Square Foot Gardening Plan

To best plan our small plot for vegetables, I am learning about square foot gardening. This technique uses the principle of marking coordinates to best utilize a space. Instead of rows that may have two feet of empty space on either side allowing room for weeds to grow, one or more plants are fit into a square foot space depending on the size of the plant.

If what they show is true, you can have quite a harvest in a small area, and I will have to get more veges, and plan for vertical gardening.  Check out how one gardener supported their cantelopes.

Below is just one idea of how the garden might be laid out.

Our plan will be to first create a couple 4′ x 4′ x 10″ squares and see how they fit, and determine if te plan below makes sense or another plan needs to be drawn.  It may be that creating a long 1 x 10′ x 10″ bed is better along the north edge of the garden.

Two 4 x 4′ squares require  2 – 4′ length and 2 – 4′ 1.5″ lengths so the inside measurement is exactly 4′ x 4′.   So we’d need 2 –  2x10x10′ and 2 – 2x10x12′.  I suggest using 12′ because you have more options in how the left over lumber is used.  If you buy a 2×10’x10′ you can only make a 1′ length, leaving 10.5″ unused.  Whereas in a 12′ section you have 3’10.5″  so you could create a 1, 2, or 3′ length.

The plan below requires lumber:

4 –  2 x 10 x 10′

10 – 2 x 10 x 12′

The biggest thing is to allow enough space in between beds to maintain them.  All my previous layouts never quite accomplished this, and I was stepping on soil that should have remained non-compact for the best plant growth.


For the plan above = Total volume is (4*4) * 4 + (2 *4) + (2 *6 ) = 64+ 8 + 12 = 84 cubic feet (I assumed 1′ for depth for the 10″ depth).

So I would need 28 cubic feet of each product above.  A garden forum said to get vermiculite from American Clay Works in Denver.

With so much space I could have a ton of plants.

This gardenweb article seems to explain it best, especially for plants that take up more than a single square foot.

For now I have the following to put in the garden.

  1. Burpee – Super Snack Sunflower   1/ sqft
  2. Liberty  –  Early Crookneck  1 / 3 sqft over the ground does that equate to 1 x 3′ height?
  3. Liberty – Sparkler white tip radish  16 / sqft
  4. Burpee – Long slim red Cayenne (18 – 24″) 1 / 2 sqft
  5. Livingston Bloomsdale Spinach – 9 / sq ft
  6. Livingston Brandywine red Tomato – 1 / 2 sqft per seed packet, but sqft gardening sources say you can plant 4 tomatos in a 4 x 4 planter as long as they are on center in each sq. ft.
  7. Burpee Black Krim Tomato  – 1 / 3 sqft per seed packet


Depending on the space left, I may plant other herbs, an eggplant, or peppers.








An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.