Square Foot Gardening: Plant Chart

4 by 4 ft raised bed 1 includes peppers, spinach, carrots and radishes.

This will be my first year using the square foot gardening method in Colorado.  I’ve chosen a number of different sized plants to see just how true my resources end up being for plant spacing.  I was surprised to find just how many plants could be added in the small number of raised beds I plan to plant this year.  With 3 – 4 x 4 foot beds and a single 2 x 6 foot bed, I didn’t imagine I would have enough room for the seeds I chose, nevermind trying to decide what else I would choose to fill in.

I have not had much luck with vegetables in the last couple years, but I am encouraged by the story of a couple in Westcliffe Colorado who grow hundreds of pounds of vegetables at an elevation of 8100 feet.  Penn and Cord Parmenter use all kinds of special methods to ensure crop yields.  From creating biointensive beds by digging 24″ deep, to ensuring hot plants like tomatoes have enough warmth during the short mountain summer with cold frames and water jugs surrounding plants.   If they can produce tomatoes there, surely I can in my sheltered 5000 foot elevation backyard garden!

Below is my original plant list.

  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
  8. Ferry Morse – Poblano Pepper (18 – 24″) 1 / 2 sqft
  9. Burpee – Kaliedoscope Carrots 16 / sqft

To be purchased

  1. Garlic
  2. Nasturtium
  3. Lettuce
  4. Beets
  5. Super sweet tomatoes
  6. Tomato with a shorter harvest time
  7. Onions

While reviewing where each vegetable should go, I learned about companion planting.  Planting certain plants can help attract helpful insects that eat problem bugs.  Some, like nasturtiums are preferred by black fly aphids so can act as a trap crop.   They also repel squash bugscucumber beetles, and several caterpillars. I have nasturtiums next to crookneck squash.

Onions and garlic surround tomatoes to repel insects, as well as marigold.

4 x 4′ raised bed – 3 includes squash, peppers, basil, nasturtium and marigolds
4 x 4′ raised bed – 2 includes onions, peppers, lettuce and beets
2 x 6′ raised bed – includes 3 tomatoes, marigold and garlic

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.


  1. Hi there, Great tips by the way and thank you.
    I did have a question though. I’m hoping you can answer it for me since you
    seem to be pretty knowledgeable about gardening. How does Preen (Trifluralin)
    stop new weeds from growing without killing
    grown plants? I’m trying to get rid of weeds
    without hurting my vegetables. If you had some insight I would greatly appreciate it.

    1. Thanks for your interest! I’ve learned over the years that it’s best not use any chemical in your vegetable garden that you wouldn’t ingest yourself. So I personally plant very closely following the square foot method which crowds out most weeds except the pesky bind weed. I just pull those as they come up. The other thing you might try is if you plant in rows, hill up the area you seed and then fill your troughs with hay or dried lawn clippings… you don’t want to put wet clippings in as they can cause mildew and other problems. Hope this helps and good luck with your garden!

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