Square Foot Gardening Update #1

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on May 2, 2009

I canNOT believe how the seeds have sprouted and grown so much this last week. And the tomato plants that I bought and put in this past Monday have already doubled in size. (And I was worried nothing was going to grow!!!!)

It’s just about time to pick out some of the seedlings.  I planted 2-3 seeds into each space.  In some of the spaces all the seeds sprouted, so I will have to remove some of the seedlings, as there is only room for 1 seedling in each space.

Here is more of a bird’s eye view.  The spinach, beans, peas and lettuc have sprouted nicely.  The carrots and onions are taking a little longer to sprout.  The rosemary, basil, parsley, tomatoes, peppers and broccoli that I purchased and trasnplated are all doing well too.

I still have 3 squares left to plant…most likely cucumbers and an eggplant.  Will grab those from the garden center next week!

I’ve also got a small patch in another part of the yard where I have planted 2 squash plants, some more peas and a strawberry plant.

Are you gardening this summer?  What’s your favorite method or fruit/veggie to grow?

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty and Boo's Mommy May 2, 2009 at 11:34 am

Your garden looks great!


laura May 2, 2009 at 11:49 am

i love our cilantro and basil. they’re easy to grow and it’s nice to have fresh herbs on hand… beats the heck outta running to the store last minute when you realize yours have gone bad in the refrigerator!


Kristi May 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Your garden is beautiful!!! Where are you located? I’m in Columbus, OH and hoping to get some stuff in my SFG this week!!! It’s the best way to garden!!


DaMora May 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Your garden looks great. It’s so exciting when the items you plant start to grow.
This will be my 3rd year growing a veggie garden. Last year I tried zucchini for the first time. They grew so large I couldn’t believe it. I had so much that I made mini zucchini breads to give to friends and family. Another fav of mine is yellow pear tomatoes. They are great in salads. This year I’m also going to try broccoli and carrots in addition to my regulars: snap peas, romas, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, chives, onion and jalepenos.

Happy Gardening!


Megan May 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I didn’t learn about square foot gardening until after we had planted our raised bed, but we are growing two types of tomato, jalapenos, zucchini, another kind of summer squash, eggplant, pole beans, and corn.

We also have basil, chives, oregano, cilantro, dill, spearmint, and parsley growing in containers on the patio. We have a strawberry plant but it is looking fairly pitiful. Still, I’m very excited about the prospect of homegrown vegetables soon!


Kaylee May 2, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Do you have a link somewhere about how you set this up? I am hoping to plant a garden this year, but haven’t decided on my method yet. I really like your raised beds. Thanks!


Sara May 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Love the garden! We’re still renting so I’m working with limited space. I’m doing mostly container gardens this year and I’ve got tomatoes, peppers, strawberries growing. I just planted calabaza seeds this week. I’ve also got a really great herb garden with a little of everything.

On top of all that – I’m growing a sweet potato plant and 3 avocado trees I started from seed. I have a blueberry plant too – but I don’t think it’s going to make it.

Lots of pics here: http://sarapphotography.blogspot.com/search/label/garden


Clare May 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm

This is my second year to have a garden- we just planted a whole bunch of things last year. I love veggies so I don’t know if I have a favorite, but my daughter will turn 1 this summer so I am SO excited to feed her some fresh foods our of our garden.

You might try to get some plants from your farmers market, I have had very good luck getting nice plants for cheaper prices then Lowes or Home Depot. And it feels good to support our local farmers.
I can’t wait to see how your garden turns out!


Kristie May 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Your garden looks GREAT! I just started a square-foot / victory garden this year as well. I planted (from seed) peppers, onions, chives, peas, pole beans, zucchini, cucumbers and cantaloupe. Everything has finally come up but the beans, peas and zucchini are the strongest so far. I also planted some herbs (from plants) as well as some tomatoes and two different types of peppers and another zuchinni/ cucumber plant (when I thought they weren’t going to sprout) lol! The only thing that never sprouted were the peppers.

Whew. Let’s hope this is a banner year for vegetables! :)


Barb May 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Your garden looks fantastic! We just moved into a new house and will only have a small garden this year due to time and money but next year I plan on doing square foot gardening. So I will be following your gardening posts with much interest. I have the older square foot gardening book. Is there a newer version out? Thanks for the great pictures.


Mama May 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I really want to do this, but I’m scared I’ll mess it up. Is this your first time doing it? Was it as simple as can be? What do you recommend to someone starting this?


Erin May 4, 2009 at 7:40 am

I was scared too and didn’t think anything would grow. I followed the book to the T and so far so good. Will post more info soon!


Vicky May 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Love your garden! I’ve used the Square Foot Gardening book for years just for the planting charts. I really like that book.

You have a great blog!


Lisa May 2, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I can’t believe you are doing a SFG, too! I have two 4 x 10 beds, and I am about to fill three 4 x 4 beds with the Mel’s Mix (soil). The original beds are doing great. I hope to have a post on my blog soon.


Liz@Hoosier Homemade May 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm

I will be having a large garden. We live in NW Indiana, and don’t dare plant anything before Memorial Day. My husband and I take care of the farm in Rolling Prairie, Indiana that Oprah used to own. We don’t have a special method. Although I do like planting pole beans, that are really fun to watch climb like crazy.
Good Luck with your garden, it looks awesome!


Sharon May 2, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Your garden looks great! May God bless the fruit of your hands. -Sharon


Alea May 2, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Your garden looks beautiful! Did you use tape to mark off your 1 foot squares?

I love the raised bed that my dh and ds made for me. I think my lettuces are growing fast enough that I won’t have to buy any from the grocery store until October! My favorite things to grow are berries and tomatoes. This year I started growing perenials in the garden – asparagus, rhubarb, and patience dock.


Amy May 2, 2009 at 9:33 pm

It looks great. My tomatoes have about doubled in the past week too. I’ll be interested to see how eggplant does for you. I’ve tried it the last 2 years and not gotten a single one I was going to skip it this year. Strawberries are so fun for the kids. We have the start of berries already and my kids are so excited.


Misty May 2, 2009 at 9:46 pm

That looks great. With the monsoon Houston got this past week, I’m amazed at how much of my garden survived!!


Rita Neill May 2, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Where do I get more info on how much area this takes and what kind of soil you used? gardening?


Erin May 4, 2009 at 7:38 am

Square Foot Gardening book contains all the information.


Dani in NC May 2, 2009 at 11:48 pm

Your garden looks so neat! I’m a little more haphazard in planting my veggies, so my patch ends up looking like a jungle by the end of the summer :-).


Virginia Rivers May 3, 2009 at 12:07 am

So far mine is Peas and strawberries… We have a ton.


Dana May 3, 2009 at 6:35 am

I will be.
Its done nothing but rain here, so its been impossible to get in to till.

I do a larger scale garden and I can’t wait to get into it!!

We normally have: Tomatoes- regular and paste, Green peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, squash, zuchini, green beans, watermelon, cantelope, pumpkins, oh and onions too.
Dana- sahm to 2 boys and one due 1/10


Bethany May 3, 2009 at 6:39 am

Love your garden! This is a great idea to start off the season. I’ve gardened for several years and love it. With carrots, they do take longer unless you pour hot water over the carrots seeds before planting. This starts the germination process. They will still grow without this, but it will take much longer since the ground is not consistantly warm yet. I’m getting my green bean poles set up today. Keep up the good work. I love reading what you do in each e-mail.


kim May 3, 2009 at 6:41 am

I am going to try square foot gardening for the first time this year. I have a 2 X 4 area and a 1 X 6 area to work with.


HeatherMama May 3, 2009 at 11:44 am

Do you have a post on how you set up your garden? It looks GREAT! Even hubby said so, lol. We’re interested in having a setup like yours, but would like to know how it all came otgether.


Erin May 4, 2009 at 7:37 am

I will be writing about that soon! How to with cost breakdown as well!


CathieG May 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm

we garden every year and I can the tomatoes because I hate store tomatoes….we bury the tomatoes deep up to the top two branches..that way they get really strong and are able to support the fruit of the vine…


Kristie May 3, 2009 at 2:20 pm


I am so happy to se someone else who gardens the same way I do. I picked up a square foot gardening book at a yard sale a few years back and instantly love the idea. My yard is pretty small which is another reason why this method works so well for me. The last two years I only had one garden bed, but we are adding another one to it this year. After reading your post I see that I need to get in my yard and get going on this now.



Aryn May 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Erin, your garden looks AMAZING!!! I have a pretty nice little garden plot that I planted several tomato plants, some onions, green beans, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, strawberries, carrots, and peas. However, I made one HUGE mistake. . .I didn’t lay down any of that weed material and now my garden is literally being taken over by weeds. I can weed most of the larger nasties out, however the clover patches are about to drive me nuts. Next year, I think I’m going to take the raised square foot approach. It looks so much easier than what I did which was just try to plant rows by sight. I also didn’t mark what was planted where (I arrogantly thought I would remember. . .hmph!) so now it’s going to be a surprise as to what pops up!



Jerilyn May 3, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Looks great! I only had 2 pots space to grow vegies in and I chose tomatoes, peas, and garlic. Once I got some cayenne pepper to keep the squirrels out, the peas started growing up nicely. I just planted the garlic and tomatoes yesterday- looking forward to seeing the “fruit”!


Rochelle Andros May 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm

It looks like you did this on your patio. I am in the process today of building the frame for my square foot garden! I was going to put it in the yard, but think that I will put it on the deck because we live kind of in the woods and deer etc. walk through here everyday and they won’t be able to get to my garden if I put it on the deck. Anyway, have fun and I hope everything grows well and you have an abundance of veggies.


Thaydra May 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I’m trying my hand out at my first garden this year. I wish I could brag about the same results as you!

However, hope is not yet lost! I have starts of tomatoes, cucumber, various herbs, peas, beans, spinach, lettuce, and others I’m sure that I cannot recollect at this moment.


Nancy May 4, 2009 at 6:01 am

I just read the bood Square food gardening by Mel Barthalomew and have built my boxes. I made 4 8×2’s olong my fence. I have a couple lettuces to transplant and bought a bunch of seeds . I am in New England so I can’t plant MOST things for a few more weeks. I love the idea and have never grown ANYTHING before so I hope I have a green thumb I didn’t know about. I like the book because it is a blueprint for success (hopefully).


Christina Baita May 4, 2009 at 7:52 am

Good Morning. Where do you buy your supplies? I am hoping to find something closer to Downtown. Look so great!


Jessica May 4, 2009 at 9:58 am

We’re “Lasagna Gardening” here in Southern Indiana. http://tinyurl.com/c5jg5t


Elizabeth May 4, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I just built my SFG today! I love it-it didn’t take much time at all. We have 3 3X3 squares with three more to come in a few weeks. We planted tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, pole beans, bush beans, hot peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and radishes. I hope the lettuce and spinach do okay-we just moved to DFW so I don’t know how quickly it gets hot. Phase 2 of the plan is for squash, zucchini, marigolds, and nasturtiums.


Adin May 4, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Your garden looks really great and they are well-protected, too!


Connie S May 5, 2009 at 1:38 am

We just built 4 boxes this weekend and I’m so excited to start filling them. I’ve got little seedlings that I’ve started under lights in the garage ready to go and will direct seed the root crops straight into the beds. When I used SF garden beds years ago at our other house, it was always hard to figure out where the SF ‘boundaries’ were. I love how yours are divided. What did you use? Is is working the way you’d like it? Thanks for sharing.


Tabby W May 6, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I love to garden, I have a small spot behind the garage. I grow peas/beans carrots radishes and lots more. I just plant a small row of each but just enough.I also grow tomatoes/peppers and cucs in containers, works well. I am so excited I cant wait for pick.

Happy gardening.


Debbie R. June 18, 2009 at 10:26 am

You’re doing a great job with your garden!
We live in Central Florida and have a raised bed vegetable garden in the backyard with Bog Boy tomatoes, okra, onions and sweet peppers – everything from seed. I also planted an herb garden (also from seed) for the first time and now have saqe, oregano, tarragon, chamomile, rosemary and orange mint. We lost some things because of area flooding during a storm system that lasted four days and dumped about 17 inches of rain in just my neighborhood. I also have tons of flowers all over the yard, with five seperate garden areas blooming with cosmos, zinnia, bush daisys, sunflowers, cat whiskers (my fave!), society garlic, lion’s ear, pagoda, beauty berry, guara, wildflowers of all kinds and even pokeweed.
A really fun first-time thing for me is growing luffa sponge plant, as well as a gourd plant, which is growing crazily along our back fence. I can’t wait to get our first gourds and use them to make birdhouses!


Cindy March 17, 2010 at 7:07 am

Check with your county landfill, mine sells composted yard waste for $5 a TRUCKLOAD! My garden loves it!


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