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: