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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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renting a garden plot

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quiltbea
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Post  lisaphoto 4/3/2014, 8:57 am

I already have 4 sfg in my backyard, but the local ymca was offering garden plots.  For $30 I am renting 2 100 sq ft plots.  I won't be able to attend to it often, maybe once a week.  So I was thinking a modified version of 3 sisters may work.  I was thinking sweet corn, bush beans, and winter squash.  I have not had luck growing corn in my sfg, my main reason for buying the plots.  Anyone have any suggestions on how to get the best results (layout, timing, feeding, etc.)?
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Post  quiltbea 4/3/2014, 12:47 pm

I've found that renting a comm garden plot is a weedy proposition if its not SFG.  Having the area full with 3 items may be the best way to go.  The shade will keep down the weeds.
I think bush beans will be too low and be shaded too much to produce well.  Get the tall ones.
I grew purple-podded beans with my corn so they could be easily seen against the green stalks.  Worked great.  Mine was 2 sisters.  No room for squash or pumpkin in my beds but that's different in a comm garden.  There's room to spread out.
renting a garden plot 07-21-10
I grew my 2 sisters in my SFG at home.  I also leased rows at our comm garden, especially for watermelon, pumpkins and squashes, and more tomatoes.  That's how I know the weeds run rampant from being tilled in the spring.  Dormant weed seeds are pulled to the top.  The melons and pumpkin shaded out and covered the weeds so they were great but the tomatoes were inundated with weeds if I didn't weed often enuf and I couldn't keep up with the squash bugs in the zukes.
Crowding your beds with 3 crops may be the best thing for such a garden.  Its a good way to keep down the weeds naturally.
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Post  Marc Iverson 4/3/2014, 6:03 pm

How are the people in your area? The guy on youtube who calls himself growingyourgreens had to develop strategies to keep people from simply stealing all his produce once it ripened. So he grew stuff that people don't normally eat, or varieties of crops in unusual colors that people wouldn't steal as readily. He has an interesting youtube on it.
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Post  quiltbea 4/3/2014, 9:07 pm

Marc.....I guess I was lucky.  Small town, great people and no stealing of which we are aware.  We also grow lots for our local Food Pantry and have many separate rows for that.  Several people have plots there and an organic farmer is right to the north of us.
renting a garden plot 06-09-10
Our only danger seems to be moose walking thru the garden beds.  This happened to be the morning we had the plant and book sale at the next door local library so lots of cars in the parking lot.  Our gardens are beyond the parking lot.  Mrs Moose happened to stroll between the personal beds and the Food Pantry beds then into the woods to the right, so nothing was ruined
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Post  Marc Iverson 4/3/2014, 9:16 pm

Well there's a bit of luck! He (she?) could have been very destructive.
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Post  lisaphoto 5/26/2014, 9:31 am

I sill haven't quite figured out how to best plant the plot.  I basically have two very long rows (about 75 foot maybe), about 2 feet wide each, smack dab in the middle of other people's rows.  My corn says it needs to be in rows 3 foot apart, but we can do much closer, right?  I'm also worried about planting the squash and it going into other people's plots. Any advice on what would be a good setup?
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Post  quiltbea 5/26/2014, 11:18 am

You can plant 2 rows of corn in that 2 ft wide row so you have 4.  You can also help pollinate by shaking the tassels as the tops so they distribute their pollen on the silks below them.

As for squash, plant in one row and guide the vines along that row and into your 2nd row across the way (so don't plant anything in that 2nd row).  You could plant something quick like radishes or lettuce so they'll be harvested before the vines sprawl over them.

Good luck.
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Post  lisaphoto 5/26/2014, 12:09 pm

good idea, thanks!
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Post  sanderson 5/26/2014, 1:23 pm

This is my interpretation. The instructions are for traditional row gardening. In SFG, you can plant 4 per square feet. So you can plant 8 per linear foot of your bed. (Each linear foot = 2 squares) Therefor, if you allowed 10 linear feet for corn, that's 80 plants!

As far as squash, some can be grown vertically, such as winter squash, and I'm finding, lemon summer squash).

Lisa, can you post a photo of your two 2' x 75' rows so that we can all be on the same visual page? thanks
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Post  Marc Iverson 5/27/2014, 2:29 am

Comparing regular soil to MM, for spacing purposes, could be problematic, since many if not most soils aren't as good at holding water, as well-aerated, or as nutritious as MM. For instance, I plant things further apart in my non-MM raised beds to allow for their comparatively inferior nutrition and water-retention, and I also fertilize in them more.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 5/27/2014, 11:00 am

Lisa, just fyi, I've got my corn planted 4 per sf.  They're doing fine.  Just have to make sure they get plenty of food & water.
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Post  tagyourit 5/27/2014, 11:06 am

I would do a pole bean instead of the bush so that it will grow up the corn and have room to spread.   If you plant the squash in the middle of the 2ft row it will not spread too badly into other plots.     It might be tricky to reach the squash through the corn though, but that is a small distance so it would be doable.   What about some pepper plants too.   People would probably leave those alone and they don't require as much attention as other plants.
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