If you have ever tried square foot gardening, you know that you can grow an amazing amount of food for your family in a few raised beds. However, there are a few things you can do to maximize your limited space. Intense Square Foot Gardening is particularly useful if you are living in an area with a short growing season.
Same Crop Successive Gardening extends the harvest of a type of vegetable. Instead of planting all of my crop at once, as is common in traditional row gardening, I make several successive plantings. I make 3 smaller plantings of peas, 7 days apart. I plant 10 – 20 radish seeds every week, switching to a milder radish like Cheriette, when the summer heat is known to intensify the flavor of radishes. I start 4 –6 new lettuce and spinach plants every 2 weeks, and pinch leaves from the inside rather than wait to harvest a whole head. In the spring and fall I can grown any variety, once it gets hot I switch to heat tolerant plants like Buttercrunch and Spinach Mustard, then switch back to Romaine and a compact variety spinach in the fall.
Planting Different Crops in Succession ensures that you maximize your garden space. After I harvest a crop, I inspect the soil for harmful insects, replenish the soil with compost, and plant a new crop. This works best when you pair a cool weather crop with a longer season heat tolerant crop (e.g. follow broccoli and cauliflower with squash plants). Or follow a long growing crop like potatoes with a cool weather crop like kale or spinach.
Grow Different Varieties of the Same Plant to extend your harvest time. By planting tomatoes with different maturity dates, I ensure that I have a continuous supply of tomatoes without being completely swamped by plants that all ripen at the same time.
As room is created in my garden, I am adding these cool weather plants: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Radishes, Spinach, Lettuces, Kale, Peas, Turnips, Kohlrabi, Curley Spinach, and Swiss Chard.
What are you planting this fall?
To view more vegetable gardens, visit Grow.Eat.$ave at $5 Dinners.