April 12, 2010

Square Foot Gardening

This year I finally have a chance to try square foot gardening!  A couple of friends of mine did them last Summer, and I really didn't have the yard for it.  We've since moved, and have the yard, the resources, and the time to give it a try ourselves!  I checked out the book "All New Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholemew from the library.  I also found this website http://www.mysquarefootgarden.net/ through an online search, which is a blog that documents one person's experience with her garden, as well as many resources she's developed to plan and organize everything, and lots of input from blog readers.

Some of the benefits to square foot gardening are that there is good soil because you make your own raised bed filled with "Mel's mix", there are fewer weeds and bug problems, and you can grow more plants in a small space.

Now my yard only has a small garden space where not much sun shines, so my solution was to have a square foot garden box put on my rock area where it will get full sun.  It's built out of scrap lumber we had in the shed.  My husband and I built it from the directions in the square foot garden book.

I built a trellis for it from the book's directions as well, and also purchased PVC pipes for a frame to cover my garden with a sheet of plastic (painting drop cloth) when it hails, which in Colorado, it does frequently in the Summer.

So far I have planted onion sets, lettuce, spinach, carrots and snow peas from seed, and transplanted broccoli, and strawberries (not shown).  I have green pepper plants started indoors that will go in the box later, as well as a melon plant which can climb the trellis after the snow peas are finished.

I'm working with my small garden plot on the North end of my yard also, but it's soil is clay with some compost mixed in, and, as I mentioned, it doesn't get as much sun, since it's near some evergreens, our shed, and our back fence.  I'm hopeful it will produce something.  I'm not investing much cost into it, so it's an experimental year.  I am making compost in a bin also, which I'll work into the garden plot as it's ready.

It's not too late or too hard to put together your own garden!  I recommend checking out the resources mentioned above for how you can get one started.  I hope to post occasional updates on my garden's progress through the Spring and Summer.


  1. Becky i would love to see how your garden grows make sure you post some more pics!!!

  2. I'm impressed that you can grow so much in a small space. I have a small raised bed but haven't really "researched" how to do it. Guess I need to so I can fit more than one or two things!

    Also, is that your lawn from THIS YEAR?! It's so green!

  3. This is my first attempt at square foot gardening, so I'll be interested to see how it turns out. According to the book you can get a lot in the small space because you don't have the rows in between like a conventional garden. I highly recommend the book and the website - they're easy to understand.

  4. Oh, and yes, it's this year's yard - we had it professionally redone last Fall. It has an installed sprinkler system, which I've been running when it's warm enough.