DIY Square Foot Garden
I use the Square Foot Garden method for gardening for one reason. I am lazy. Pure and simple. If you haven’t heard of this method before, it is awesome! It is the no digging, no weeding method of maximizing garden space popularized in the book, All New Square Foot Gardening by: Mel Bartholomew. In fact, I did a review of it, which you can find HERE.
So, how do you garden without weeding or digging, all while maximizing garden space? In the book, Mel really goes into depth so, I’ll be brief. Basically, instead of digging into the ground you build a raised bed on top of the ground and fill it with your own weedless dirt.
So, after choosing the site for your garden if there is already grass on it then lay down some cardboard. This will keep the grass from growing up underneath your beds. over time the cardboard will rot allowing worms to swim up into your bed, but not until long after the grass is dead.
Next, measure and cut the sides of the beds. Beds can be made out of anything as long as they are at least 6 inches high (go at least a foot for root crops). The length can be as long as you wish as long as the width is no wider than 4ft. This is to prevent you from stepping on the good soil you worked so hard to maintain. I like to use reclaimed wood whenever possible. Pallets, old fences, decks and construction sites are great sources for scrap lumber. Also, I prefer to use screws to put the beds together.
Then simply fill it with your soil mixture…
So, now you have a raised bed. To turn it into a square foot garden you just need to divide it into square foot sections. This will keep the plants separate, maximizing the space allotted. You can use window blinds, twine, wooden lathes or anything else you have at hand. It should look something like this…
Now you have a square foot garden. From here you can do all sorts of things like nailing wire around it for a fence or erecting a trellis to further increase space. You can even put a row cover over it to make a mini-greenhouse.
Until next time, keep Making a Homestead, one day at a time.