Planting your square foot garden can be daunting. It’s a whole new method of gardening, and you have to adjust your way of thinking. This post will give you a starting point for planting your square foot garden.
Each plant can be categorized according to size: small, medium, large, and extra large. Each of those sizes corresponds to the number of plants in each square foot.
Small (16 plants per square foot):
Medium (8 or 9 plants per square foot):
beans (pole and bush)
Large (4 per square foot):
Extra Large (1 per square foot):
cucumber (2 per sq ft)
Other (requires more than one square foot per plant):
melon – 1 per 2 sq ft
summer squash – 1 per 9 sq ft (bush) or 1 per 2 sq ft (vine)
winter squash – 1 per 2 sq ft (vine)
tomato – 1 per 9 sq ft (bush)
Given those parameters, I fill out my sketch roughly of what I want, where. I like to plan it out that way so that I can visualize in my head where things are going to be. I have a companion planting chart ready to reference as I plot and plan.
When it comes time to actually plant, I know that certain things can only be planted after the last frost date, and others can go in the ground as soon as the soil is workable.
Very Early Spring Plants (4-6 weeks before last frost)
Early Spring (2-4 weeks before last frost)
Spring (on day of last frost)
bean (bush and pole)
Knowing the dates of when to put my veggies in the ground gives me a good timeline to follow. I know when I need all of my seeds, when to pick up tomato seedlings, and when it is time for those seeds to get in the ground — everything else takes a back seat!
It’s top priority for me to follow the schedule and get things growing, because I have a very short growing season.
These are guidelines. It takes trial and error to learn how and when to plant your garden. The beauty of a square foot garden is that you don’t have to plant everything at once. This allows you to get multiple harvests of certain plants. I leave some squares empty for this purpose and plant more spinach, peas, carrots, etc. as the first crop begins to grow.
One thing that has frustrated me up until this point with gardening is that you only have one shot and then have to wait an entire year to try again! I won’t give up gardening, so I get over it. Each year I resolve to try something new. This year it is strawberries and growing my cucumbers vertically.
I highly recommend The Square Foot Gardening Book, it is full of great information and it helped me a lot when I got started using this method.
* This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog!