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Square Foot Gardening (YT Vid)

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Square Foot Gardening

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,340
    Somebody bought me this book for Christmas a few years ago. But I am afraid I just couldn’t see the point. 😕 I understand that you might be short of space and that you might want to grow a variety of things. But I just don’t grasp the concept of constraining yourself and your crops with 12” square shaped boxes.🧐

    The idea has been around for at least 20 years, according to books that are available on the secondhand market, so it must continue to pique interest and curiosity from people, though whether they do go on to garden in this way for more than one season or not, I don’t know.


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 69,189
    I think it’s a practice that appeals to some folk who like systems and rules. 

    Most gardeners who come across the book/videos etc may take bits of information from them but then move on to more flexible gardening styles. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • I love it. We have a large garden and the less room I use for veg the more room I have for the flowers! And shopping for more flowers....
     :D 

    And I am a lazy gardener preferring not to follow too many rules so I don’t see it as restrictive. You just jam the stuff in each square (so 1 tomato or chilli or potato etc per sq) and run with it. Seems to work and less weeding! I did 3 beds with this method one time and got loads of crops. Been using it for 4 years.

    Particularly worked well for tomatoes and cucs as you can add canes for the height.

    I’m doing it again this year although probably reworking what to plant outside v in as I have a greenhouse now, woo hoo! 




  • I dont actually see it as restrictive, you can adapt it to please your style and your space, I have a large allotment and I'm going to try several different styles this year, (Traditional, No-Dig and Square Foot Gardening)

    I also believe that SFG can help with planning the space in the greenhouse/polytunnel

    If there are any other videos you would like to see on the channel, please let me know
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,340
    I still don’t understand the logic in packing square blocks together.

    Firstly the mixed plants, as the different species grow will, being fixed in position, shade each other as some get taller and as the sun moves around.

    Secondly, extracting, say, a carrot from an inner square is cumbersome when you have to reach over several other squares to approach the root.

    Thirdly, watering a fixed block of plants that may not all need watering equally or at the same time seems unnecessarily awkward. 

    A hexagonal pot with sides of only 7.5” gives the same square footage but has the advantage of being moveable. It can be watered away from other pots, it can be moved into or out of the sun, it can be repositioned as the plants in it grow taller than plants in other pots. A hexagonal pot, like a honeycomb cell, fits neatly with its neighbour, with no gaps between it and the next pot.

    I have had a group of hexagonal plastic pots for about ten years now. They have never had to be maintained, they are easily emptied of spent soil and washed out at the season’s end, and they can be stacked in the greenhouse out of the way in winter.

    Sorry, but I’m still not convinced that square foot gardening has anything to offer a garden that a set of moveable, cleanable hexagonal pots cannot provide.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • pansyface said:
    I still don’t understand the logic in packing square blocks together.

    Firstly the mixed plants, as the different species grow will, being fixed in position, shade each other as some get taller and as the sun moves around.

    Secondly, extracting, say, a carrot from an inner square is cumbersome when you have to reach over several other squares to approach the root.

    That's the reasoning behind planting the taller plants on the north side of the bed, and the shorter plants to the south so nothing is shaded, so carrots or radishes would be in an outer southern square so they are easier to harvest and they don't get shaded by taller plants

    I can see the attraction of being able to move the pots you mention too, but this technique can help if you have a small garden where a fixed bed or beds would suit it better

    I think many people are putting roadblocks in the way, where they don't need to be

    If it's not for you i get that but if you haven't tried it, don't knock it

    It is a legitimate gardening technique, that people have had success with 
  • I love it. We have a large garden and the less room I use for veg the more room I have for the flowers! And shopping for more flowers....
     :D 

    And I am a lazy gardener preferring not to follow too many rules so I don’t see it as restrictive. You just jam the stuff in each square (so 1 tomato or chilli or potato etc per sq) and run with it. Seems to work and less weeding! I did 3 beds with this method one time and got loads of crops. Been using it for 4 years.

    Particularly worked well for tomatoes and cucs as you can add canes for the height.

    I’m doing it again this year although probably reworking what to plant outside v in as I have a greenhouse now, woo hoo! 




    I am going to be trying it outside and in the greenhouse and polytunnel, along with traditional & no-dig
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 18,340
    I don't doubt for a moment that it’s a legitimate gardening technique. Double digging is a legitimate gardening technique. There are ways of doing things that are accepted but are not necessarily the most efficient.

    I shall stick to efficiency. Thanks. 🙂
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • pansyface said:
    I don't doubt for a moment that it’s a legitimate gardening technique. Double digging is a legitimate gardening technique. There are ways of doing things that are accepted but are not necessarily the most efficient.

    I shall stick to efficiency. Thanks. 🙂
    Ok fair enough, you do what is best for you, I'm just trying to educate people on the different types of gardening out there, I will be doing other videos too
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 4,696
    I have looked at this system before, but concluded the restrictions outweighed the benefits, which, tbh, I struggled to find. Some plants, like sweetcorn, need to be planted in a block to ensure wind pollination, others like peas are easier to pick if in rows, some are too large for a square foot, like courgettes or broccoli. Some veg inhibit the growth of others so need to be kept well apart, digging up a potato plant in one square without disturbing the roots of the next plant would be tricky. Plant roots don’t respect grid boundaries. Planting in a diamond pattern is proved to be the most efficient rather than squares. Managing rotation and companion planting with this system, no idea! whatever works for you, though  :)
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