Sunday, November 09, 2008

How to Make a Planting Square to Uniformly Space Your Seeds

Do you ever wonder how you are supposed to uniformly space your seeds so many inches apart, as described in the planting instructions?

Well, last month, on a visit to the Family Garden at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), I noticed that they had these neat planting squares to do just that, which is particularly important to do when your amount of space is limited. With that inspiration and some additional thoughts of what would be helpful to me, I asked my husband to make one. The basic idea was a picture frame with a twelve inch by twelve inch opening with pegs placed at two, three, four, six, eight, nine, and ten inches to facilitate planting seeds two, three, four, or six inches apart. I also requested that it be weather-proof, as it may be left in the garden from time-to-time.

After getting the materials together at a cost of less than ten dollars, my husband was able to build the planting square in less than one hour. Here's how he did it.

1. Gather your materials. My husband had all of the necessary tools on hand: power drill/screwdriver and bits; miter box and saw; manual screwdriver, tape measure and pencil. He purchased the rest of the materials at the local hardware store, Dreyer's Lumber: two by two cedar (more weather-proof than pine) balusters for the frame; four brackets for the inside corners; and a box of brass screws for the pegs. I had my own rubber bands for stretching across the pegs.

2. Cut the sides of your frame. Using the miter box and saw, he cut the sides of the frame at forty-five degree angles with the inside (not the outside) measuring twelve inches.

3. Assemble your frame. After pre-drilling the holes for the brackets on the inside of the frame, he attached the brackets to the corners.
4. Attach your pegs. After pre-drilling the holes for the pegs on the front of the frame, he secured the pegs (screws), leaving enough of the head uniformly above the frame to stretch my rubber bands to the desired spacing.


Zoë said...

Very clever, but I think I will stick to doing it by eye!


JGH said...

What a great thing to have (and even better, a husband to make it)
I'm trying square foot gardening this year, so a gadget like this would come in handy.

tina said...

What a neat idea!

Tessa said...

Eliot Colman did a similar thing in one of the episodes of Gardening Naturally, so he could space his plants he was setting out. They were designed to make the holes he needed for his plants in soil blocks. I use soil blocks as well, so I've thought many times since then that I really need to do this. It would be very helpful to not only have a way to make holes the perfect distance for plants, but also for seeds. Maybe I'll use your plans- they are great for the seeds.

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