Sunday, 24 November 2013

Square foot gardening

The trailer bed has been planted with broad beans, snow peas, lettuce, beetroot, strawberries and calendula as my late winter/early spring crops. Now all those crops are finished so it's time to replant. 

The broad beans produced very well.

The calendula provided flower petals for oinitment, seeds for planting and looked pretty too.

The lettuce and strawberries grew really well together but now the lettuce has gone to seed.

Square Foot Gardening
I have been reading about square foot gardening lately and I thought I would give it a go in the trailer bed because the size of the trailer can be divided into 24 neat square foot beds.

I used wool to mark the beds out; not a long term solution, but it will do for the first planting.
I later removed the calendula, but decided to leave the strawberries.
The idea is to plant a given number of plants in a square foot of garden space. The beds need to be easily accessible and it's an advantage to have some trellis space. It's amazing how many varieties of plants can be squeezed into that little trailer bed using this method.
This method of gardening was pioneered by Mel Bartholomew, who must have a good mathematical mind.

This chart gives a planting guide for lots of common vegetables.

I planned the planting of my trailer bed using an online planning tool which made the planting much easier. Then I got to work planting the bed.

My November planting plan for the trailer bed (for some reason it shows the planting date as the date I downloaded the plan; the real planting date is 17th November 2013).

I dug up each square, added compost and a sprinkle of blood and bone and planted the required number of seeds in the square in the advised pattern.

The whole bed looks neat and tidy again. I put the shad sheet back on until all those seeds sprout then I will mulch the bed and take off the shade.


  1. I've had a flick through Lolo Houbein's "One Magic Square" and assumed Square Foot Gardening was much the same. As much as it seems the same in principle, it seems refreshingly and interestingly different. I can just imagine what a bed, the size of your trailer, will look like when the plants start to grow. A veritable forest of edibles, all purposely co-existing and benefiting from each other. Neat.

    Please keep posting photos of your progress. I'd love to see how it comes along.

  2. Hi Pave., I was imagining the mass of plants in the trailer as I was planting them too. The seeds are mostly up now (except beans and carrots) so the growth in a month's time will be amazing. I will post more updates of the bed; maybe once a month.

    1. Sorry I just realised I made a typo in your name.

  3. I wish I had your green thumb Jude - I love the idea of this garden - so much in a small space - I might have to pick your brains at some stage when the mudding is over and gardening can be a focus. D x

  4. It will be a pleasure Donna. I have been leaving comments on your blog regularly, but it appears to bounce them back. I just wanted to say how beautiful your forever house is and congratulate you on all the hard work.