Starting a square foot garden is easy and the gardening method is great for people looking to grow more food for their families in the space they have or to start growing food in a limited space. This gardening method is easy and great for beginners or those with limited mobility. Here are some of my top tips for square foot gardening.
Keep each garden bed small
Square foot gardening is best done in a 4 x 4 or a 4 x 6 foot garden bed. Your garden bed will be easier to reach if the squares are kept small. It is always possible to grow multiple beds and leave walking space between them to make the process of taking care of your garden beds easier. A large square foot garden leaves squares with no room to reach for weeding, pest control, and harvesting.
Make sure your garden bed is deep enough for your plants
Raised beds are often used for square foot gardening since they are easier to start than digging in the ground. However, they tend to be too shallow to grow large plants such as tomatoesConsider making your square foot garden taller or removing the bottom liner and tilling compost into the soil under your beds before adding soil if you intend to grow larger plants.
Mark your grid
Having a grid that is visible in your garden is the best way to make keeping your square foot garden organized. You can buy some great grids online but you can use upcycled wood or string to make the perfect grid for free. You do not have to spend money on the simple grid making it easier to put square foot garden beds in.
Be mindful of what you plant
Some plants are not suitable for square foot gardening. Plants that require large mounds to grow, such as potatoes and melons, should be avoided in your square foot garden where they will take up too much space and crowd out other plants. Plants that tend to be toxic to other plants like fennel should never be grown in your square foot garden beds.
Use companion planting to your advantage
Companion planting your garden is a great way to make the most of your gardening space. The skills used in companion planting are vital when growing a square foot garden. This is because your plants will be sharing soil with the nearby plants. You will need to check the compatibility of each plant to the plants that will be going in squares that touch the square they are in to make sure your plants are all compatible.
Use trellises to make use of space
Using trellises in your square foot garden is one of the best ways to make the most use of your garden space by growing things like beans, peas, and zucchini vertically. Adding trellises to your square foot garden is a simple and effective way to increase yields. If you use companion planting with trellises, you can often cram a bit more into those squares by planting companion plants in the remaining parts of each square that do not back up to the trellis.
Use a square foot garden temple
Garden spacing is tricky enough when you can follow the basic guidelines of rows. Square foot gardening can be a bit thicker when planting. A great way to make it easier is to get a simple tool called a square foot garden templet that helps you space your seeds and seedlings just right into each square.