Square foot gardening is a method of planning and organizing a raised vegetable garden by dividing it into small squares. This practice is great for intensively planting to grow a highly productive crop garden in small spaces. Square foot gardening was invented by Mel Bartholomew, a backyard gardener who introduced the idea in his book Square Foot Gardening.
Benefits of Square Foot Gardening
- No wasted space.
- Soil stays loose because you don’t need to walk on it.
- Productive use of small spaces.
- Fast and easy to set up.
- Can build or place it anywhere.
- Not a lot of maintenance required.
- Minimal weeding.
How to Set Up a Square Foot Garden
The lattice can be created with twine tied onto nails, thin boards, or just about anything else you can think of. Vegetable seeds are planted at a density based on plant size in each square. Each square contains one type of plant, though you may have several plants within each square. For example, you could put one potato plant in one square and nine beets in the next. The number of plants per square is determined by each plant’s required plant spacing. This information can be found on the seer 1’x1’ squared packet, plant label, or online. Plants that require more than 12” plant spacing can utilize more than one square.
Square Foot Gardening Calculations
- 3” plant spacing = 16 plants per square foot
- 4” plant spacing = 9 plants per square foot
- 6” plant spacing = 4 plants per square foot
- 12” plant spacing = 1 plant per square foot
Tips for Square Foot Gardening
- Choose the right location. Make sure your garden is getting enough sun.
- Put your garden near your source of water to make it easier to hydrate it.
- Use good, fertile soil and add a layer of mulch.
- Be sure to follow all planting instructions on seed packets.
- Water and weed! Keep your garden maintained to have the most success.