square ft w tm cage

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  with a grid that divides the frame into one foot squares (or a bit larger if you so desire). It is amazing how much can grow in each of these one foot grids. Square foot gardening works wonderfully in all sorts of situations and is so much easier to manage than row gardening.

 

Square foot gardening is growing in popularity today because it makes it possible to plant a garden in small spaces that are easy to tend. Most everyone has a space available at their residence  that can handle one or more of these 4X4 structures. All it takes is a spot that gets six to eight hours of sun a day to produce a whole summer's worth of salads and dinner vegetables. The frame may seem small, but you will be surprised to find there is enough space in each grid to produce a generous amount of vegetables.

 

Soil Profile

An important advantage in this type of gardening is the fact that you control what type of soil is placed in the beds. If you have clay or other poor soil conditions at your location that are difficult to work with, the beds completely bypass this problem since your are creating a preferred verm-and-peatsoil profile above ground . Then you simply add your preferred mixture of soil into your square 4X4 foot box. Creating your own customized soil profile this way provides a superior environment for the seeds to sprout and  young roots to spread out as they need for optimum growth. I recommend  equal amounts of a combination of compost you've prepared from you compost pile (or a large bag of organic planting soil if you have no compost), along with a large bag of Vermiculite and Peat Moss.

Easier to Tend to Your Garden

Ideally, you want to be able to kneel on the side of the bed and easily reach the center of it without any problems so you can tend to the entire garden as needed. The dimensions of this layout are favorable for that.

You can use these beds to grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and more. These are ideal for even balconies, tabletops, patios or backyards. If

a balcony with flowers

one bed is not enough you can add as many beds as your space allows.

Building It

You can use pressure-treated lumber, cedar or some other wood that weathers well outdoors to build your own beds. Today, there are many styles of square foot garden layouts being used to suit the imagination of gardeners. You can also buy pre made raised beds that are ready to use or take very little assembly.

Once you add the soil mixture to your bed , tamp it done a bit and attach the lattice grid on top and the square foot  raised bed is ready for planting. There are many ways to customize your square foot design to suit your needs. You can create shelves to sit on, fasten a a lattice structure for vine veggies to climb on, really....the possibilities are endless so have fun with it!

                                                       raised-bed-3        Shelved bed

box-with-lattice

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