Square Foot Gardening

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square foot bed

Economical Use of Space

Square foot gardening is a special method of growing plants in a limited space. The name comes from the fact that you use raised beds divided into sections that measure 1 foot by 1 foot (or a bit larger if you so desire).

Easier On The Back

Ideally, you want to be able to stand on the side of the bed and easily reach the center of it without any problems. Since they are raised beds, tending to your garden will be much easier on your back since you won’t need to bend over so far as in the traditional manner.

The joy of this type of gardening in part is the fact that you control what type of soil is placed in the beds. If you typically have clay soil at your location that is difficult to work with, the beds completely do away with this issue. You add the exact type of soil that you need into your beds. Garden soil whether mixed by you are a premixed variety is a fine texture that is easy for the seeds to sprout in or for young roots to spread out as they need for optimum growth. I recommend an equal combination of either compost you’ve prepared from you compost pile, or a large bag of organic planting soil, Vermiculite, and Peat Moss shown below.


Also, each time a plant is ready to harvest or finished blooming, you just plant another type of plant and start the process all over again. You place plants with similar needs in the same area too, which minimize the confusion of providing water and nutrients in the appropriate amounts.

You can use these beds to grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and more. These are ideal for even balconies, tabletops, patios or backyards. If one bed is not enough you can add as many beds as your space allows.

You can use pressure-treated lumber, cedar or some other wood that weathers well outdoors to build your own beds. Today, there are many plans available to show you how to do it. You can also buy pre made raised beds that are ready to use or take very little assembly.

Once you add the soil to these beds and add some compost to enrich it the beds are ready to use. Just measure and construct your squares  using lattice-grade pieces of wood or something similar, and decide which plants or seeds will be placed in the soil. Once they are planted, you will need to water them in thoroughly to give them a good start.You will be amazed at the quantity of blooms or food you get from one small area. The beds can be used for both warm-weather and cool-weather plants.

A square foot gardening bed can be easier to tend to for weeding, feeding, and harvesting do to it’s small and convenient size. There are unlimited ways to customize your square foot design to suit your needs.You can create a shelf to sit on using a  2X6 plank that is attached to 4X4 posts every 3 feet or so as in this image.


You could also build it high enough so that you didn’t have to bend over at all like this 3 footer I took a picture of at a friend’s house.

Danielle RB


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