In my last post I mentioned that we are using the square foot garden method for our raised vegetable garden. Because our box is small (only about 4×6 feet) I wanted to make the most of the square footage we had. Square foot gardening (SFG) was the perfect solution for us. Square foot gardening is essentially a raised bed divided into squares measuring 12×12 inches. Each square is planted with a different crop. Different plants have different space requirements, so for example while you can plant multiple carrot seedlings in one square, you may only have room for one tomato plant in your next square. Here is a a very quick primer for anyone who may be interested in learning a little more about this method:
- Traditional planting requires planting crops in long rows with space in between the rows. This may make sense if you are planting so extensively that you need heavy machinery to harvest, but for your home garden this just wastes space that could be planted.
- Square foot gardens typically have one type of plant per square foot. This allows you to plant a greater variety of vegetables/fruits/flowers.
- SFG is best done in smaller plots (no bigger than 4×6 feet) because at that size you can easily reach the middle of your garden to harvest without having to tread on your plants. This also makes this method ideal for smaller yards and gardens.
- While many people stick to a strict one-plant-per-square-foot layout, this method is flexible enough to let you customize your garden. For example, I didn’t want to plant enough different plants this winter to take up every square foot of our garden, but I did want extra beans, lettuce and green onions so here is what we ended up with:
- Our bean teepee took up a third of our garden but it is a crop that we want the most of. The SFG method helped us set up a general layout that is tailored to our specific garden needs. A more typical SFG would look like this:
Image and plans HERE
- As crops go to seed and are ready to be replanted it is easy to do this square by square rather than dig up an entire plot.
Square foot gardening is great for first time gardeners because it is easy to understand and maintain, and it allows you to experiment with different plants without having to plant an entire garden plot of one thing. If you are interested in learning more, I highly recommend the book “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew*–It has been my go-to source of information. Has anyone else tried square foot gardening? Anyone interested in using this method for your garden?
*I was not paid or perked to recommend this product. I simply found it to be the most helpful resource on Square Foot Gardening and I wanted to pass this resource on to my readers!