Seeding Square: Product Review
The easiest way to sow seeds for intensive cropping or square foot gardening. Plus, it's fun to use!
If you have limited space in which to grow vegetables, or prefer not to weed, then you’ve probably heard of square foot gardening or intensive cropping. This method of gardening involves sowing plants close together to crowd out weeds and produce a healthy crop in a minimal amount of space.
But getting the correct measurements for seed spacing within the 1-by-1 square foot grid has always required a bit of math and a measuring tape. So several new products have appeared on the market to make it easier.
We previously reviewed the Garden Stamp. Now the Seeding Square is available and it takes seed sowing to a whole new level.
The Seeding Square is a 1’ x 1’ flat, molded ABS plastic square with holes. At first it looks a little like a child’s toy, with bright primary colors. And that’s not surprising as the company behind the Seeding Square, Contour Creations Inc. out of British Columbia, Canada, conceived of it as a way to make gardening fun and easy for children. Their goal is to provide one to every school to help encourage gardening at a young age.
Despite the child-friendly colors, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into the design and functionality of the Seeding Square.
Simply look up the plant you want to grow, check which color is associated with it and then drop the seeds into the corresponding colored holes in the Seeding Square.
The Planting Guide lists vegetables of all types and sizes, ranging from smaller ones that go in the red holes (16 plants per square foot) to plants that need a whole square foot for themselves (these go in the orange hole in the center of the Seeding Square). Some plants, such as squash, cucumber and melons need up to 4 feet of space so wouldn’t be good candidates for planting with the Seeding Square. The Planting Guide even indicates whether vegetables should be sown as seeds, planted as cloves or tubers, or planted as seedlings.
Even more planting information, such as which plants go well together and which don’t, can be found in the Companion Planting Guide on the company’s website.
How to Use the Seeding Square
The instructions are clear, printed in large enough font to be easy to read, and include colored photos showing how to use the Seeding Square. They’re printed on a sturdy piece of paper that’s neatly stored in a clear pocket inside the Seeding Square’s package and can be easily removed if you need a closer look
The Seeding Square has four larger, oval holes near the center; simply put your fingers through those holes to hold the square.
Press it down firmly into your planting bed (be sure to prepare and rake the bed before planting). There’s a rim around the perimeter of the square that leaves an indentation in the soil, indicating your 1’ x 1’ planting area and making it easy to properly place the Seeding Square each time.
Makes Sowing Seeds Easy
Once the Seeding Square is in place, use the orange seeding wand to poke into the soil through the appropriate colored holes. It has grooves at 1-inch increments, allowing you to consistently poke holes at the right depth for whatever seed you’re sowing (check the seed packet for the correct planting depth). There’s even a handy scoop at one end of the seeding wand to hold the seeds.
The plastic seeding wand is magnetized and fits neatly into a groove at the edge of the Seeding Square. It’s held fairly firmly in place and is hard to dislodge accidentally but if you drop the square, the seeding wand could pop out.
To make it even easier to get seeds into the right holes, there’s a bright orange funnel that fits into the holes. It’s stored on the underside of the Seeding Square where it fits snuggly onto the lip on the bottom of the middle hole. I didn’t find much need for the funnel when planting seeds but children or people with unsteady hands might find it helpful.
Finally, the Seeding Square and Planting Guide come neatly packaged in a zippered, see-through plastic case, making it easy to store without losing any of the parts. If you leave the Planting Guide inside its pocket in the plastic case, it should last for a long time (you can always download a new copy from the website).
This is definitely a 5-shovel product. It’s well-designed, easy to use, and comes with plenty of helpful information to make gardening simple. Note that there are a few smaller pieces so it is not recommended for children under the age of 5.
Where to Buy
The Seeding Square can be purchased online through the company’s website at www.seedingsquare.com for $26.95 plus shipping (or $107.80 for five – they make a good gift). It’s also available on Amazon for $27.96 with free shipping.
While you’re at it, you might also consider All New Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space by Mel Bartholomew –it’ll teach you everything you need to know about growing a prolific garden in a small space.
Now over to you – Have you tried a seeding guide before? What did you use and how did it work? Let us know in the comments below!
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