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Wednesday, February 12, 2014 The Square Foot Gardening Method

The majority of gardeners were brought up using the traditional 'row' method of gardening, stretching string between poles to make straight rows for beans, cabbage, corn, beets, peas and so on. Crops like squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and melons were planted in hills and had big areas for vines to wander.

There are many garden styles - traditional single rows, wide rows, intensive planting in blocks, raised beds, level beds...the list goes on. And there is the Square Foot Garden Method of gardening. This 'out-of-the-box' idea is something anyone with a desire to garden can easily handle. If you don't think you have time to garden, if you no longer need a big garden or can no longer physically maintain a big garden, if you think you can't afford to garden - whatever the reason, with the square foot garden method you CAN garden and enjoy 'just-picked' fresh, healthy food.

Here is what you need for a Square Foot Garden.

Get a 4X4 or 3X3 garden box; place it in a good location that ideally gets 8 hours of daily sun; put down a weed fabric on the bottom; fill the box up with SFG potting soil ; place a grid on top; plant seeds or transplants and water well!

In Square Foot Gardening, there are four spacing guidelines for planting, determined by the size of the mature plant:

Extra Large - One per square for 12-inch spacing
Large - Four per square for 6-inch spacing
Medium - Nine per square for 4-inch spacing
Small - Sixteen per square for 3-inch spacing

Use the seed packet to find out what spacing your plant needs. A tomato or green pepper plant needs one per square, while radishes and carrots need 16 per square.

The grid is what makes your raised bed a Square Foot Garden. The grid is one of the most important things to include while following the Square Foot method.

Square Foot Gardening Starter KitDo you want to give it a try? We've made it easy with our Square Foot Garden Kit. It includes everything you need to start your Square Foot Garden except the soil. (We'll send along the 'recipe' for that, too, or you can find it here.)  The wood components are constructed from durable, weather-resistant cedar. Included are:

Cedar Box - 4'x4'x6' high. The corners are slotted so the sides slip in and hold securely. No tools are required.
Weed Mat - Pre-cut to fit under the box.
Grid and Grid Pins - Attaches to the cedar box, dividing your garden into 16 one-foot square sections.

If you like to grow pole beans or vine crops such as cucumbers, we have an optional cedar trellis that attaches to the cedar box.

For more details about Square Foot Gardening, read all about it in the book "ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING ",  authored by Mel Bartholomew, the garden guru who began promoting the idea more than 25 years ago in his best-selling book, now in its 2nd edition.

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