Laura’s Square Foot Gardening Plan
- Gardening Year: 2013
- Location: Jonesborough TN
- Planting by Color: Yellow
Hi all, my name is Laura and I’m a 30-year old Costa Rican living in Jonesborough TN with my husband. We’ve never done any gardening, and are excited to start. Please help, I made up my gardening plan to see how it looks. We’ve decided to start simple using four 4×4 beds. Thanks for any advice! 🙂
If you’re just starting out I’d recommend checking Garden In Minutes. They make raised garden kits and a watering grid. I don’t have any tools to build my own so this made the job a lot easier. Good luck with everything, hope this helps!
Hi All!!! Thanks for all the suggestions, i will make the changes and post more pics! 🙂
The only thing I’d add to the other suggestions is to consider “blocking” your corn squares (2 and 2) instead of putting all four squares next to each other. I think you’ll improve your chances of good wind pollination that way. 🙂
And definitely consider moving the asparagus into its own bed. Asparagus should be considered perennials — you don’t harvest from them for the first 2-3 years, but after that, they can be harvested for decades! Plus they spread underground and would eventually take over your entire bed anyway. (We have a whole 4’x8′ bed dedicated to ours.)
Good luck with your garden! I use 4’x4′ beds for everything, too (except the asparagus), and love them. They’re so easy to plant and harvest. 🙂
Hi Laura, I like Elizabeth’s plan of putting a tomato square next to a cucumber square next to a cantalope square in the back rows. I’d rethink the corn – it doesn’t produce a lot of bang for the space it requires and it’s wind polinated, so if you’re going to grow it you should really use a whole 4×4 box (it’s not worth it in my opinion). I’d add more garlic and onions in their place – yes, they’re both inexpensive at the store, but nothing tastes better than home grown. Instead of spinach, I’d recommend kale or collards (I’ve had great success with Georgia Collards down here in S. Florida) – it tastes similar when cooked and is higher in nutrients.
Get plants for the celery – it’s a major pain to start from seed. I like where you’ve placed your asparagus as the ferns get really tall so you want them towards the north side of the bed. Be prepared for it to eventually take over.
As for the herbs, I’d stick with pots. Even then, mint can escape. I had mine in a grow box (www.agardenpatch.com) next to one of my 4×8 beds last year and now it’s growing along the path by the bed. I decided to let it be as it smells good when we walk on it. 🙂
Gardening is addictive! You’re going to love it, just be prepared for successes and failures. I’ve tried lettuce for two years in a row now and haven’t been happy with either harvest. However, I can grow kale and collards like crazy. Next year, no lettuce or spinach for me – just collards and kale for greens!
Hi Laura, you’re garden looks so pretty in the plans. May I suggest that you rearrange the squares a little so you don’t plant the same things next to each other that way if you get a pest or powdery mildew it might not spread to similar plants. Mt other suggestion is to move the cantaloupe to the north side be cause you probably want to trellis it and then it won’t shade the rest of your stuff. Good luck Maria
Oregano, like mint, spreads like crazy. It will crowd out lots of other plants. I recommend either keeping it in pots or planting it in an area where you don’t mind it spreading. Perhaps 1 box as a perennial herb garden for all the herbs that self-sow and don’t need lots of tending. I planted oregano in 1 square of a 4×4 box 3 years ago and it now covers half the box!
I do agree with what Elizabeth has said..and also want to add that asparagus is something that you’re not going to replant every year..and it will take over the area to a degree. You won’t really get anything from it until the second or even third year, so make sure you have a spot that you won’t want to use for something else in the following years. Also..use trellises anywhere you can. I grew cantaloupe on a trellis last year and had amazing results. I used panty hose to support them as they got bigger…just creating a “basket” to hold them. You’ll get nice straight cucumbers if you have then on a nice tall trellis, too…even if you can have them going up and over a space between two beds so they don’t shadow anything. Lettuce grows well under cucumbers because of the nice shade…just a thought. A lot of people swear by trellising tomatoes..but I have never been diligent about it. I let mine do what they want. But by not trellising…each plant should have 4 squares…so keep that in mind, too.
You’re going to have a lotta produce come out of your space! As soon as I started square foot gardening .. I couldn’t understand why anyone does the traditional row method! Happy gardening!
Laura – You are smart to start out with only 4 beds. You are going to have a lot of produce! You can scale your cucumbers back to 2 per square. Your cantelopes really should be in the back so the vines can grow up a trellis. They do very well on a trellis. If your pepper plants are exactly the same, they can be close together. If not, you need to spread them out or they will cross breed and you will have “frankenpeppers”. Also, you might consider not planting the same kind of plants near each other. Spread them around to different beds. Getting out of the traditional “row” mentality is hard for new square foot gardeners. Doing this serves many purposes: 1) It makes it harder for bugs to find them. 2) It reduces the spread of disease. If a fungus or disease gets on one plant, it will quickly spread to the others if they are close by. 3) it gives them room to grow and breathe. Your tomato plants will be bigger than you think. Consider putting a tomato square next to a cucumber square next to a cantelope square in the back rows.