Some of you may remember my failed attempt at a successful garden from last year. This year I am aiming sites on a good harvest and a better experience all around. This year I am trying out true square foot gardening as outlined in the book All New Square Foot Gardening ($11.69 Amazon). Using the book as a guideline it helps to not only properly space your plants but learn more about how the plants grow and how to use that to your advantage.
Using square foot gardening the general idea is to divide your planting beds into 1sq ft blocks. Within each created block you plant a specific vegetable for flower you are interested in growing. I personally found this method of planting beds to make a lot more sense than the traditional row planting methods. Especially when you are utilizing raised box beds like mine. The book outlines how many of each plant you can comfortably fit in each square foot area so you are certain not to overcrowd your plants. Using these guidelines I created the following layouts for my two 4’X8′ planting beds.
As you can tell from my layouts I still have quite a bit of unused sq ft in the right side bed. I am thinking about adding some bell pepper to mix and maybe trying my hand at canning banana peppers again. I am still not quite sure. The emphasis is obviously on green beans. They are one the most consumed vegetables in my house and I would love to be able to can/freeze my own. The plants in the back of the beds (Green Beans, Cucumber, and Cantaloupe) will all be trained to go up a nylon net trellis. The trellis is going to be tied to the galvanized pipe supports you see in the real life photo below. This will allow me to maximize the room I have to grow while not taking up a lot room in the bed itself. Here are the gardens as they look today, I couldn’t find the lath that the book wanted me to use to divide my boxes, instead I just used some garden twine.
In addition to my two beds I have two Blueberry bushes, a blackberry bush, a thicket of wild blackberry, a single raspberry twig, and two peach trees. I still have yet to receive a single peach from my peach trees, they always fall prey to some tiny worms that eat their way out it seems like. I would like to see a sweet cherry tree added to the mix but it will probably not come until the fall, there is also a distinct possibility for another blueberry bush. I am a sucker for blueberries. As I did last year I will try to provide a monthly update on my gardening progress and hopeful success.
Have you tried out square foot gardening? Tell me how it worked for you.