last year but I am interested in giving it a try.
I have a couple of questions- first is can I really fit everything into my garden that I have planned without it being too crammed? Second, I was thinking about growing some kale where my peas will die out in the fall. I was reading that they can be grown after the frost. (I live near Boise, ID) Have you ever tried it? Third, what is it like to grow potatoes with SFG? It sounds a little complicated. Lastly, do you have any favorite varieties of broccoli, spinach, onions, carrots as I have never grown any of these vegetables.
I have also attached a few of our pictures from last years garden. I went a little crazy with the tomatoes (we had 5). We have built some amazing cages using cement rebar that supports tons of vertical growth. Also is a picture of our pole beans-purple. They are wonderful to eat! and beautiful!
Thanks for any help you can give. I am excited to get started in a few months!
She included these and I think they are fantastic! Here is her garden from last year:
These are the tomato cages she talked about. I’m definitely going to have her send us the plans for these–look how huge the tomatoes grew, and no falling to the ground!
And here are the pole beans:
To answer her questions:
1. Yes, you really can “cram” a ton of veggies into your square foot garden. You have to remember, square foot gardening gets rid of the rows, so you can fit a lot in a small space.
2. Yes, you can grow kale during cold weather! I have never tried it (growing kale), but I looked it up and you want to plant transplants 4-5 weeks before the last fall frost date. So, depending on when you pull up your peas, you may have room for them there. I would guess that you will have room–you can harvest a square or two of potatoes as new potatoes, your onions, carrots, and spinach will all probably be harvested by then.
3. I think growing potatoes with the square foot gardening method is FANTASTIC! Go here to read about how to do it. The only tricky part for you is that potatoes will compete with your root vegetables, so you might reconsider where you plant those.
The way I do it, I remove the soil, plant the potato and when it sprouts, cover it with dirt until it reaches the top of the garden bed. Another option is to build up–plant the potatoes as far down as you can, then build a new layer with 2×10 boards. Add soil as the sprouts grow up.
4. I have liked the Green Goliath broccoli, other than that the varieties I planted are fine–nothing exceptional.
Some general comments
Make sure to use my companion planting tool or chart. A few problems I see with your current layout:
* Carrots, potatoes, and onions are all root vegetables and will compete for space under ground. Consider staggering them with some lettuce or spinach–both grow well next to any vegetable.
* Keep your onions away from your beans and peas. They do not grow well together.
* Broccoli also doesn’t grow well near pole beans. Consider switching those around.
Remember, you don’t have to keep all one type together. If you need to put a barrier between two veggies, use lettuce, carrots, or spinach to space it out. Once you have another plan–look through the companion chart to double check it before planting.
Overall, this looks fantastic! I’m excited to see your progress this year. Please send me your tomato cage instructions, and follow up with photos and feedback at the end of the season. I want to start a Garden Gallery section for pictures.
Updated 4/7/10 Here is Emilee’s revised plan:
Learn how to create your own square foot garden plan.