Garden planning
It's fall again, and as I noted at the start of this little gardening adventure, it is my absolute favorite time for gardening. Neither drought nor flood, neither insect nor rabbit can touch the garden I'm planning out in my notebook. Some things I learned this year after sort of kind of using The Square Foot Garden:
  • Successive planting is a nice idea. It sort of even works, but it takes a lot of work if the goal is to have things continually ripening.
  • I seriously underestimated how much we needed of just about everything. I really had no idea what the yield was of the things I planted, so the garden mostly produced snacks and sandwich toppings. We had harvested two family-sized salads before the lettuce bolted to seed.
  • Gardening is a whole lot easier when you aren't recovering from a hip infection. All summer I've looked at my disappointing yields and had to remind myself I missed the peak planting time AND was just not able to keep up with many of the gardening chores until later in the season. That just can't be helped.
So this year I'm starting with a little more planning and hopefully a little more information, starting with approximately how much of various garden vegetables I expect our family of seven to consume in a year. Later I'll work out what can be planted early, late or multiple times in the season and decide which veggies I want to grow. Then I can make a nifty planting calendar and see how far off target I can be by June.

corn = 364 ears = 364 sq ft
beans = 3744 plants = 416 sq ft
carrots = 832 = 52 sq ft
potatoes = 52 plants = 52 sq ft
tomatoes = 35 (including canning) = 18 sq ft
lettuce = 384 (over three plantings) = 43 sq ft
onions = 156 = 17 sq ft
green onions = 320 = 20 sq ft
garlic = 100 = 12 sq ft
snow peas = 1664 plants = 185 sq ft
yellow squash = 6 plants = 24 sq ft
zucchini = 3 plants = 12 sq ft
beets = 36 = 4 sq ft
eggplant = 12 = 24 sq ft
green pepper = 70 = 140 sq ft
hot peppers = 10 = 20 sq ft
radishes = 100 = 17 sq ft
watermelon = 10 = 120 sq ft
butternut squash = 52 = 104 sq ft
pie pumpkin = 10 = 20 sq ft
okra = 16 plants = 16 sq ft
cucumbers = 4 plants = 20 sq ft

That's a total of 1700 square feet, or 1/25 of an acre, assuming no successive planting, second harvests, etc. And assuming I can add, which is highly questionable given the hour.

Ooh! Just found a garden planning guide from the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service! This should help to at least verify some of my figuring!