Do you want to grow vegetables but have only limited garden space? If so, intensive cropping or square foot gardening may be a good solution. By planting vegetables more closely (and following some specific gardening techniques), you can grow the same amount in 20% of the space you’d need using conventional methods.
But proper plant spacing has typically required carefully measuring your garden beds and dividing them into 1 x 1 foot squares, which can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience.
The Garden Stamp is a simple tool that makes it easy to quickly lay out your entire planting bed without measuring.
How the Garden Stamp Works
The Garden Stamp is a 1 x 1 foot square “plate” made from very sturdy, hard plastic. It has a large, easy-to-grip handle on one side and 25 flat-bottomed, 1-inch long pegs on the other.
Hold the Garden Stamp by the handle and press the pegs into the soil. And that’s it – you’ll have 21 evenly-spaced holes in which to place seeds or plants.
To mark off your entire planting bed, just repeat as needed, moving the Garden Stamp over to the area immediately adjacent to the spot where you’ve already made holes.
Before Using the Garden Stamp
The Garden Stamp works best in well-prepared soil that’s been raked smooth. Incorporate all amendments into your soil and level the bed before stamping.
The depth of the holes depends on how hard you press down on the Garden Stamp. Smaller seeds, such as lettuce, carrots, and spinach, should be sown only 1/4 inch deep so press lightly on the Garden Stamp when making holes for these vegetables. If the bed is nice and smooth, the holes will show up just fine.
The one thing I had a bit of trouble with was consistently dropping seeds into the right holes. With so many holes stamped into the bed, I got messed up from time to time and ended up with plants spaced either too close or to far apart.
You can also plant transplants, like tomatoes or peppers, using the Garden Stamp.
Planting Guides to Help Design Your Vegetable Garden
Each Garden Stamp comes with a handy Planting Guide that shows which holes to use for 64 common vegetables, herbs, and flowers. For example, a single cucumber would be sown in the middle hole of a square, but lettuce seeds can go in 16 of the holes. The Guide makes it easy by showing green dots where the seeds or plants should go, uncolored dots where nothing should be planted.
More guides and planting information can be found on the Garden Stamp website, including seasonal planning worksheets, a basic veggie garden plan, and companion plant charts.
We give the Garden Stamp a 4-shovel rating. It’s a well-designed and well-made tool that makes a time-consuming gardening task much, much easier. The planting information provided by the company is simple and helpful. All in all, an excellent product for vegetable gardeners, although it would be even better if it could somehow limit the number of holes it makes based on what you’re planting.
Where to Buy
The Garden Stamp is available at a few select retailers in the USA but is otherwise available only online. You can buy it on Amazon for $24.99, where it ships for free with a Prime membership.