What Should I Plant in My Square Foot Garden?

I’ve already collected a few gardening tools, and eagerly borrowed several gardening books from the library to start planning my garden. I’ve settled on Square Foot Gardening for my vegetable garden, but will also have to do some flower planting this fall to prevent our hill from sliding during the El Nino rains. I’ve pretty much worked out what I plan to grow on the hill, but I need more ideas for our vegetable garden.

Square-Foot Gardening Made Simple
The All-New Square Foot Gardening book explains in detail how to make raised beds and then plant different crops in each square foot. That way you avoid over-planting one particular crop. Since I’ve never grown vegetables before, I plan to start with one full-size box and then a few smaller boxes. I’ll expand as needed in my second growing season.

Potential Crops
Remember, I live in Southern California, so I’m both blessed and cursed. I’m blessed because my growing season stretches from March to December. I’m cursed because we have severe droughts, constant water crunches, and flooding roughly every seven years. That’s one reason I’m waiting until March to plant veggies – I don’t want to drown the poor dears my first growing season.

My current plan is to build one four-foot by four-foot box (sixteen squares) for veggies, one one-foot by four-foot box for climbing vine plants, one one-foot by four-foot box that’s a foot deep for long veggies, and a one-foot by one-foot box for herbs.

4 x 4 Box
My plan is to put the following in the 4 x 4 box:
Red lettuce
Green leaf lettuce
Yellow onions
Red potatoes (2 spots)

1 x 4 Climbing Box
The climbing box will contain:
Green peppers
Red peppers

Deep 1 x 4 Box
So far I’ve only decided on one crop for this box:

Herb Box
In addition to the herb box, I’ll have separate pots for mint and rosemary to keep them from taking over the whole box. The herb box will contain:
Italian Parsley

As you can see, I have way more space than I have crops. So, this is where you come in. What else should I grow? I’ve got eight open spaces in the big box, one open space in the climbing box, three open spaces in the deep box, and probably a lot more room in the herb box. I’m thinking of putting snow peas in the fourth climbing spot, even though I won’t see results until the following year.

Post your suggestions in the comments, but keep the following in mind: I don’t want to grow any seriously water-hogging plants. I know the lettuce and tomatoes will take more than other vegetables, so I’m compromising there. Other plants should be able to withstand high summer heat, too. We don’t have much humidity, so they have to like dry air.

Help me grow my garden! I’ll be posting my progress with photos as the season progresses. Right now I’m in the information gathering phase. What are your secrets for gardening success?

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