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Planting in a Square Foot

Well, I hope you’ve finished your raised garden bed, because now its time to plant!  And, conviently, this planting will require a bit of math, science, and forethought.

gardening with kids in a raised bed math lesson

THE GENERAL IDEA: Planting in long rows with lots of space to hoe between is a great example of how farmers have grown crops for years.  It is not, however, a great way to garden.  Instead, plant your veggies in a more space-saving way.  (*Side note: you will also use a fraction of the seeds in a packet with this method.  Store in a cool, dray place and save the rest for next year!)

THE SCIENCE: Plants need a certian amount of space to grow.  Their roots need to spread out, their leaves need to catch the sunshine, the fruit needs room to develope.  But, if a plant needs six inches of space between it and its next neighbor in a garden row, it also only needs six inches of space all the way around.  And since you don’t need to walk in your raised bed you won’t need to leave any rows which must later be hoed!

THE MATH: Divide your raised bed into square feet increments.  You can do this a lot of ways; I used a small rope.  Use something that will be around all season.  Then, choose a plant for each square.

Find out how much space each plant requires.  You can consult the back of the seed packet, the information pick in the seedlings, or search the web.  Then do the math!  If a plant needs 3 inches in a row it needs 9 square inches in a raised bed.  How many square inches are in a foot?  How many times will 9 go into that number?  That is how many plants will fit into your square foot.  Now on to the next plant!  Do any plants take up a whole foot?  Two?  Which plant requires the most space?  The least?

Now plant, water, and enjoy!

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Categories: Science | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Planting in a Square Foot

  1. Pingback: What I’ve Learned about Gardening with a Busy Family « Daddy's Tractor

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