Hi rainbowgardener and Meatburner,
I am *mostly* following the recommended spacing for square foot gardening, and some of these will definitely be succession plantings. So far I have never managed to get all of this planted out or grown from seed, so I have never achieved a full plan like this yet! As I mentioned in another post, we have had damping off problems in previous years with leafy greens, so that has often left empty space. We have also had really poor germination for beets for several years in a row now. Our first year they did great and we thought they were so easy, then we have almost completely failed with beets every year.
Carrots and parsnips each have their own container and have been doing well at the tight spacing recommended (16/sq ft), in part because I don't get 100% germination and in part because I take some as they go and thin that way.
The melons and winter squash are in their own 2'x2' bed (open bottom), and I am definitely pushing the spacing this year! I am being greedy partly as an experiment, partly because the gnadenfeld melon has been just productive enough in the past to convince us that it is tasty, and partly because I could not choose among the winter squashes! These all get trellised so they are growing vertically, not horizontally. We'll see how it goes this year and maybe I will have to make the hard decisions next year.
The rest of the growing area is 3 beds that are 3'x4' and one that is 2'x4', all open on the bottom. I usually do one tomato in each at the back and trellis them so they grow vertically. This year I am going to try adding a second tomato to each in the same space as the peas while they are finishing up. I will have the seedlings anyway (hopefully), so if it does not work no big deal. Those second tomatoes will replace a couple lettuce plants when they go in and hopefully won't bother the peas already on the trellis. I generally prune the tomatoes down to two or three stems and wind those through the trellis. Growing one tomato in one square foot is the same as growing it in a 7 gallon container.
Some of the successions include peppers replacing spinach and baby lettuce, eggplants replacing lettuce, and four of the chards following arugula. If I can get the first round out early enough and the weather is good, then we can get at least one good harvest before switching. I hope!
Pretty much everything else is spaced according the the SFG recommendations. It is tight but efficient. We really don't have any more space for veggies, maybe able to extend each bed by 1' in the long direction some day (if the wife will let me!) so I am really trying maximize . I would not say that our garden has worked as I have hoped every year or maybe even any year. But I think that is why we keep coming back! For the most part, the problems don't seem to have been due to the spacing. We had a couple exceptions last year for sure. We grew Purple of Sicily cauliflower, which got huge and never headed, and Russian red kale, which also got huge, and both of these crowded leeks, peppers, and/or eggplants around them in a negative way. This was a combination of plant choice and location (e.g., eggplants behind the giant cauliflower...oops). We have had problems with the peppers in particular toppling over, but I have not really staked the in the past. This year I am going to center a small round tomato cage in between four plants and tie the plants to the cage as they grow.
Chances are, we will not get everything out again this year, won't get all successions planted, and won't have every spaced covered. I think I am working out the varieties and placements at last, so I can eliminate some factors for past failures (I prefer to call it less than maximal success!).
I really view this all as an ongoing process or experiment with years yet to go! Separate from our available space, I like the idea of intensive planting, but I am definitely still figuring it out! As with the cauliflower and kale, I am certainly willing to adjust each year to make it work better.