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Square Foot Gardening and Crop Rotation


Agriculture Organic Farming

Square foot gardening is about optimizing your garden (similar methods are used in agriculture organic farming). Use organic garden products (find them at organic garden supply stores) for your gardening.

When developing your square foot gardening plan (this applies to crop rotation too), do it by sections. If you are growing in the ground simply mark off a 4' x 4' section for the first section and leave a walkway around it.

You will then have good access to all areas of that section. By creating other 4' x 4' plots you will be able to implement crop rotation.

Keep a chart of what is planted where; do a layout on paper. If you have four sections or plots, when you get ready to plant the next year move the vegetables that were in the first plot to the fourth and the rest up one from where they were.

For your organic vegetable gardening (and/or fruit gardening) plans, do this every year until at the end of the fourth year; then the original vegetable ends up back where it started. This refreshes the soil and keeps you from wearing it out too soon. This way you are keeping to the rule of waiting at least three years to plant the same thing in its original plot.




Square Foot Gardening

Using square foot techniques is a popular method of crop control. This method keeps soil sustainable and produces a higher yield of healthy vegetables.

Of course if you are growing in a raised bed garden you will have no problem using the square foot gardening system. Take a ball of twine and some tacks and fix lengths of twine at 1' intervals across the width of your raised bed garden frame. Then do the same lengthways.

If you have a raised bed garden of 8' x 4' as per my example, you will have 7 pieces of twine going across and 3 lengths of twine going along. The intersections of twine will mark off 32 individual one square foot plots.

My personal rule of thumb for planting within these squares is as follows:

  • One plant per square for large vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
  • Four plants per square for medium vegetables such as lettuce and celery
  • Eight plants for medium to small vegetables such as leeks and spinach
  • Twelve plants for small vegetables such as radishes, beetroot, onions and carrots

If you prefer a vegetable such as beetroot to be on the larger side, then adapt your numbers accordingly. Do likewise with other vegetables depending on how big you want them. Obviously taste is affected by size.

Smaller beetroots are sweeter for example. Some people prefer smaller, greener onions for salads, etc.

You will find many benefits from this gardening method. Using this system you will have a higher yield than you would using the conventional 'row by row' system.




Organic Garden Products and Methods

Square foot gardening in raised beds also enables easier protection from pests and the weather, and, when good organic gardening methods are adhered to, does away with weeding, tilling and digging.

Using agriculture organic farming techniques, such as square foot gardening and raised bed gardens, along with organic garden products like organic fertilizer and organic compost and organic garden pest control methods (to be found at organic garden supply stores) will help your garden grow and provide you with an abundant harvest.

If you have any comments, questions or would like to share some of your organic gardening experiences (or any other organic related comments), please visit Healthy Food Trends.




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Natural Soil Aeration

Soil with a good population of worms in it is a healthy soil. If your existing soil has plenty of worms then you just need to keep them happy while your vegetables grow.

Worms in your soil keep it aerated and maintain a functioning drainage system. Worms are, in effect, tilling your soil.

Worms do not destroy the soil structure or pollute the environment with petrol fumes and residues (as heavy machinery do).

By creating space with their burrowing, worms allow air to circulate, water to drain, and roots to grow.

More on Worms: What do Worms Eat?

Disclaimer: The content of this page is an opinion and is not meant to be medical advice. We do not make any therapeutic claims for herbal supplements. This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in providing medical advice or professional services. Please consult with your doctor, health care practioner or professional service provider for specific problems or advice. Many recipes have been tested however some are submissions: no guarantee is given that the ingredients or directions provided are correct and complete.

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