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How to Choose Square Foot Gardening Plants

Choosing plants for your square foot garden requires knowing which plants will thrive in small areas.


  • Step 1: Consider plant needs Consider each prospective plant's nutrient needs, shade tolerance, growth patterns, and optimum growing season.
  • Step 2: Compare plant needs Compare the needs of these plants with your garden's micro-climate and soil conditions. Then choose your plants accordingly.
  • Step 3: Consider pH level Consider testing your soil's pH level, which is a measure of the soil's acidity or alkalinity. You will then be able to identify plants that will do well in your soil, or amend your soil to accommodate the plants you wish to grow.
  • TIP: Do-it-yourself pH testing kits are available at most home and garden stores.
  • Step 4: Determine plant spacings Determine the plant spacings you will need. This information can be found on the back of seed packets. For example, if the package says to "plant 12 inches apart," then plant one seedling per one square foot section.
  • Step 5: Use companion planting Determine which plants will do well when grown beside each other. Search for "companion planting" online for help with this. Now you can start planting your garden.
  • FACT: The world's tallest rose bush stands 13 feet 3 inches, and is located in San Diego.

You Will Need

  • Awareness of plant needs
  • Optimum plant spacings
  • Companion plants
  • Internet access
  • Soil testing kit (optional)

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