We’ve mentioned square foot gardening before on the Vegepod blog. It’s a genius idea invented by Mel Bartholomew that helps reduce tilling and ‘space-waste’ while you plan out your raised garden bed. In this blog, we’ll go over how you can plan out a square foot garden (SFG) in the Vegepod (for small, medium or large pods) and we’ll give some ‘Autumn/Winter’, ‘Spring/Summer’ examples from the expert himself, Angus Stewart.
What Is Square Foot Gardening?
Before we start, a quick refresher - square foot gardening is basically where you divide up your garden bed into squares using string/partitions. From there, you plan out your bed so it’s at its most efficient.
For the purposes of this blog let's assume you've done the basic by locating the best spot in the garden and followed our What Growing Media should I use?
Step 1: Brainstorm What Vegetables You Want
This is the best part. Get out a pen and paper and write down the different Vegetables you’d like to grow. Go crazy! (Thinking, of course, about what size Vegepod you have and the season). Just remember a great activity with children too!
Step 2: Positioning
Now it’s time to think about where to position your plants on the grid. For this, there are a few considerations:
Highlight which plants on your list are tallest and which are shortest. The tallest ones will go at the back of your pod, while the smallest are at the front - to allow for maximum sunlight.
Special Growing Needs
Next, think about which plants might have special growing requirements. For example, mint is a spreader so you might want to place it in a corner section to stop it from interrupting other plants. Bigger plants such as melons and pumpkins should go in the centre to account for any unexpected sizing.
Will let you into a little secret. Not all plants like each other. So it's a good idea to do a little research; circle good pairings within your list. For example, strawberries grow well with allums (chives, leeks and onions) but shouldn’t be paired with brassicas (e.g. broccoli or cauliflower).
A good guide can be found on at GrowVeg.
After the steps above, you should have a general idea of which plants will go where in the pod. It’s now time to calculate how many plants you can grow per each square. Refer to the seed pack to see which plants require ‘small’, ‘medium’ or ‘large’ amounts of planting space.
Step 3: Squaring off your Vegepod and away you go!
Once you’ve looked at height, spacing, and pairings, it’s time to section off your Vegepod. We recommend using nylon string tied to bamboo sticks. Bury the sticks into the Pod’s soil to create an easy grid. Alternatively, tie your string around the joinings of the Vegepod when constructing, as pictured above.