If you have ever tried square foot gardening, you know that you can grow an amazing amount of food for your family in a few raised beds. However, there are a few things you can do to maximize your limited space. Intense Square Foot Gardening is particularly useful if you are living in an area with a short growing season.
Same Crop Successive Gardening extends the harvest of a type of vegetable. Instead of planting all of the crop at once, as is common in traditional row gardening, make several successive plantings. Make 3 smaller plantings of peas, 7 days apart. Plant 10 – 20 radish seeds every week, switching to a milder radish like Cheriette, when the summer heat is known to intensify the flavor of radishes. Start 4 –6 new lettuce and spinach plants every 2 weeks, and pinch leaves from the inside rather than wait to harvest a whole head. In the spring and fall you can grown any variety, once it gets hot, switch to heat tolerant plants like Buttercrunch and Spinach Mustard, then switch back to Romaine and a compact variety spinach in the fall.
Planting Different Crops in Succession ensures that you maximize your garden space. After you harvest a crop, inspect the soil for harmful insects, replenish the soil with compost, and plant a new crop. This works best when you pair a cool weather crop with a longer season heat tolerant crop (e.g. follow broccoli and cauliflower with squash plants). Or follow a long growing crop like potatoes with a cool weather crop like kale or spinach.
Grow Different Varieties of the Same Plant to extend your harvest time. By planting tomatoes with different maturity dates, you ensure that you have a continuous supply of tomatoes without being completely swamped by plants that all ripen at the same time.