Square foot gardens are low-maintenance and easy to grow. This means that even if this is your first time gardening, growing plants in a square foot garden will be simple. The following square foot garden planting guide includes instructions on how many plants to plant in each square based on the type of plant.
Plus, if you are a beginner gardener and want to start small, then square foot gardening is the best option for you!
In this blog post, I’m sharing some of the benefits of square foot gardening and have a free printable planting guide (spacing chart) at the bottom of the post. Square foot gardening is a method that has been around for years and has become quite popular!
It takes up less space than traditional gardening methods such as row gardens and it is much easier to manage. The most important part of square foot gardening is planning, so let’s get started!
related: How to Plan Your Square Foot Garden
“And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:11-12
Table of Contents
What is a square foot garden and how does it work?
A square foot garden is often a small garden but it can be as big or little as you want it to be. It consists of any size, shape, and number of containers in one area with plants set inside.
The most common container types are raised beds which are often made from wood. In my backyard, for many years we had 4 x 4 raised beds that I planted my square foot garden in.
Instead of planting in rows, your square foot garden is going to be in an organized grid pattern.
Some people may think this is complicated but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually a lot easier than traditional row gardening!
The key here is making sure that your plants are spaced appropriately so they can grow and thrive properly.
Why should I use a square foot garden?
There are many benefits of using the square foot gardening method. You’ll be able to grow more food in a smaller space, you’re less likely to lose any of your crops due to pests or diseases, and the best part? You can use these containers anywhere!
How to Plant Your Square Foot Garden
Planning how to plant your square foot garden is important. You want to make sure you’re spacing the plants out so they have enough room to grow and thrive; if not, your food will be stunted in growth which is no good!
Start by grabbing a ruler or measuring tape (or even just some string!) Measure off how much space each plant needs. For example, you’ll want to plant one tomato plant per square.
You can use my handy printable planting guide at the bottom of this post to help you know how many of each plant can be planted per square.
How Many Plants You Can Grow in One Square Foot
It’s important to plant the right number of plants per square. Here is a list of plants and how much space they need to grow:
- Tomato: one plant per sq ft
- Lettuce: two plants per sq ft
- Cabbage: one plant per sq ft
- carrots: sixteen plants per sq ft
- melons: 1 plant per two sq ft
- greens: six plants per sq ft
- beans: three plants per sq ft
- beets: nine plants per sq ft
- squash: five plants per sq ft
- cucumber: four plants per sq ft
- corn: four plants per sq ft
- potatoes: 1 – 4 potato sprouts per sq ft
Tips for Maintaining Your Square Foot Garden
- Use a rigid planter box or container for plants with shallow roots
- Keep your garden weed free and in good shape to conserve water
- Rotate crops on the same square foot area every year
- Fertilize from time to time, adding compost as needed. The mixture of plant material will take care of nitrogen naturally
How to Build a Square Foot Garden Box
How to Create Your Own Square Foot Garden Box
#1 Purchase a clean, used or new container to use as your garden box. You will want one that is at least 12 inches deep for the planting soil and has drainage holes on two of its sides.
#2 Cover the bottom of the box with six inches of potting mix
#3 Mark off square foot sections starting from one corner and working diagonally through each side until you have filled up all four corners
#4 Add organic fertilizer according to package instructions
#5 Plant your plants according to each variety’s instructions.
Options for Square Foot Garden Raised Beds:
Frequently Ask Questions about Square Foot Gardening:
What is Square Foot Gardening?
Square foot gardening is a method of planting vegetables and flowers in individual squares, rather than rows. This allows you to maximize your garden space while minimizing the time spent on weeding or harvesting.
How do I plant my own square foot garden box?
Here are step-by-step instructions: First purchase an appropriate container for either cleanly used or new containers (at least 12 inches deep with drainage holes). Then cover the bottom with six inches of potting soil mix before dividing it into your designated four sections per side according to size guidelines given below: plants can then be planted accordingly. Prepare organic fertilizer as directed prior to use and water well after finished planting!
Resources for More Information on Square Foot Gardening
And finally, here are some great resources and books to read for more information about square foot gardening:
If you haven’t read the book All New Square Foot Gardening, you really should order your copy or check it out from the library!
Other books you might love:
- Square Foot Gardening with Kids
- Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
- Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space
- The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook: Make the Most of Your Growing Season