Overview of Square Foot Gardening

As someone with limited sun space, square foot gardening has some appeal. Looking at the planting density charts, they look a lot like suggested plant to plant spacing for normal gardening. The difference appears to be that row spacing is thrown out.
I'm not sure I see many advantages in using raised beds over a well prepared normal bed. I would think that with my lack of late afternoon to evening sun that the increased density due to the reduced row spacing would yield less total sun per plant. It looks to me that the real advantages are primarily in water usage, along with easier care. That's not a big deal for me as I have the drippers and mulch ready, and the plot is well weeded.
I've been moving plants from seed starters to small pots and gradually putting these in the ground as they achieve some size. So, it's not too late to give SFG a try, but I'm not convinced it's worth my effort. Differing opinions?
Jeff
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"There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments." -- Janet Kilburn Phillips
The advantage of raised beds may be mostly to older backs.
Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. -- Synonymous
It also makes it easier for excess water to run off, leaving the bed warmer.
I know from nuthin' about SFG, but in general, it is a bad idea to have leaves overlapping. The saying about peppers "that they should hold hands" (just touch), I think applies to other plants too. Sunlight hitting the ground, is sunlight that isn't making glucose.
Let us know how your foray into SFG works out.
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Billy wrote:

I've heard about this light sharing arrangement between corn and pole beans. At least it does no harm to the corn. I wonder if there are not other light symbiotic relationships. I see no harm in letting the cucurbits intrude on the tomatoes, what harm could there be, there's sunlight hitting the ground there. The cucurbits could run off if need be.
http://www.gardensablaze.com/Companions/CompanionYield.htm
list marigold and carrots as compatible with peppers. Seems to me they all crave light and only the peppers would be happy. It would seem most herbs would be happier under the peppers.
I'm thinking the Gardens Blaze link has more to do with chemical compatibility, perhaps soil preferences. Reminds me of that Daffodil who fends off all comers while looking dazzling.
BTW, thanks for all the info on soil structure, it'll take me some time to get through it!

I've got a short unused driveway, but I'm thinking containers, more than frames. Easier to reclaim the driveway, at least. Although also easier for someone to drive off with my garden!
The next project is more likely to be the vacant overgrown lot across the street. I don't mind the overgrown (happy hunting ground for the cats), but I'm thinking berry patch. Maybe wildflowers. Wild strawberries thrive against the retaining wall, maybe move some commercial pups over... All my bricks and stone came from there, I should put something better back.
Jeff
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I wish you luck, the attempt was a bust for me (summer squash amongst the tomatoes), but different times, different places, good luck. I've pissed and moaned about being on the north side of a hill, but some's got it worse. We all try to maximize our return, and what works for me, may not work for you, and vice versa.

Not Basil, and certainly not hyssop. If you want marigolds for your table plant them among the peppers, same with the carrots. Among my peppers, I plant only peppers. I may be wrong. Again, "There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments." -- Janet Kilburn Phillips YMMV

Yes, but eating daffodils, isn't recommended. I'm afraid I didn't look at the Gardens Blaze site.

The main idea is, to make a health soil environment that will nourish the plant, without poisoning the environment, and will block out pathogens.

Nothing wrong with containers. Yesterday, I was mixing new potting soil into some pots that I used last year, when I came across earthworms. I stopped mixing immediately, and there after treated the pots as I would any other soil.
Basil always seems to produce better for us in pots. I suspect some other plants would to. The soil will be warmer, but pots really make you pay attention to the watering schedule.

Your hearts in the right place, if you fail, no blame. Maybe give the cats some catnip. My cats don't go crazy over it, but they do like to take their siestas next to it. Otherwise, the world can always use more beauty. Fraise de bois, always the best.
--
- Billy
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Jeff Thies wrote:

The spacing that is sensible depends on resource competition. If the soil has good texture and holds nutrients and water well you can exceed the density usually given on seed packets etc. If sunlight is not strong don't go overboard as that will be the limiting factor.

1) Drainage, very useful in heavy soils 2) Increased depth of soil, with limited top soil you can pile the dirt off the paths up to give extra depth 3) More accessible, high sides and a flat top to the sides to make a seat can extend gardening to those who cannot bend or kneel comfortably
I would think that with my lack of late afternoon

Yes
It looks to me that the

Not entirely

David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

I think sunlight will be my limiting factor. Good to know the package directions are for fair conditions.
I've been steadily working to improve the soil by amending it (a lot of amendments) and putting some worms to work. And getting rid of as much Georgia red clay as I can as it is just about impermeable. I should make a pond, or a pot!

Thanks. I can see now where SFG could be very helpful with the soil I had! Good soil is a precious and sometimes rare commodity.
There's a community center nearby that set up a number of raised beds. At the time, I wanted to talk with someone connected with it, but never could find anyone. In retrospect, I see that a garden without direction, must fail. Only weeds were grown, although much was planned and much was bought.
Jeff

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