Since this is my first year having a vegetable garden, I did a lot of research in preparation. I discovered square foot gardening and companion planting.
Square Foot Gardening is basically a planting guideline that allows you to maximize the amount of plants you can put in a small amount of space. Depending on the variety, you can get 1 to 16 plants per square. For example: Tomatoes = 1 plant / sq ft area …Carrots = 16 plants / sq ft area….Watermelon = 1 plant / 2 sq ft area
I found it to be a very interesting concept and fit perfectly with my need for raised beds. I have shale dirt, which means that I dig about .5″ into the ground and hit rocks…not a very welcoming environment for vegetables.
So here is my 2013 Square Foot Garden Plan:
I’m still learning how it works and I’m really hoping that having that many tomato and pepper plants together is okay. If not I’ll just have to spread them out next year.
Companion Planting: With sq ft gardening you end up with plants very close to each other, so it’s important to consider what plants are grouped together. Some plants get along great, others will die if planted next to a plant that is incompatible.
For example: Tomatoes and basil go great together because the basil helps to keep certain insects away. But tomatoes and corn shouldn’t be planted together because they attract the same type of worm, which could cause both plants to die. Tomatoes are helped by carrots, but tomatoes cause the carrots to grow short and stubby.
It’s a very interesting puzzle to figure out. I changed the layout of my plots about 20 times before I finally planted anything. I hope it works out!