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#### LoveLife

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Well, the title says it all. Our frost date is today (and since its been so nice for the past few weeks) I'm hoping to get some stuff planted this weekend, especially tomatoes. But I have no idea how many plants will fit in my 4x4 squares. If it maks a difference, I'm planting mostly romas for canning...

Thanks!

#### fruitfulmomma

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Well, I am better at gardening on paper than in reality, but according to my notes 4 per sq. foot, so you would divide each square foot into 6"x6". If you were doing the whole 4'x4' square in tomatoes that would come out to 64 plants.

#### sogriffin

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma Well, I am better at gardening on paper than in reality, but according to my notes 4 per sq. foot, so you would divide each square foot into 6"x6". If you were doing the whole 4'x4' square in tomatoes that would come out to 64 plants.

I think its 1 tomato plant per 4 square feet, each in a 2'x2' plot.
So 4 tomato plants by that math.

#### LoveLife

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Hmm. I think that the 4 plants must be closer to right. Last year I planted peppers and he says to put those 1 per SF...

Do I need to trellis thte tomato plants using the SF method??

Sorry for all the questions, but last year was my first year gardening and only a few things ended up successful.

#### LoveLife

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#### notwonamesalike

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I thought it was one per square foot. So 16 tomatoes.

#### Owen'nZoe

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You know, I think Mel says you can do one per square foot in his book. He says that you get less yield per plant, but more yield per square foot. I tried his method once, though, and I wouldn't recommend it.

First, if you buy your tomato plants (like I do), it is going to take more \$ to plant a 4x4 square at the higher density. (\$2.50 for 4 plants vs. \$10 for 16).

Second, while my plants produced better than I expected, they were stressed and not-very-healthy looking. I think I got very lucky in not having to deal with any major pest/disease problems that year.

I've had much better results with 4 plants in a 4 square.

#### tinasquirrel

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We do SFG, and did one tomato per square foot last year. That is what it says in his book - 1 per square. So, a 4x4, if done in all tomatoes (that's a lot of tomatoes!) would be 16 plants. We had those wire tomato cages to cage the tomatoes and that worked fine. We have a trellis installed in the back of the garden, and we tried using that for the tomatoes in the back and it didn't work well at all. So, this year, we are putting up those cages that are shaped like a cone. Our tomatoes took up the whole square by the end of the summer, so I can't imagine fitting more than one per square. I suppose it would be possible that they may need more than one square as they get pretty large, but the cages keep them well-contained, and I would be of the opinion that more than one square/tomato would be a waste of your SFG space. We also did some tomatoes in containers, and the ones in the SFG did much better over the length of the growing season. I think it was a watering issue. The SFG holds moisture better and it's difficult to over-water.

#### koalove

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how the heck dp you get in there to harves with the tomatoes so close together?? our tomatoes end up looking like monsters by the end of summer. my first thought was "2, tops!" because one plant tends to take up at least a 2 ft by 2 ft. space. i know that ight seem like a waste of space for small space gardeners, but you can fill in the space around it with basil or other herbs to go in the pasta!

#### tinasquirrel

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Well, that's the point of a SFG. You should never have to reach more than one foot over to harvest anything. That's why you don't go more than 4x4, and need to have space all around the square. We actually have it abutted next to the house, so we made it 2x8. I didn't have any trouble harvesting anything last year from the back row. We had a square devoted to basil as well, so of course, that's an idea too....put the tomato in a 2x2 square, and then plant basil around it. Whatever works for you.

#### Owen'nZoe

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by koalove how the heck dp you get in there to harves with the tomatoes so close together?? our tomatoes end up looking like monsters by the end of summer. my first thought was "2, tops!" because one plant tends to take up at least a 2 ft by 2 ft. space. i know that ight seem like a waste of space for small space gardeners, but you can fill in the space around it with basil or other herbs to go in the pasta!
When you plant them that close together, the plants just aren't as robust as they would be if you planted them further apart. They stay much smaller.

#### brogansmomma

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I did one per sq foot last year. The back row in two beds were tomatoes so 10 plants in all (the beds are 5 feet wide). I found that too crowded; the plants were big and bushy but didn't have much room to breathe and the yield was good but not great.

This year I'll be doing 4 in a 5ft row, 3 in 4ft row, etc. My Better Boys will be growing in an irregularly-shaped space (basically 4x3 with a 1x1 square out of the one bottom corner). I will plant 3 in the two 4-foot rows and 2 in the 3-foot row, staggering the plants a little so they're not directly in line with each other. My Romas will be growing in a 5x2 rectangle, 4 in each row and staggered a little as well. We'll see how it goes...

#### WeasleyMum

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I wouldn't put more than 4 tomato plants in that amount of space!

#### Pirogi

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We put 8 tomato plants, 2 pepper plants, and 2 basil in a 6x4. We shall see how that works out!

#### gottaknit

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Owen'nZoe When you plant them that close together, the plants just aren't as robust as they would be if you planted them further apart. They stay much smaller.
Then what's the point? Just to say that you can pack in and grow a lot of weak little plants? If their growth is stunted, then they probably aren't growing very nutritous fruit, either.

I'm with koala; 2-3 plants is plenty for that amount of space.

#### Owen'nZoe

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Quote:
 Originally Posted by gottaknit Then what's the point? Just to say that you can pack in and grow a lot of weak little plants? If their growth is stunted, then they probably aren't growing very nutritous fruit, either. I'm with koala; 2-3 plants is plenty for that amount of space.
Mel claims that while the yield per plant is lower, the yield per square foot of space is higher.

That said, I'm with you; I think it is too close.

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