This year will mark my third season with a fall Square Foot Garden and I'm seriously contemplating scrapping the method...or at least semi scrapping the method. Do I believe certain things can grow well in less space than advocated by traditional row methods? Yes. Do I buy into all of the SFG planting spacing? No, and as a matter of fact, I think most of us who would say we practice SFGardening would say we use a modified spacing at best.
I generally find my yield is either lower as with beans or the size of the plants shades out others as with broccoli or regular sized cabbage, whereas peppers, eggplant, zucchini and okra seem to do relatively well with the SFG spacings allotted to them.
Take lettuce for instance. SFG says it can go four plants per square. It can, and it does grow relatively well if you want to harvest the leaves individually, but they don't make decent heads in that spacing. I've taken my lettuce for the fall and planted it one per sqft in this picture below, but this is obviously too much space.
The answer lies somewhere in the middle, but this was all I had to plant at the moment, so one per sqft worked out well. I'll be interested to see the difference in the yield from the spring where I planted two per sqft in alternating corners. That spacing seemed to work out very well.
So, am I abandoning SFG? No, not necessarily. I like neat rows and the grid lines fuel my neurosis, but will I space things out a bit more? Certainly. It's going to eventually turn out to be a bit more of a modified SFG, but the concept is still the same.
I'm wondering if the SFG as depicted is for the "perfect" garden with the perfect soil, sun, and temperatures, which in reality, not many of us have.
I do, however, love, love, love my raised beds. Never will I give those up or go to a different method ever, ever again. They're incredibly easy to maintain and so free of weeds and critters and mess, it's wonderful. The fall is only just starting and already I'm getting anxious for next spring!
Now, my question is how do I amend my beds to make sure to get that calcium back in the tomato beds so they don't get BER again. Towards the end of the season, there was no saving a single one and they HAVE to go back in the same bed. Compost alone doesn't seem like it will do the trick. Is there anything else I can add to make sure I give them what they need before the plants exhibit the signs of BER next year? I've never seemed to be able to stop it once it starts.
The morning comes early....except for Erin whose kids catch the bus in full daylight. Our school starts at 7:10. Sunrise here tomorrow, not full daylight mind you, isn't for another 10 minutes. Sweet gardening dreams.
January 27, 2015 - Family update
2 years ago