Today, we tried a little experiment. I have mentioned my passion for efficient agriculture techniques and square foot gardening is one we are experimenting with in the garden here in Cardamom County. The vision is to grow as much food as we can to supplement the kitchen’s needs. Space is a luxury not to be wasted when it comes to growing food! Using elements of the square foot gardening method taught by Mel Bartholomew, it is amazing how much food you can fit on a 4 ft x 4 ft plot. Although he teaches that you should make raised beds, I think if you have good soil, as we do here, then there is no need. I think the audience his method appeals to is the urban and suburban dwellers, so making raised beds is usually the fastest way to good soil in their case. The part I take from his method is the dense plant spacing and not using single rows:
Most extra large plants only need one per square foot (12 inch spacing), large plants can fit 4 per square foot(6 inch spacing), medium plants can fit 9 per square foot (4 inch spacing) and small plants can fit 16 per square foot (3 inch spacing). I explained that radishes only need 3 inches on either side to happily grow among each other to the staff.
Although the staff didn’t believe me that 16 radishes could be planted in a single square foot, I showed them this technique. They have never planted radishes before so they decided to plant them about 4 per square feet and said once they see how the plant looks when it’s growing they will try it.