Thursday, April 23, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

(image courtesy of FrugalDad.com)

Remember last week I told you all I was going to do all my gardening in containers this year? Well... that's not true. I mean, I WAS planning on doing all my gardening that way, but then the weekend happened. My in-laws came into town, and my father-in-law built me a square foot garden! I was so excited, and I'm really looking forward harvesting all my wonderful fruits and veggies this year.

Square foot gardening is a good option for many people. It's great for me because the soil in our yard is so sandy, and we didn't do a compost or anything this year so it would have taken a LOT of work to prepare our plot. With a square foot garden, all we had to do was buy some soil from the store and use that - no mixing into our current dirt, no worries about too much sand or clay, etc.

There are lots of websites out there that are dedicated to square foot gardening. Check out SquareFootGardening.com, which is an excellent resource. My father-in-law used the step-by-step directions here at Frugal Dad to build my square foot garden last weekend. It turned out great!

My square foot garden ended up being 6' x 4', and I planted some tomatoes, herbs, peppers (red, green, jalapeno), some peas, squash, and a few melons to try out. What are you planting in your gardens this year? What type of garden are you doing?


Candace said...

We are doing our garden in our backyard. It's 22x22 feet I think. When the weather gets nicer we will plant corn, tomatoes, green beans, peas, zucchini, zinnias, marigolds (cuz I like them....), beets, lettuce, carrots, onions, cucumbers, pumpkin, attempt eggplant and bell peppers.

Amanda said...

I did a SFG here is the link

I am having a blast seeing it grow!

Sharron said...

I love your garden and glad for the links.

I don't know where you live, but if your soil is sandy, not full a caliche, you can garden up a storm if you want. I did in N. AZ. Add a little gypsum, water it in and just use a good well rounded fertilizer. When the plants get up to a fairly good size, pull back and use less nitrogen and sprinkle on phosphate to encourage blooming.

I got over 300# of tomatoes from 6 hills of tomato bushes one year. In an area with a fairly short growing season. The rest of the garden did well as well.

Anonymous said...

Since I rent the house I'm currently living in, I'm not allowed to till up the soil and plant a garden. So I was considering some container gardening this year too. But this is a great idea - and I love the box! I could conceivably put caster wheels on the bottom and make it somewhat portable - like pull it in the garage at night when the deer are foraging like crazy. Thanks for the inspiration!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I have a square foot garden, too, and I love it! Our soil here is terrible, but filling it with my own dirt really made gardening easy. I have two 4 x 4 boxes.

Robin, I wouldn't recommend trying to move your boxes unless you make them quite small. They get very, very heavy when filled with dirt. (I thought I would move mine too . . .)

Anonymous said...

What are the advantages/disadvantages to using raised boxes in your pictures vs. just doing it in the ground?

Trying Traditional said...

The advantage is good dirt, so good that you can precisely formulate it for both good drainage as well as for water retention. I love my square foot garden. Here are the links where I have discussed it: http://tryingtraditional.wordpress.com/category/garden/

This year I am planing many herbs, tomaotes, scallions, onions, beets, radishes, bell peppers, and hopefully a jalapeno too. I have another area I am wanting a small box (hoping husband gets to it soon) so I can try trellising a melon and some beans or peas. I grew my tomatoes up, btw, it works great!

Diann said...

My hubby and I built our square foot garden a few years ago. Ours are 4 x 12 (they run along the walkway. We have such a nice established herb garden! We added a couple more and have our seedlings growing as we speak! Here in Michigan, we can't plant outside until end of May, but I am SOOOO ready!

TexasRed said...

I've been reading about these. We did an in-ground garden this year, but are talking about raised beds for next year. We'll see how it goes (first year gardening at the new house).

We've got a collection of various veggies to see what works here: tomatoes (several kinds), peppers (ditto), potatoes, carrots, eggplants, squash, shallots, garlic, a collection of herbs, cowpeas, snap peas, lettuces. Hopefully out of all that, something will take off.

Tori, Jessie, Ria, Kat, and Tea. Who is next? said...

I've been SFGing for about 5 years now and LOVE it. I wouldn't do anything else.

This year we have one 2x2 and two 4x8s. Still waiting on seeds. :p

Sharron said...

Hey ladies, don't wait for your hubbys to build your boxes! you can do it! Draw out your plan and to to the store to get your lumber. Many will cut it for you if you don't have a way at home. then have him haul the soil ( the back breaking part) and get those gardens growing!

Paula said...

Please go to my blog to see the lasagna gardening. This type of gardening can be done anywhere and you don't have to dig at all. I have started my garden and I love it. I have so many more projects to start and this method is great.


Donna said...

We've planted carrots, red potatoes, green beans, corn, chard, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, greens, annual herbs (we have a perennial herb garden) melons of all sorts, onions, squashes, and our beds of blackberries and asparagus. Our garden is made up of raised beds that are about 30 x 44. The herb garden is in another location and the melons are planted in the rose garden. We also have potted citrus trees and 13 planted fruit trees. It's taken 8 years of adding a little bit each year. We're praying that this year will provide us with most of our vegeatbles.