Square foot garden ideas are ideas I have come up for my own gardens, not necessarily used as I tend to dedicate whole boxes to particular plants, however the SFG method should provide the same potential yields no matter what the box layouts are.
What is Hodge Podge?
Hodge Podge, is an East Coast (Nova Scotia) meal I grew up with. It utilizes fresh, new vegetables out of the garden in the form of a meatless stew cooked in cream/milk. Traditionally made in the fall with the harvest, the best time to make in my opinion is when the potatoes are small and new (1″-2″). This usually coincides with the peas/beans being harvested in mid to late July. The Carrots as well, are small and tender at the same time so all combined this makes a very tasty early season/harvest meal.
Hodgepodge Box Vegetables
Potatoes (1/square) : Any potato will do as the small tender baby potatoes haven’t yet formed their thick skin (we prefer skin on).
Carrots: (16/square) Baby carrots fresh out of the box, 2-4″ in length washed and used whole.
Beans: (9/square)Yellow and green bush beans (wax) at maturity.
Peas: (8/square – trellis) Any pod pea – the sweeter the better. Taken from the pods and used fresh.
Potatoes and carrots cannot be next to each other as they will compete.
Deep loose soil for the carrots/potatoes.
North side of the garden a small vertical trellis for the peas can enhance and increase the crop while savings space.
Peas and Beans make great companions for both potatoes and carrots.
Depending on how big or how many meals you want out of the box – usually one potato plant will produce enough for one small meal. One square for each of beans, peas and carrots should also provide enough for one meal. Four square feet necessary for one meal (approximately). If you stagger the plantings of beans and peas, plant one square a week of each, then they should mature at week intervals, allowing for ongoing fresh harvests. The potatoes and carrots will just get bigger.
PO=potatoes, P=peas, CA=carrots, B=Beans
Simple 2×4 layout should be enough for a couple meals. Peas are vertical trellised between the rows of four (halfway across the square). Two simple stakes on the edge with the potatoes and the other on the edge with the carrots and some chicken wire is a cheap/easy method.
4X4 Box – stagger plantings of peas/beans as desired. Peas at North side trellised. Should provide a few meals.
2×8 box with advanced spacings. Peas are planted along the north row (2 inches from wall) with trellis running along the wall. You could run peas the whole length and plant everything else as normal except for beans and carrots where you remove the top row of seeds (beans instead of 9/square plant 6/square) for the squares holding the peas. Personally I would plant without taking the one row out and see how it goes.
A Recipe for Hodge Podge
Once your beans and peas are harvest-able, its time to harvest some potatoes, carrots and maybe a turnip or two as well. Wash and clean all vegetables, You DO NOT need to peel the potatoes, take the peas out of their pods and break the beans into 2/3 pieces per bean.
Mix beans , carrots and cover with water – add some butter and pinch salt.
Bring to a boil/reduce heat and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Add potatoes (whole if small, cut into 1″ pieces if larger) and boil for another 20-30 minutes. You can add cream or milk if desired at this point.
Peas go in 10 minutes before the end of the cook time.
You can thicken up the broth if desired by mixing a tablespoon of flour with 1/2 cup of cold water and slowly mixing with the Hodge Podge at the end.
Dish out and serve when potatoes are done.