a garden bed with runner beans, zucchini, kale and tomatoes
Photo: Howard Rice/Garden Picture Library
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Block It Out

Or follow the advice of Utah gardener Mel Bartholomew, author of the best-selling Square Foot Gardening: Divide your bed into 1-square-foot sections, meaning a bed 4 feet on each side would have 16 sections. Plant and harvest each square individually, perhaps with a single broccoli or cabbage plant right in the middle; or nine medium plants, such as beets or spinach, 4 inches apart; or 16 carrots, radishes, or onions 3 inches apart. Sow new seeds every few weeks, spring through fall, to extend the harvest. It's an easy way to feed a family and keep from feeling overwhelmed with upkeep.

Shown: Trellised runner beans share this bed with zucchini, kale, and tomatoes (shown).
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