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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Square Foot Gardening - How Many Plants Per Square?

Is there a trick to figuring out how many plants to plant per square foot?

Alphabetical Order

  • Basil: 1/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Beans: bush-type 9/sqft; pole-type 8/sqft
  • Beets: 16/sqft 
  • Broccoli: 1/sqft 
  • Cabbage: 1/sqft 
  • Carrots: 16/sqft 
  • Cauliflower: 1/sqft 
  • Celery: 4/sqft (6") (according to sqft reader Doreen Howard) 
  • Chard(Swiss): 4/sqft 
  • Corn: 1/sqft (revised in 2/96 OG to 4/sqft) 
  • Cucumbers: 2/sqft in a row of 4 sqft (6" apart along middle of sqft row) 
  • Daffodils: 36/sqft 
  • Eggplant: 1/sqft 
  • Garlic: 4/sqft (6") (according to several sqft readers. Some say 9/sqft (4")) 
  • Leeks: 9/sqft (see special technique in 2/96 OG
  • Lettuce: 4/sqft 
  • Marjoram: 4/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Muskmelons: 1/sqft (grow in row of 4 squares, on trellis) 
  • Okra: 1-2/sqft (according to reader Sandra Walters) 
  • Onions: 16/sqft 
  • Oregano: 1/4sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Parsley: 4/sqft 
  • Peas: 8/sqft (grow in row of 4 squares on trellis, see special grid
  • Peppers: 1/sqft 
  • Potatoes: 1/sqft (see special technique in 2/96 OG
  • Radishes: 16/sqft 
  • Savory: 1/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Scallions: 36/sqft (2") (see special technique in 2/96 OG
  • Spinach: 9/sqft 
  • Squash, Summer: vine-type 3/4sqft (see special grid); bush-type 1/3sqft (see special grid) (see also Zucchini's revised spacing) 
  • Squash, Winter: 1/2sqft (see special grid
  • Sweet Potatoes: 2/sqft (according to sqft reader John Webster
  • Thyme: 4/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Tomatoes: bush-type: 4/4sqft (see special grid); vine-type 1/sqft (in row of 4 on trellis) 
  • Watermelon: bush-type 1/sqft; vine-type 1/2sqft - both kinds along trellis 
  • Zucchini: 1/sqft (Mel from 2/96 OG)

Grid Order

1 Plant per square foot

  • Basil: 1/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Broccoli: 1/sqft 
  • Cabbage: 1/sqft 
  • Cauliflower: 1/sqft 
  • Eggplant: 1/sqft 
  • Muskmelons: 1/sqft (grow in row of 4 squares, on trellis)
  • Okra: 1-2/sqft (according to reader Sandra Walters) 
  • Peppers: 1/sqft 
  • Potatoes: 1/sqft (see special technique in 2/96 OG)
  • Savory: 1/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Watermelon: bush-type 1/sqft; vine-type 1/2sqft - both kinds along trellis 
  • Zucchini: 1/sqft (Mel from 2/96 OG)

4 Plants per square foot

  • Celery: 4/sqft (6") (according to sqft reader Doreen Howard) 
  • Chard(Swiss): 4/sqft 
  • Garlic: 4/sqft (6") (according to several sqft readers. Some say 9/sqft (4")) 
  • Lettuce: 4/sqft 
  • Marjoram: 4/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Oregano: 4/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 
  • Parsley: 4/sqft 
  • Thyme: 4/sqft (according to sqft reader Kevin M. Wilson) 

9 Plants per square foot

  • Beans: bush-type 9/sqft; pole-type 8/sqft
  • Leeks: 9/sqft (see special technique in 2/96 OG
  • Spinach: 9/sqft 

16 Plants per square foot

  • Beets: 16/sqft 
  • Carrots: 16/sqft 
  • Radishes: 16/sqft 
  • Onions: 16/sqft 

36 Plants per square foot

  • Daffodils: 36/sqft 
  • Scallions: 36/sqft (2") (see special technique in 2/96 OG

Special alignments

  • Corn: 1/sqft (revised in 2/96 OG to 4/sqft) 
  • Cucumbers: 2/sqft in a row of 4 sqft (6" apart along middle of sqft row) 
  • Peas: 8/sqft (grow in row of 4 squares on trellis, see special grid
  • Squash, Summer: vine-type 3/4sqft (see special grid); bush-type 1/3sqft (see special grid) (see also Zucchini's revised spacing) 
  • Squash, Winter: 1/2sqft (see special grid
  • Sweet Potatoes: 2/sqft (according to sqft reader John Webster
  • Tomatoes: bush-type: 4/4sqft (see special grid); vine-type 1/sqft (in row of 4 on trellis) 
To see the special alignments check out the credit page:

Want to learn more about gardening? My Green Thumb store is the place to find that information.
Let me know if you found this information helpful and write a comment.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to Make Simple Square Foot Gardening Templates

backside of template with holes drilled
I am just about ready to start planting my square foot garden. Until now I have used string and sticks to mark things, but then I got an idea of how I could easily make some templates from old plastic election signs. The material was easy to cut with a knife and a permanent marker would help with the design.

At first I thought that I would need a whole bunch of templates, but as I got going I realized that I could actually get away with only 2 templates.


  • First cut 2 12x12 inch pieces from the plastic signs
  • Draw a grid: 
    • template 1: 3 rows and 3 columns
    • template 2: 4 rows and 4 columns
  • Mark the center of each square of the grid by drawing diagonal lines
  • Use the electric drill and a ½" drill bit and drill a hole at each center point.

Template 1


Template 1

  • Grid of 3 row and 3 columns (9 plants - holes circled in blue)
  • This can also be used for 1 plant per square foot (hole circled in black and then blue)





Template 2

Template 2
  • This one is truly a multi-use template
  • Grid 4 rows and 4 columns (16 plants - holes circled in blue)
  • Grid 2 rows and 2 columns (4 plants - holes circled in black)
  • This can also be used for 1 plant per square foot (hole circled in black and then blue)


  • I also created a template with just strips from the plastic sign.
  •  I used gardening wire to attache the strips to each other. On the back picture I twisted the wires together and tucked the ends underneath.
  • This template can be used the same way as template 2.
front
back

Let me know if you found this information helpful and write a comment.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Where To Find Appliance Replacements Parts?

The knobs on my dryer started to break shortly after I got it. I was not very impressed to say the least. The bigger problem was that I could not find any replacement knobs.

The first thing I did is move a good knob to the broken place which, of course, was the on off switch.

knob missing and mismatched knob

Now where you go looking for appliance replacement parts? I tried a local store and even they did not have the exact one. I got one that fit on the piece sticking out of the dryer console. Who knew that not all knobs are identical. As you can see in the picture above a second knob failed and that function is now permanently set to the on position.


Last weekend while looking for something else at Home Depot, I asked about knobs and a very helpful gentleman told me that I should try their Parts & Accessories department and handed me a business card with toll-free phone number. This is the phone number for Canada, I don't know if it will work in the US.

I ordered 2 new knobs on a Monday afternoon and on Tuesday lunchtime they arrived. I was impressed.

Now all I had to do was take a picture of my current knob situation and then put one of the new knobs on the empty spot and replace the mismatched one with one of the new knobs and take another picture.

Now my dryer looks like new and works like new.
all matching knobs that work

Friday, May 3, 2013

Why You Should Rotate Your Crop


Why would you practice crop rotation for your vegetables? This is what Wikipedia says about it:

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar/different types of crops in the same area in sequential seasons.
Crop rotation gives various benefits to the soil. A traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops. Crop rotation also mitigates the build-up of pathogens and pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped, and can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants.
I came across this image at a New Zealand site that explains it quite well.

Every year you rotate between root and bulb, fruit and seed and leaf and stem vegetables. Here is a list of which vegetables belong to each group.

Root & Bulb 


  • carrots
  • parsnip
  • potatoes
  • beetroot
  • kohl rabi
  • radishes
  • onions
  • leek
  • garlic

Fruit & Seed


  • peas
  • beans
  • tomatoes
  • capsicum
  • sweet corn
  • eggplant
  • pepper
  • cucumber
  • endive
  • courgette - zucchini

Leaf & Stem


  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • celery
  • lettuce
  • silver beet
  • spinach
  • brussels sprouts

Long-term crops such as asparagus and rhubarb are grown outside the rotation.

This works quite well with square foot gardening. Just draw a diagram of what you planted where and then rotate from year to year.