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Start a square foot veg garden

8 August 2014
Start a square foot veg garden

Start a square foot veg garden as the perfect way to squeeze a lot of veg into the tiniest of gardens. When you're short of space, packing variety into your patch becomes incredibly important. But with square foot gardening, you can harvest nine or ten different vegetables from a bed just a metre square.

The idea is that you divide your space into small, manageable proportions, ideally 30cm (1ft) square. Add plenty of well-rotted manure to the soil, as this is an intensive system and the richer the soil, the better the results. Mark out your divisions with string, then plant one variety of vegetable in each segment.

Plan your planting on paper so you position veg where they won't overwhelm each other. Courgettes, for example, are best on corners where they can spill over the edge: good neighbours include climbing beans or peas.

Look out for dwarf or 'patio' varieties from the extensive range of veg seeds in your garden centre as they're designed to be super-productive in small spaces (they're great for container growing too). Broadcast seed instead of sowing in rows, and fill each segment again as soon as it's empty. You'll be astonished by how generous your little veg plot can be.