If It's Spring, It's Hip to Be Square


Based on the relative success of last year's square foot gardening experiment, I've been at work on this year's sequel.

The 2009 edition will be a beefed up version of last year. I added two more narrow boxes (our space is limited) primarily for salad greens, on either side of the two original boxes. I've also been planting thyme between the boxes as an edible groundcover.

So, what's new for this year?


More greens, as I noted above. I'm planning to devote four of the squares to salad greens: mesclun, a mix of Asian greens, arugula, and frisee. I've started these plants as seeds in trays and will be planting them shortly. In the interim, I thought I would try growing a bunch of spinach plants in their dedicated squares (it's supposed to mature quickly), and then plant out the salad seedlings once the spinach is harvested.

I'm also growing broccoli rabe, fennel, peas, and garlic chives (all of which I did not try last year) along with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and beets. The biggest question mark of all will be cantaloupe, which I am really doing mostly for fun -- after all, I'm only growing one plant. The vine will grow vertically on a trellis and apparently will require some kind of makeshift support crafted from pantyhose so the melons won't tear off and fall down off the vine. Should be interesting.


Here's the contents of the garden at week 4, box by box (left to right):

Box #1 (back to front): Peas, Spinach (mesclun later), Spinach (Asian greens to come later).

Box #2 (back to front, row by row): cucumber, cucumber, cantaloupe; broccoli rabe; broccoli rabe; garlic chives; radishes, radishes, beets.

Box #3 (back to front, row by row): Heirloom tomatoes -- "Old German," "Mr. Stripey," and "Cherokee Purple"; bush beans, swiss chard, fennel; basil, carrots, spinach.

Box #4 (back to front): Pole beans, arugula, frisee.

If you want to follow along, I'll be posting photos to flickr (here are photos from last year). And the flickr square foot gardening group is an excellent resource and source of inspiration.

Finally, a question for all of the experienced vegetable gardners out their: to grow "cut and come" lettuce like mesclun picked as baby leaves, do you simply scatter the seeds (with abandon, ignoring spacing rules)? How many seeds are too many?



Josh- Very inspiring and cool. I've done herbs and tomatoes on my small balcony in Brooklyn, this has me thinking I can do more next year, just go vertical!

I'm not a pro but my Mom is and from what I recall growing up we scattered the lettuce seeds evenly and not "with abandon". Can't give you a guide but my memory tells me it's exactly the same as seasoning a good roast liberally. It's about the same coverage and dispersal. No piles, no blank spots, a nice even layer. I think the width was about 1 1/2". Will double check on the phone with her next chance I get. Good luck!


here's my garden this year


some in pots, some in a concrete planter. 33 days to harvest; I'm gonna be eating salad for weeks!


This is a wonderful site! I’ve been looking for something like this
for a while now!


Thank you for sharing them with us , I think it's worth reading


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