What is Square Foot Gardening?
Square foot gardening is a clever approach to growing food. It's easy to do, easy to manage, very adaptible, and it produces high yields of top-quality food.
One square foot garden unit measuring 16 sq ft (1.5 sq metres) holds an average of 130 plants and produces enough vegetables for one person. A family of four can have fresh greens in abundance throughout the growing season and beyond from only 64 sq ft of growing space (6 sq metres).
The idea behind square foot gardening is that you can plant fruits, vegetables and flowers in raised beds, above infertile soil and even out of the reach of pets. Seeds are planted in 1X1 square foot plots, and when harvested a new plant is installed in the square. Raised beds can sit directly on the ground, or include a bottom layer and be placed on patios, decks or porches. Because of a bad back, and a dog with a propensity to dig up our new plants, we decided to build a 4×2 foot table-top design.
Basic How to:
The square-foot gardening concept is simple: Build a raised bed, divide the space into sections of one square-foot each, and then plant vegetables (and/or flowers) in just the amount of space they need. The advantages of this system include reduced workload, less watering, easy weeding (and not much of it), and easy access to your crops
The ten basic tenets of square-foot gardening are:
1.Layout. Arrange your garden in squares, not rows. Lay it out in 4foot by 4 foot planting areas.
2.Boxes. Build boxes to hold a new soil mix above ground.
3.Aisles. Space boxes 3′ apart to form walking aisles.
4.Soil. Fill boxes with Melís special soil mix: 1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
5.Grid. Make a permanent square foot grid for the top of each box. A MUST
6.Care. NEVER WALK ON YOUR GROWING SOIL. Tend your garden from the aisles.
7.Select. Plant a different flower, vegetable, or herb crop in each square foot, using 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square foot.
8.Plant. Conserve seeds. Plant only a pinch (2 or 3 seeds) per hole. Place transplants in a slight saucer-shaped depression.
9.Water. Water by hand from a bucket of sun-warmed water.
10.Harvest. When you finish harvesting a square foot, add compost and replant it with a new and different crop.