What is a Square foot garden?
This is a simple gardening method that utilizes raised beds of varying sizes. Sizing of the raised beds depends on what is being planted, how much space is available, and how much the Gardner wants to plant.
Square Foot Garden Planner
When planning a Square Foot Garden first look at how much space is available. Next using a square foot calculator you can figure out the garden size that best fits your space. A recommended online resource for help with this is “Calc Monster”. You will build your garden frame using 6 inch wide pieces of non treated lumber, which can easily be purchased at a local hardware store.
Before placing your frame on the ground it is helpful to first put a weed map down or landscape fabric. Doing so will prevent weeds from growing in your garden, which will provide you with less upkeep!
After placing the weed map and assembled frame down on the ground you can next put in the soil. The recommended square foot gardening soil is a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite and compost. If you do not compost leaf mould is an appropriate substitute.
Next when figuring out what to plant the following square foot gardening spacing guidelines may be helpful. You will want to look at the size of the plants that you are planting.
Plant size guidelines:
- Small: 16 seeds planted per square foot with 3 inches of spacing between seeds.
- Medium: 9 seeds planted per square foot with 4 inches of spacing between seeds.
- Large: 4 seeds planted per square foot with 6 inches of spacing between seeds.
- Extra large: 1 seed planted per square foot.
Ex: A tomato plant is an “Extra large” plant so you would plant 1 per square foot in your garden. Carrots or Radishes are “small” plants so you could plant 16 per square foot.
Gardening Layout is entirely up to you! Size of plants is important when thinking of your garden layout. Vertical gardening, the use of trellises and staking, is also commonly utilized with this gardening method. If you are planting large plants with vines using a trellis so it grows up instead of out, can help maximize space. If this method is utilized consider placing these in the back or side of the garden when planning your layout.
Once things are planted, water daily and enjoy! Square Foot Gardens are simple, functional, and easy to maintain.