Square Foot Garden Planting Template

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Is this the easiest way to plant your square foot gardens? In this video I show how to make a easy and extremely useful template that can be used year after year to plant your gardens.

Last year we decided to start using some of the methods of square foot gardening in order to get the most out of our small raised bed gardens. The whole idea is that all of your vegetables are planted very close together using specific spacing for each variety. This is a much different process than traditional gardening and has many benefits.

Planting using a template allows you to have complete control over where each seed goes. This can save seed and does not require anywhere near as much thinning if any at all. All you do is drop one or two seeds (if they are small) into each hole and wait for them to sprout (don’t just stand there staring it might take a few days). Once they have sprouted go back and reseed any of the spots that did not sprout. If you save your own seeds then you already know how important it is not to waste seeds.

The obvious benefit to using the template is the spacing. You are guaranteed to have perfect rows of vegetables and each will have it’s optimum room to grow. There is a great site that I use each year when I get ready to plant here – There is a list of common vegetables and how many you should plant per square. It also gives you some rules of thumb to use if your plant is not listed there. The most common plant spacing per square foot is 12, 9, 8, 4, 2, 1 and some plants actually take up more than one square foot in which case you don’t really need a template:)

I first designed the template on cardboard and gave it a try to see if it actually helped make planting easier. I was surprised at how much fun it was and the kids loved using it. So, I decided to make a more permanent design.

The first step is to get a 12″ X 12″ piece of wood. Any wood will do but not too thick as you don’t want it to be heavy. Once you have your wood cut and sanded start marking grid lines every 3/4″ horizontally and vertically. Every fourth line should be a different color (I choose orange). This will give you a 16 square grid to start with.

The next step is to mark the spots where holes need to be drilled. I would recommend checking out the video for the best placing. Once the holes are marked you can drill them out using any size drill bit you choose. I used a pea seed as a guide to select mine. I wanted it to be just big enough to fit through as this is one of the larger seeds I normally plant.

Next I used a couple of different sized washers to make circles around the holes and then painted them various colors. This will allow you to identify the various seed spacing easily. I then added some handles using a small piece of 3/4″ X 6″ piece of wood.

The last thing that I needed to do was to cut out a section where the template will need to fit around the corner and center support posts in our raised beds. I marked out two 3.5″ X 1.5″ squares on the bottom two sides and then cut them out. I then used two small hinges to secure the cutout pieces back to the board. This will allow me to move them out of the way when needed and swing them back in to place.

Lastly I designed a small push stick using a 1/4″ dowel and a square piece of wood as a handle. This was then color coded with markings every 1/4″ so that you can easily make holes to whichever depth you need. It also pushes the seeds down tot he proper depth.

The template has been working great so far and the best part is it gets our kids excited about planting in the garden!

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Music – “Shot Down” by Josh Woodward. Free download:

Andata e ritorno, dalle piante al compost

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Dove fare la pila di compost? Una rilassante passeggiata nell’orto e nel bosco, per vedere alcune piante che stiamo coltivando e per osservare gli alberi e la loro relazione con l’ambiente naturale. Ci soffermiamo su una pila di compost in formazione, per capire dove è meglio posizionarla, sotto quali alberi (nel nostro caso la betulla, ottimo trasformatore di materia organica).
Spero vi piacerà il video, che lascia aperti molti interrogativi e lascia sempre spazio a nuove considerazioni.
A presto!!


Experiment: Red Light vs Blue Light -How Spectrums Affect Plant Growth- LED vs CFL

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Blue light vs Red light. Which is better for vegetative growth??? Instinctively, the answer might seem obvious: Blue light is for vege! That basic mantra has been plastered all over the internet. But if the issue was so simple, then why is it that so many LED grow lights are sold using such a large ratio of red to blue? Why don’t we see many pure blue “vege” lights?

Wouldn’t nurseries that are growing seedlings want all blue LEDs? Wouldn’t indoor lettuce farms prefer all blue light since they don’t want their lettuce to bloom (bolt)? Are horticulture LEDs high in red light because most of the artificial lighting market is targeting weed growers who want marijuana producing massive buds?


I decided to stop making assumptions and to test this for myself! Specifically, today’s experiment tests the following HYPOTHESIS: Blue light fuels vegetative growth. Thus lettuce plants grown in the absence of blue light will grow slowly and develop less plant mass than lettuce grown under blue light.

I set up several grow chambers using 4 types of artificial light sources: Full Spectrum 6500k CFL, Pure Blue 450-460nm LED, Red/Blue 460+630+660nm LED and Pure Red 620-630nm LED. One hydroponic (Kratky’s Method) lettuce was placed under each light.

1:44 – Lights Specs for This Test
2:14 – Specs for Hydroponic Solution
7:27 – Final Results of Lettuce Growth
8:03 – Photosynthetic Absorption Spectrum
8:10 – Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)
10:53 – Recommended Light Levels for Lettuce
12:02 – PPFD Light Readings for the Lights


It turns out that red light was able to grow just as much plant mass as the blue light. An added advantage to the red LED light was that it generated just as much PAR light, while consuming 29% less electricity.

The red light might have produced a large plant, but the quality of the plant was not desirable. The stem and leaf growth was very elongated. It was similar to a lettuce plant that is bolting. The leaves were pale, indicating low chlorophyll levels. They were very weak, easily separating from the stem.

The blue LED showed similar dry weight as the red, but it had higher chlorophyll levels, exhibiting a much greener color and stronger tissues. Growth was still undesirable though, as the plant stretched vertically, rather than staying compact. It might appear that light levels were too low, but the PPFD PAR numbers were actually too high. Also, the blue light did not generate as much root mass.

Check these sources for appropriate PPFD levels for lettuce:

The Red / Blue LED resulted in a more natural, compact growth pattern. It would seem that the lettuce plants require a mixed ratio of reds and blue in order trigger a compact growth characteristic.


Many growers will focus on chlorophyll A + B adsorption charts, assuming that other wavelengths of light are useless to plants. However, PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) spans the entire range of light between 400nm and 700nm. All of this light can fuel photosynthesis with varying degrees of efficiency. Additionally, photosynthesis is not the only concern of a grower.


We also must account for photomorphogenesis, which deals with the way plants grow in response to various wavelengths of light. This can even include wavelengths beyond the realm of PAR, such as UV light. Plants will display various morphologies or developmental traits in response to combinations of light. A classic example is the ratio of red to far red light.

In this test, we saw that including blue light at a ratio of 1:3 (blue to red) was able to prevent the plant from growing in an elongated fashion. This photomorphogenic response explains why we see the popular red / blue mixture of LEDs that are so common in grow lights.


Full spectrum light is the best way to ensure that plants are getting everything they need. But producing such light in LEDs can reduce efficiency. Red and blue LEDs are the colors that offer highest levels of efficacy. Their light is readily absorbable by chlorophyll and easily drives photosynthesis. In a proper ratio of blue to red, most plants respond with natural looking growth.

What about green light? Do plants use green light, or it wasted energy?
Find out at my site:

#ScienceExperiments #LEDGrowLights #VegetativeGrowth #IndoorGrowing #ArtificialLightings #HydroponicLettuce #UrbanGardening

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Pick the right rosemary |Trisha Shirey |Central Texas Gardener

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Pick the rosemary that’s right for your spot. Along with leaves for cooking, you can even eat the flowers. Some grow 5′ tall; others stay low and spread like a groundcover. Other small ones make great containers. Trisha explains how to grow rosemary, even in shade. Flowers come in many shades of blue or white and all nourish bees.

Top Ten Attractions at Kew Gardens – in just two minutes

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The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is in Richmond on the outskirts of London, and is one of the most amazing gardens in the world. It has an extraordinary diversity of plants and over 14,000 trees all set within a vast and beautiful landscape layered with history and heritage.

This short film gives you a bird’s eye view of Kew and reveals the must-see attractions within the gardens…

There is always something new happening at Kew Gardens; new festivals, new events, new displays to see and enjoy.

You can see the full length video here:
Kew Gardens Top Ten Attractions


The Sentence Song | Scratch Garden

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Learn about CAPITAL letters and punctuation (using a period, question mark, and exclamation mark) with this super fun song and video!

Great for teaching primary level writing, reading, and comprehension! Also great for people that like good music and creative animation!

Alternate Lyric Versions of this Video are Here:

Capital letter + period version:
Upper/lowercase letter + period version:
Capital letter + full stop version:
Upper/lowercase letter + full stop version:


This video is part of our new 30-minute compilation:

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The Faith Bandler Lecture delivered by Geoffrey Robertson AO QC

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In 1967, Aboriginal rights activist Faith Bandler approached a young Geoffrey Robertson to join the Board of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) to examine the special problems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the courts.

Inspired by Faith Bandler, who was well known for her active role in publicising the YES case for the Aboriginal question in the 1967 Referendum, Geoffrey took up that appointment which began a successful career that has spanned human rights issues across the globe including the welfare of Indigenous Australians.

In a one-off appearance in Canberra, The Australian National University (ANU) is proud to present the Faith Bandler Lecture where Geoffrey Robertson discusses the advancement of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Multifunctional Windbreaks: Planting | Brise vents multifonctionnels : plantation

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Multifunctional Windbreaks: Planting | Brise vents multifonctionnels : plantation |

Planting windbreaks can have long-lasting and positive effects on your land.

A descriptive transcript for this video is available by visiting the following link:

Pour obtenir une transcription descriptive de cette vidéo, cliquer sur le lien suivant :


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We made a video showing our method of adding compost to clay soil prior to planting some watermelons. For those of you who have clay soil we remind you that it is important to either amend it with either compost or vermiculite or whatever you might have on hand. Its also important to add some type of organic material to your planting soil, because that is how you will be feeding your plants.

How to Make Aquarium Carpet || Growing Aquatic Plants With Seeds || Planted Tank

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This Video is about setting up a low tech planted aquarium with seeds. In this video I have shown how to sprout plants with seeds. This process can be used for sprouting any aquatic seeds

Also Please Note :
This is not a permanent solution for green carpet…This will last for about 10 – 12 months… For a thick and permanent carpet you will need co2 system and fertilizers.. And avoid adding SHRIMPS, that is a mistake I did.. They are the once pulling out the PLANTS.

Things we have used:

1.ADA Amazonia soil – 3 liters
2.Magic seeds – 1 packet (very similar to Glossostigma Elatinoides)
3.Spray gun
4.Plastic wrap to cover the tank
5.Aquarium lights that I Made..

Hope you guys like our video

The Self-Sufficient Gardener Homestead Update for July 2013

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– Hunt Gather Grow Eat: Your Guide to Food Independence (my book on Amazon).

This is the homestead update for July 2013. Included: Keeping Rabbits cool, letting rabbits mow your grass, rabbit gardening, crop garden and weeds!, the killing pole, the difference between patented and normal strawberry varieties, looking for hornworm damage – the clues, building animal “habitats”, etc!!!