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Member of :

GWAA

The Garden Writers Association



Last Update 08/07/11

Grow A Vegetable Garden

Garden Plots

 

Growing your vegetables in plots may be the best method for you if:

  • You have plenty of land you want to plant
  • You have considerable time to devote to the work
  • You intend to sell, trade or barter the fruits of your labor

Plots require a great deal of work and labor, a great deal of time, and a lot of resources (water, soil, compost, mulch, seeds or transplants).  If you have your plot cleared from earlier seasons then the exercise is as simple as adding compost, manure, muck or humus and turning the soil weekly until planting time.  If you are just starting out, the work is more involved:

  1. Choose the site for your plot, if possible not too wet, too dry or in the shade.

  2. Stake out the boundaries of the plot and begin clearing all weeds, grass, etc.

  3. Till the soil as deep as possible to remove roots, rocks, etc.

  4. Add top or potting soil, mulch, compost, muck, humus, peat, manure, etc. to give your soil body and fertility.

  5. Turn the soil weekly and keep the soil evenly moist until planting time.

Common Spacing Techniques for High Yields:

Wide Rows

Double Cropping

Square Foot Gardening

French Intensive

Geometric

The goal of any garden is to get the highest yield possible per square foot of garden.  Various techniques have been discovered to achieve this goal.

Wide Rows -- Beds are made 2 to 4' wide and as long as needed.   Seeds of a single crop are sown over a section of the row to create the garden plot.  Seeds are sown more thickly than usual then thinned to normal spacing as the crops grow.  Because the plants are grown so close together they create a dense cover which helps to shade out weeds, keeps the crop's root zone cooler and helps to slow evaporation of water from the soil.  Crops best suited for this technique are -- carrots, turnips, mustards, beets, onions and radishes.

Double Cropping -- This technique requires that multiple rows of the same or similar crops are planted in the space that normally would be devoted to a single row.  Each of the rows is spaced about 6" apart and the several rows are treated as one.  Crops best suited for this technique are -- carrots, lettuce, spinach, beets, mustards, collards and turnips.

Square Foot Gardening -- This technique eliminates rows and each square foot of garden bears a harvest from 1 or more plants to maximize production.   Vegetable spacings are as follows:

PLANT

PLANTS PER SQUARE FT.

Beans

4

Beets

16

Broccoli

1

Brussels Sprouts

1

Cabbage

1

Cantaloupe

1

Carrots

50

Cauliflower

1

Corn, dwarf

2

Cucumbers

1

Eggplant

1

Endive

4

Garlic

6

Kale

4

Kohlrabi

4

 
Leeks

40

Lettuce

4

Mustard Greens

12

Onions

20

Parsley

4

Peanuts

1

Peas

4

Peppers

1

Potatoes

1

Potatoes, sweet

1

Radishes

50

Rutabaga

9

Spinach

16

Summer Squash

1

Swiss Chard

4

Tomatoes

1

Turnips

20

Watermelon

1

A site 4 feet by 4 feet will have 16 squares for planting.

French Intensive -- This technique sets plants in hexagonal patterns within wide rows.  Plants are seeded or transplanted at recommended spacing's in a 6 sided configuration, then an additional plant is placed in the center.

Geometric Gardening -- This technique has the gardener plant corners of triangles, squares or rectangles, then adding plants in the middle.

 

Sources: Florida Home Grown; Florida Gardening Month by Month; Florida Vegetables; Vegetable Gardening in Florida

 
 

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