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Square Foot Garden Check Up

I couldn’t be more please with how green and growing my vegetable garden is. I’m always amazed at how a tiny seed or little plant can grow and grow with just a little water, sun, and soil. Actually, we’ve had a really wet May, so my plants are extra bushy from all the rain and loving it.

Here’s an update on what I’m growing and how it’s all fitting in the square foot garden. It’s all been planted since May 9th (peas went in April 25th):

I ended up skipping on the carrots and planting more beans. I may have to pull one or two of the bean plants though. The packet said it needed 6 inches apart and I only did it 6 inches by 4 inches.

I LOVE to grow potatoes. I tried them for the first time last year and they were so good. I planted red potatoes. You get potatoes to plant from the garden nursery and cut them each in half, making sure they have 2 eyes per side, then plant them about 12 inches deep. They grow big leafy tops, and even flower, then by the time they start to wilt and die, it’s time to pull them up. I get close to 20 round potatoes with each plant. That was so fun!

And I hope my onions have enough room, their bulbs will be touching by the end of the season. My Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward Smith, said onions are 4×4 inches apart, so we’ll see. This is a GREAT book for vegetable gardens. If your plant or seeds don’t come with instructions, you can turn to your veggie bible. It has almost every vegetable you’d ever want to plant and how to plant, grow, and harvest it.

How’s your garden coming along? What did you decide to plant this season?


  1. I’ve been searching high and low for sq ft gardening info for potatoes. The only ones I’ve found pull all the dirt out of their bed, plant the potato 3 inches deep, and then hill it by filling in the hole as it grows. Do you really just plant it 12 inches under from the beginning? That would simplify the process so much and I’d just love to hear that you’ve done this year after year with success. And that’s one seed potato to square? Thank you:)

    1. Yes, potatoes are so easy. I planted one potato seed (half of a potato) per 12 inches wide. And buried them 12 inches deep. I did this for 2 years and then we moved and I haven’t done them since. But it was so easy and so much fun. Read up a little on it, I’m sure there’s something on YouTube about harvesting, but they yielded about 15-20 potatoes per seed.

      1. You’re the only one I’ve seen online, or talked to, that just buries them deep from the start, but it sounds like it’s worked well, so I’ll try it out. Thank you.

  2. Kami – This is my first year for onions too, so I’m only finding out what to do from books. It says that when the green tops turn brown, it’s time to dig them out. And I can also see that they are still too small sticking out and they are only about a golf ball size. So I’m just going to keep them in there until they look like an orange size.

    And my tomatoes, I also pinch the side shoots off. I do it all throughout the summer. Again, this book says that if you pinch these non-fruiting shoots, then it will give more growth to your tomatoes. This is the book I have and gives a really good explanation about each vegetable:

    I hope this helps. Good luck growing!

  3. So, how do you know when the onions are ready? I planted yellow onions.

    Also…did you pinch off the side shoots from your tomato plants in the beginning? I did…but they still got huge and spread way out of their “square.” Should I keep pinching them off as they grow…or at what point do you stop?

    Thanks for any answers you may have. This is my first year, so I have a lot to learn!

  4. Outside we growing:
    Red & White onions
    3 types of squash & zucchini
    Cooking pumpkins, white pumpkins (for jack-o-lanterns) & gourds
    spinach (I don’t think that’s working though)
    corn (that doesn;t seem to be faring well either)
    two varieties of carrots
    2 beet varieties
    Tomatoes (heirloom red, mr. stripey, some purple kind, yellow pear & cherry tomatoes)
    lettuce – two varieties (I’ve already made salad with it!!!)
    tomatillo (going to try and make some home made cafe rio dressing)
    3 varieties of peppers (comprising 5 plants)
    (rhubarb – we didn’t plant it, but it’s growing)
    and two varieties of lavender.

    Inside herb garden contains french lavender, thyme, cilantro, basil, parsley & chives.

    Did I mention we also have 2 plumb trees & an apricot tree.

    Thanks for the recap. I am obviously in WAY over my head as this is my first year of home gardening. You guys are invited over for dinner.

  5. Wow! Your veggies look fantastic! I am hoping my pumpkins poke their little heads out soon! So far only 3 are showing and I planted 2 rows. Guess i need some Miracle Grow!

  6. We should plant potatoes one year. Potatoes are so cheap though at the farmer’s market that DH doesn’t want to devote our garden space to it. We square foot garden also! This is our third year. We’ve done really well with the method and keep expanding. I like how you’ve annotated your pictures. I’ll have to do that for my records. We use the “Mel’s Mix” as discussed in the SFG book. Since making the boxes the first year, we’ve just had to amend the soil with compost since then for maintenance. Let’s see, we have three squares of pole beans (8/square), 2 broccoli (1/square, new this year), 1 broccoli raab (4/square, new this year), 7 squares of sugar snap peas (8/square), 5 squares of tomatoes (1/square), 3 squares of cucumbers (2/square – one pickling variety and two slicing), 4 squares of spinach (4/square), and then lots of lettuce (all 4/square) (1 purple mizuna, 1 kyona mizuna, 2 arugula, 1 green romaine, 1 red romaine, 1 deer tongue). Everything except the tomatoes, we grew ourselves from seed, most of it directly sown. Whew! That sounds like a lot doesn’t it? When the peas and spinach are done, we are going to re-plant acorn squash and brussel sprouts (both new to us this year). We have two 2×8 boxes, and we have a trellis across most of the back, and we trellis the pole beans, the cucumbers and the peas. We also have a 2×8 herb box with things like parsley, dill, sage, nasturtium, and some other things. AND we have a bunch of containers of tomatoes and basil on our patio. Oh, and a berry bed with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Our new addition this year is my husband decided it would be a good idea to try to grow hops using our play structure as a support. Hmmm….(he’s a homebrewer). Now I want to write a post on my blog about my garden! Maybe this weekend.

  7. We built our garden boxes a week ago but I haven’t sprung for the dirt yet. It isn’t cheap!! Plus we have to have it delivered, don’t have a way to haul it ourselves. But I’d better get a move on or we’ll be past planting time! BTW, I *love* growing potatoes too. Especially digging them out of the garden, rinsing them off, and steaming them up for dinner. Yum! :-)

  8. Your little garden looks great! I have radishes and peas that are coming along great from seed, but that’s about it. I think I might go buy tomatoes since those didn’t do that great, and tomatoes are a must!

  9. Love it!! Last year we had 1- 4’x8′ raised bed this year we expanded and added a second 4’x4′ raised bed and sectioned off a previous annual flower bed and made it an herb garden. After seeing your first post about the square foot garden it intrigued me, so we gave it a go. had to take our rope down after planting though to put up the wire to keep critters out. we planted 2-tomatoes, 4 broccoli, 4 green lettuce, 4 romaine lettuce, 8 green beans, 8 soy beans, watermelon, cantelope, 4 cucumbers, and 4 zucchinis, then a bunch of herbs. hopefully we get a bountiful harvest :) I’ll be following your progress! and hopefully I remember to document ours.

  10. Garden? Well it isn’t. We usually plant about 2,500 sq. ft. but this year we are taking a break. Then again, we will most likely be out of the country for most of harvest season for our international adoption. We have plenty to do with the adoption process and decided not to stress ourselves out with a garden on top of it.

  11. Wow- what an awesome variety. We planted peppers and tomatoes. Wish we did more, but love tomatoes in the summer, so hopefully we’ll get a good turnout this year. The bunnies love my garden, too.

    Creative and Curious Kids!

  12. You’re little patch is gorgeous! I’ve done only a few potted items this year (cilantro, parsley, tomato, etc.). This particular season in my life is not conducive to a big garden. Next year, though, watch out! Thanks for the update. I love hearing about others’ experiences with gardening.

  13. I too am doing square foot gardening this year and am very excite to see things pop up :) I’m in Ontario, so we were only able to get things going recently, but I have plant popping up already :)

    About your peas, what variety are they? I was only able to plant them alternating 1 in a box and 2 in a box to adhere to the spacing, I’d be interested in hearing about it as this is our families FAVOURITE!! Great garden :)

  14. Maria – 9 tomato plants!! Awesome. And I LOVE rhubarb. My mom has plenty or that would be in my garden too!

  15. I am jealous of your garden:) We planted 9 heirloom tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and we have lots of rhubarb. We still need to find some lemon verbena. I hope to get in some squash plants as well.

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