Planting a Square Foot Vegetable Garden

etsy gardening poster

Since I last posted about planning a Square Foot Garden, I’ve “fielded” so many questions about our little backyard garden both in person and via The Interwebz. People, I’m a NOVICE. (Read: I don’t really know what I’m doing.)

However, I’m happy to share the little that I know, and most of that is just regurgitated from the All New Square Foot Gardening* book (which is worth your 11 dollars and 99 cents, in my opinion) and what we learned last year from our first attempt.

It’s really more simple than it sounds. If you are just starting out, I would recommend trying out a 4’x4’ raised bed with vegetables that are easy to grow locally and that your family already eats. Last year we had great beginners luck with Green Beans, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Sugar Snap Peas. If you’re not quite ready for a full garden, try growing container plants on your back patio or a few plants into your current landscaping.

Since many of you had questions about what I was planting and how I was fitting it into our space, I thought I’d just show you our planting diagram.  The number in the parenthesis represents the number of seeds or transplants per square. 


The only plants or seeds in the ground thus far are the peas, romaine, spinach, onions, and carrots.  The rest will have to wait until after the frost are long gone in Indiana. (Keep in mind that I planted these with my ultra-high tech gardening tool – which has since been replace by a Target Dollar Spot trowel and cultivator.)

planting lettuce in a square foot garden kids garden tools

Some of the spring squares (spinach, romaine, etc) will be replaced after they have harvested with more heat friendly plants. The spring squares can also be replanted in the fall after the temperatures begin to cool. Square Foot Gardening is all about efficiently using your space, and getting the most produce for the duration of the gardening season.

Do YOU have a green thumb?  What do YOU like to grow?


Top Right Image: Poster Print from joeseppi on etsy

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12 thoughts on "Planting a Square Foot Vegetable Garden"

  1. I have a weakness for bulbs, tulips and irises are my favorites. In the summer, I plant cucumbers. I love to can, so pickles are my favorite. But my husband loves to make salsa and tomato sauce, so tomatoes and pepper plants are staples around here too.

  2. Kaia says:

    Looks like you’ll have plenty of green beans-one of my favorites with bacon and a little salt.. mmm! We haven’t had luck with cucumbers for a few years. We also do carrots, lettuce, zucchini, strawberries, beans, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc. Do you do any canning or freezing?

  3. Have you started anything from seed or are you waiting until the garden is ready for the great outdoors? Hubby’s got onions, peas and a few other things already going under lights in the house or garage. Can’t wait to actually get to munch on some fresh veggies!

    April is Autism Awareness Month. I’m dedicating my blog all month long to Autism.

  4. Heather says:

    I just heard about square foot gardening and was wondering what it was. I’m going to check this out more and see if I can get the landlord to agree to me having a small garden this summer!

  5. Nice work. We just planted ours last week. I can’t WAIT to see the shoots starting to spring up!!

  6. Your pictures and your plan show that you are hardly a novice! I am so inspired by your gardening in such a small space. I took a break from growing tomatoes and other veggies that stretched to close to 5 years and am coming out of retirement this spring in a 1 foot by 10 foot space. We’ll see how it goes! I think we’re going to go red and shoot for tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries. Can’t wait to see your garden grow.

  7. We grow parsley and cilantro for fresh herbs

  8. gary says:

    For those who have a large enough harvest, consider sharing some of it with your neighbors in need.

    People who need to use food banks/food pantries/food shelves to help feed their families (about 1 out of 6 Americans) almost never have the opportunity to get fresh produce.

    You can help… visit to find a neighborhood food pantry eager for your garden bounty (and if you know of a food pantry in your community that is not listed on, urge the pantry to register…. its free!). See CNNs report on at

    Help your community by reaching into your backyard instead of your back pocket.

  9. Josephine says:

    Thanks so much for the motivation to FILL our garden this year! We started last year with green beans, peppers & tomatoes (along with some herbs). This year….lima beans, green beans, peas, zucchini, a squash medley, tomatoes (in our first attempt at an upside down hanging tomato plant), onions & carrots!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Sounds like an AWESOME spread! Good “growing”!

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