Square foot gardening is a modern planting, harvesting, and maintaining the garden. This method simplifies the horticulture process by breaking up plots into squares that are exactly one square foot, hence its name.
The garden can be built to any size, but this standard provides easy measurements if you work with an organized group of people or plan to sell your products.
You can plant whatever you like in a square foot garden, but the garden’s layout should be planned carefully to make the most efficient use of space. The following is a complete guide on how to do square foot gardening.
- 1 Steps to Do Square Foot Gardening:
- 1.1 Benefits of Square Foot Gardening:
- 1.2 Conclusion:
Steps to Do Square Foot Gardening:
Here are some easy steps on how to do square foot gardening.
1. Plan Your Garden:
When planning your square foot garden, you first have to decide on the size of the garden. A 4×4 square foot garden is a good size for a beginner. You can make it any size you like; however, make sure to arrange it carefully so it makes the most of the space.
The best way to start is by drawing a garden diagram on paper. This will help you visualize the layout and make any necessary adjustments. You can also download a free square foot gardening template online.
2. Prepare the Soil:
Square foot gardening requires well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. You can either create your soil mix or buy a pre-made mix. Be sure to test the pH of your soil and adjust it if necessary. The ideal pH range for square foot gardening is 5.8-6.5.
3. Mark the Grid:
Once you have decided on the layout of your garden, use a shovel or garden hose to mark the grid on the soil. You can make the grid any size you like, but a 4×4 square foot garden will be the perfect size for a beginner.
4. Add Soil and Compost:
Add soil to each grid square, then add compost on top. Be sure to mix the soil and compost well.
5. Plant Your Vegetables:
Now it’s time to plant your vegetables. Refer to the following chart for planting instructions.
6. Water and Mulch:
Water your garden regularly, especially during the hot summer months. You can also mulch your garden with straw to conserve water.
7. Maintain Your Garden:
Remember to weed your garden often, especially if you are growing zucchini, which can quickly overtake other plants in your garden. You will have to harvest your vegetables regularly, so you don’t end up with too much of the same thing. Also, remember to replenish the soil and compost when necessary.
8. Make the Most of Your Harvest:
If your garden yields more vegetables than you can use, consider giving some away to friends or using them for a community food drive. You can freeze excess vegetables or preserve them by pickling or canning them. This will save you from purchasing vegetables at the grocery store during the winter months.
Benefits of Square Foot Gardening:
Besides the benefits of an aesthetically pleasing garden plot, square foot gardening provides many other advantages, including:
Efficient use of space:
This method allows you to grow more in a smaller area. If done properly, one square foot can produce up to 16 times the amount of food as a traditional garden plot or 1/16 an acre.
Better nutrient absorption:
In a traditional garden, the soil is tilled and left exposed to the elements without any fertilizer or compost for months on end. This exposure can cause the soil to lose nutrients over time, but this is not an issue with square foot gardening because individual squares separate your vegetables, so they don’t compete with each other for nutrients.
You have to weed a lot less with only one square foot per vegetable. You will still have to pull any weeds that grow between the squares, but overall, your garden will be much less weedy than a traditional garden plot.
Square foot gardening requires significantly less work because the soil is rich in organic matter and drains well, so you don’t have to water it or fertilize it as often.
As you can see, square foot gardening is a great way to grow more for your family while saving time and energy. If you decide to give this method a try, refer back to this article about how to do square foot gardening: a complete guide for tips on how to design your garden layout and plant each square. Good luck.