Square foot garden (SFG) is the name given to an intensive gardening method that employ specifically sized raised gardening beds.Maybe you’ve seen them those highly organized raised beds divided into perfect squares, each featuring their own variety of plant. They sure are look beautiful, but is this method known as square foot gardening effective? This is a question majority of people ask. Here, we cover what exactly it entails, the whole concept of it.
What is square foot gardening?
Square foot gardening is a simple method of creating small, orderly, and highly productive kitchen gardens a better way to grow a vegetable garden, It’s a simple way to create easy-to-manage gardens with raised beds that need a minimum of time spent maintaining them.
The Square Foot Gardening System
Below is a procedure of building a SFG
- Create Deep Raised Beds: Typically 4 feet by 4 feet, with a square foot lattice placed on top to visually separate the crops. Beds are between 6 and 12 inches deep which gives the plants plenty of rich nutrients, while maintaining good drainage. The reason behind the plots being 4 feet wide is so one can comfortably reach into the center of the plot from both sides which makes harvesting of your crops easy.
- Use a Specific Soil Mix: One third each of compost, peat moss and vermiculite. This starts the raised beds completely weed-free as well as being water retentive and full of nutrients.
- Plant in Squares: To keep the planting simple there are no plant spacing’s to remember. Instead each square has either 1, 4, 9 or 16 plants in it depending on the size of the plant – easy to position in each square by making a smaller grid in the soil with your fingers. As an exception to this there are a few larger plants that span two squares. Climbing peas and beans are planted in two mini-rows of 4 per square.
Now that you have a basic understanding of square foot gardening, let’s move on to some of the benefits
Super productive. Intensive planting means huge yields from small spaces, so it is ideal for gardeners with limited space.
Fast to set up. Square foot gardening is a fast way to start a new garden (especially with the updated method using a raised bed filled with soil less mix), so it is great for first-timers. You can place your raised bed anywhere, even over pavement, allowing you to build, fill, and start planting in a just few hours! Even if you work in your existing soil you only need to prepare the planting areas, not the paths, so it takes a lot less time and effort.
Minimal maintenance. Since the garden is small and you have only a few specific tasks to do on any given day, you only need to invest a few minutes planting, maintaining, and harvesting at any one a time.
Hardly any weeding. If you build a square foot garden filled with soil less mix there will be few if any weed seeds in it (depending on the compost you use) and thus no weeds to pull for the first season. Weeds will, however, become more common over time as seeds blow or fall into the bed.
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