Vegetable Varieties for Square Foot Gardens

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A lot of vegetable varieties are great for square foot gardens. Find out about vegetable varieties for square foot gardens with help from a social entrepreneur in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: From Garden to Table
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Hi. I'm Holly Hirshberg from dinnergarden.org, and I'm going to talk to you about how to pick vegetable varieties for your square foot garden. I kind of have a little modified square foot garden here, so I'm going to show you exactly how I pick my vegetables. Now, the first thing you want to do is think of the season you're planting. Because the best tip to success with your vegetables is plant them at the right time. Different vegetables need different temperatures to get started. So, I'm going into winter, so I'm going to pick some things that grow well in my area in the winter. To find them in your area, a quick search of the Internet will find you all the information you need. I think I'm going to put in some lettuce. I like lettuce. Lettuce grows great in cold weather. I have this special variety. I got my plants started at the nursery already. You can do this with seeds. Absolutely. In fact, the smaller you start with your plants--if you start with seeds, it costs a lot less money than starting a plant like this. Nevertheless, starting with plants, still economical. Will still save you money in the long run, and you'll have better food to eat. This is red Salz lettuce. Lettuce grows really big. So, I'm going to put one head of lettuce in my square. The great thing about square foot gardening--have to get it out of here carefully--the great thing about square foot gardening is that you can grow a lot of food in a really small space, 'cause the dirt is so good. Going to break up my roots a little bit, and I'm going to put my lettuce right here. There you go. Easy to plant in a square foot garden too. It's just--this is my favorite way to garden. Over here I'm going to do spinach. I love spinach, and I love baby spinach. If you eat a lot of spinach, it's expensive. Growing your own spinach, great way to save some money. Spinach in a square foot garden, I could put lots of them in here, because I'm going to eat them while they're still small. So, I'm probably going to put four in my square. And then when I want spinach--ha, it's so windy out here today--when I want spinach for my salad, I'm going to cut off as many leaves as I'm going to eat and let the plant keep growing. So, that's going to go in here. Think I'm going to leave the marker in there so I remember what they are. If I was doing seeds, I could start my seeds directly in the ground here in my square foot garden, or I could start them in pots indoors and bring them out this size when the season is right. It just depends on what you're planting. If you're planting something that needs a little bit of a warmer temperature to grow, you're going to want to start it inside while the cool season's still going. Oh my gosh, my garden's going to be great! I talked to a woman the other day who told me that she eats spinach every single day. And I talked to her about, you know, try growing it. It's really easy to grow, and that'll save you a lot of money on your grocery bills, especially if you eat it everyday. So, when you're deciding on what to grown in your square foot garden, you also want to grow things that you will eat. This is going to be really productive. So, I'm going to grow a lot of whatever I put in here. And I want to be really careful that I only put things in here that I like. If you end up having leftovers, ha, you can give them to your friends. Everybody loves fresh garden produce. And if you end up, ha, with friends who say, "Stop giving me fresh produce!" you could always donate it to your local food pantry. Broccoli--I love broccoli! Broccoli is going to grow really big so it needs a square of its own. One thing about broccoli is that, when it grows, and you see that head of broccoli like you see in the store, you can cut that off and use it and this plant will produce another one. And it'll keep producing all summer long, or all winter long. It's the gift that keeps on giving. I love broccoli. I'm going to plant another one in the square next to it. Going to break it up a little bit so my roots have room to move, and I'm going to put it in there. There we go. I have two more squares to grow. I want to plant a root vegetable. I like to take root vegetables like beets and roast them, ha, and eat them like potato chips. They're so good. Now, I can probably put four or five beets in a square. So, let's see how many I got. I think I got four. With the square foot soil, it's just so easy to work with. My poor little beet here, he's taken a beating from, ha ha,from the time he came home. So, he's going to need a little water to perk up. I have a couple of others. Then normally in my garden, I would leave the last square over here, and let that be some herbs or something. I like flavor in my food. My beets, they look a little sad. Ha, they've had a hard journey here to my house from the plant store, but they should perk up in a couple of days with some water and sun. If they don't, here's what I've learned from years of gardening, pull them out and put in another plant. It's not worth your time trying to nurse back to health some plant that's not looking well. It's not that expensive, and you'll be happier if you just change it out. Swiss chard. This stuff is great. And this is rainbow. You can see it's in all the different colors. You can get it white, you can get it red, you can get it yellow. I like it all different colors in one, so they all grow at the same time. This stuff is going to take off in my garden. It likes cold weather. Swiss chard will grow big, and it'll produce all season long. And just like the lettuce and the spinach, I'm going to cut off the outer leaves and use those. Let their center keep growing. And that one little plant will produce for me all season. Okay, so, that's pretty much it. We picked our varieties, we checked to make sure the planting times, 'cause we want to plant what grows in cooler weather. Like I said, a quick Internet search will tell you exactly what to plant. Second, plant what you like to grow. That's going to be one of the most important things you can do. If you end up growing a lot of stuff you don't like to eat, you're just going to be sad. Your garden's not going to be worth it. Plant what you like to eat. Plant what your family likes to eat.

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