A successful experiment

At the end of February, I made some self-watering seed propagators from 1 litre lemonade bottles.

I have successfully grown:

  1. Climbing beans

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2. Lollo rosso lettuce.  This is the second sowing. They are looking a bit sad because they were running out of water and it was too hot in the greenhouse. They soon perked up.

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I’ve also got mint, chives, oriental salad, cress, radish, and spring onions. Some are more successful than others.

I’ll definitely be starting my beans off this way next year.

Growing in a Grid (2)

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Though I have, technically, been attempting grid gardening for two years, it’s been on a more informal basis; a shove it all in and hope it grows basis.  This has worked, but only up to a point.

There are websites and books out there that have already calculated the optimum number of plants that should grow in one-square-foot.

If you want to sow garlic, one square foot (foot-square?) will support nine. Sowing parsnips? You can sow sixteen in one square.  Chard? You can only sow four seeds or seedlings. Potatoes – just one.

If I translate that to a large-scale raised bed, then a way of measuring the area and using the correct spacing is necessary.  I spotted something on the internet a while ago, but it wasn’t too difficult to draw up my own plan, though it doesn’t cover every variation.


This is the template my husband used to make my board out of plywood scraps from the shed.

The square is 12 x 12 inches (well it is called square-foot gardening).  I drew diagonal lines corner-to-corner and measured a one-inch border around the outside, then worked out the distances between each set of holes by trial and error – and a pencil and rule(r).

16 holes (green) are 8 centimetres apart, 9 holes (blue), which include the centre are 10 centimetres apart, 4 holes (red) are 14 centimetres apart.

And here is the finished object.

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It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be.  It will do the job, and I have a spare. I’ll use a small length of cane as a dibber – to mark the space when planting seedlings, or measure the correct depth when sowing a seed.

I just need to make sure I have a list of how many of which vegetable seed per square.

There may be times when I just make it up!