Edible Gardening

Gardening by the Square Foot

By Sarah Marcheschi

Do you feel overwhelmed at the idea of starting a vegetable garden? Don’t know where to begin, or how far apart to space your plants, or which plant should go where? Or maybe you think you simply don’t have enough space or time to grow anything more than the lonely tomato plant you picked up outside the grocery store. After all, what would you do with a whole harvest of swiss chard, anyway? Tah dah! I give you the concept of square foot gardening!

Advantages of gardening by the square foot method

Heralded as a way to grow more in less space, the square foot gardening method allows you to mix and match a variety of veggies, herbs, and even flowers in a user-friendly, compact area. This works for experienced gardeners as well as beginners. No endless rows of carrots and cabbages here, all ripening at the same time.

The square foot method makes it easy to plant, to plant only what you need, and to care for your crops throughout the season. If you have children (or grandchildren), the compact size of the square foot garden makes it easy to spend time with them. You’ll even get to show-off your carpentry skills when you build the box for the square foot garden grid.

Veggies in square foot garden grid

Square Foot Garden (photo by Sarah Marcheschi)

Where to place the square foot garden

Choose a good spot for your square foot garden with 6 – 8 hours of full sun every day, and preferably in an area where water doesn’t pool or puddle after a heavy rainfall. Site it close to the house where you will be more likely to tend and harvest it regularly.

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