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Square Foot Gardening Spacing

Square Foot Gardening Spacing Instructions

Gardening by the square foot is a great way to maximize the amount of vegetables you can grow in a given space. To keep it simple, the garden bed is divided into square feet, measuring 12 inches by 12 inches. Each square foot is dedicated to a particular vegetable. The vegetables are placed as closely together as possible – without overcrowding. When planted in this manner, your vegetable garden is as efficient as possible. This method also allows for uniform watering, and accounts for the amount of sunlight, leaf spacing, and root ball size.

It is easy to calculate the square foot gardening spacing by hand if you don’t have data readily available. In order to do so, read the back of a packet of seeds. You will see two measurements, the spacing between vegetables in a row, and the spacing between rows. Since I don’t plan to drive a tractor in my raised bed garden in my backyard, you can disregard the spacing between rows completely. Let’s focus on the spacing between vegetables, also called the thinned out spacing. If the seed package says to thin every four inches, four is the number we want to focus on.

Next, just do some basic math. Divide the number into 12, that is 12 inches in a foot, divided by 4 inch spacing equals 3. Now multiply the answer by itself. You’ll always have 1, 4, 9, or 16, see the picture below.

The theory behind square foot gardening spacing

  • Plant 1 vegetable per square foot, if the desired square foot gardening spacing is every 12 inches
  • Plant 4 vegetables per square foot, if the square foot gardening spacing is every 6 inches
  • Plant 9 per square foot, if the square foot gardening spacing should be 4 inches apart
  • Plant 16 per square foot, if the vegetables should be spaced 3 inches apart

square foot gardening spacing

Square Foot Gardening Spacing Made Easy

If you are like me, and didn’t get into the gardening for the math, just check the quick reference guide below. All of the most popular vegetables for your garden are listed, and grouped into separate lists by their spacing requirements. Don’t be intimidated by square foot gardening spacing, it’s very easy to understand, and is one of the most helpful ideas to ever hit gardening.

Reference Books on Square Foot Gardening
[easyazon-image-link asin="1591862027" alt="All New Square Foot Gardening" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61HAsMwmxtL._SL160_.jpg" align="none" width="112" height="160"]

All New Square Foot Gardening

[easyazon-image-link asin="1615190120" alt="One Magic Square: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/610P9Z9EXvL._SL160_.jpg" align="none" width="138" height="160"]

One Magic Square: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square

[easyazon-image-link asin="1585743127" alt="Cubed Foot Gardening: Growing Vegetables in Raised, Intensive Beds" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510-5E3rh-L._SL160_.jpg" align="none" width="106" height="160"]

Cubed Foot Gardening: Growing Vegetables in Raised, Intensive Beds

[easyazon-image-link asin="0967986613" alt="CA$H from Square Foot Gardening" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F0TJ0GDRL._SL160_.jpg" align="none" width="102" height="160"]

CA$H from Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening Spacing by Vegetable

Square Foot Gardening Spacing is 1 per square foot:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe ( Muskmelon )
  • Mint
  • Okra
  • Oregano
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
Square Foot Gardening Spacing is 4 per square foot:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Summer Squash
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomato (Bush Variety)
Square Foot Gardening Spacing is 9 per square foot:

  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Spinach
Square Foot Gardening Spacing is 16 per square foot:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Radishes
  • Shallots

Understanding square foot gardening spacing is easy.

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