Square Foot Gardening in Georgia

I have been gardening for many years now but I distinctly remember my first experience gardening. I always suspected I would enjoy gardening but at that time I had no hands on experience and felt extremely intimidated. I happened across a book called Square Foot Gardening. This one book turned me into a successful gardener that very first growing season!

The premise of the book is that there is a better way to garden than the traditional rows approach. I won’t try to teach all of the concepts of the book in this short post but in a nut shell the system involves dividing your garden into 1 foot wide squares. Each square accommodates a particular number of each kind of vegetable. For example, 1 square can hold 16 carrots OR 4 romaine lettuce plants OR 9 spinach plants OR 1 tomato plant. Click HERE for a chart that lists the spacing for the most common vegetables.

Each time I visit the garden during the growing season I commit to weed and maintain just 3 squares. Also, if I harvest a carrot then I plant a new carrot seed in the same spot where I just removed a carrot. I don’t harvest the whole romaine lettuce head…I just trim off the outermost leaves and it continues to produce week after week. I make sure I purchase indeterminate tomatoes so they also produce all season. You don’t have to understand all of this up front…the point is that the book teaches you everything you need to know to get started and the method is organized, easy to follow, and produces amazing results that provide plentiful harvests over and over again during one growing season.

If you purchase the book, read it, but still have questions feel free to leave a reply on this post and I will do my best to provide you a helpful response.

Here are some random pictures from my first 10 years of square foot gardening in Atlanta, Georgia:

3 thoughts on “Square Foot Gardening in Georgia”

  1. We live west of Atlanta in Douglas County. I am embarking on the journey of square foot gardening. I purchased the book and materials for my first 4’x4′ garden box.

    It’s really hot and according to a chart I got from uga’s site (http://www.caes.uga.edu/topics/sustainag/documents/GOplantingcalendar.pdf and http://www.webgrower.com/regional/pdf/GA_vegplantchart_cir963.pdf) I’m going to plant just cucumber, turnips?, bell peppers? and tomatoes.
    I’m super excited.
    Questions:
    What do you think about the choices I’ve made considering our super hot weather?
    What soil have you had the most success with? Potting or specific for raised beds?
    Our backyard is full sun. Should I move it to a shadier area?

    Finally, to encourage me along the way, I’d like to hope that one day we can plant grapes and/or avocados. Have you tried?

    Thanks!
    Sandra

    1. What do you think about the choices I’ve made considering our super hot weather?
      – I’m not sure about turnips but cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes should all do extremely well with our hot weather

      What soil have you had the most success with? Potting or specific for raised beds?

      – We have had the best luck using the soil formula from the older version of the Square Foot Gardening method: http://amzn.to/2aQtMkJ
      He simplified the soil mixture in the latest edition of the book and I don’t think its as good. However, this year we tried Straw Bale Gardening (SBG) which doesn’t use soil at all and we had our best results yet. We plan to write a post on our experience so check back soon for a time-lapsed video and a summary of our experience with SBG.

      Our backyard is full sun. Should I move it to a shadier area?
      – No, full sun is best for the plants you mentioned. However, they will be really thirsty so I would highly recommend hooking up an automatic watering systems. We just used a soaker hose hooked up to a timer this year and it worked amazingly well. You can order a timer from Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bq19vX

      Finally, to encourage me along the way, I’d like to hope that one day we can plant grapes and/or avocados. Have you tried?
      – We haven’t tried either yet but will probably start Grapes within the next two years and avocados once we have a greenhouse. We have tried blueberries and had huge success! The weather here in North Georgia is perfect and they handle the Georgia clay amazingly well.

      Sorry I didn’t write you back sooner! This year’s prime season is almost over now. Hope you experienced great success this year!

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