Preparedness blog

How to Start Your Own Square Foot Garden

By Jeff and Amy Davis
More from this author

Starting your own garden is a great way to be prepared for any situation. You can start with less than $50. Square food gardening is the perfect introduction to growing a successful vegetable garden. In a square-foot garden, plants thrive in raised boxes that are sectioned and filled with nutrient-rich soils.

Follow these instructions this summer and you can start enjoying organic vegetables from your own backyard! Also, browse out selection of food storage items to make sure all of your food is preserved for the long term.
build-a-squarefoot-garden

9 years ago
Comments
Howard
9 years ago at 12:40 AM
I am starting one, but for a box I have found some 4 ft. square plastic fruit bins, that are used in the orchards
Jeff Launiere
9 years ago at 6:06 AM
I have several square foot gardens in my backyard and it is so easy, and mostly weed free. Because the soil is so loose it is easy to pull out weeds, and this mix of soil allows everything to grow perfectly from my Blueberries, Oranges, lettuce, radishes, tomato, eggplant, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, and so much more.
Uncle Shaggy
9 years ago at 7:36 AM
When substituting coconut fiber always make sure it is washed thoroughly or nothing will grow because of the salts in the coconut shells (think saltwater, usually near coconuts) I have seen its ph as low as 3, most veggies need ph between 5 & 7!
Dave
9 years ago at 7:57 AM
I started a sq ft garden this past season. It wen OK, but the mixture I used required I add extra nutrients to get real growth. I started a winter garden a few weeks ago and am seeing a great crop of lettuce, radishes, cauliflower and collard. Ii really like the convienence of having all my produce in the same place. I have back injuries and limited mobility so having everything at arms length is very helpful. I would not dirt garden an other way. I also have a hydroponic system that I built and is off the ground which eliminate having to bend. I can send pics of both if you would like.
Joan
9 years ago at 8:23 AM
I made one this past spring. I grew peppers, carrots, peas, spinach, beets, lettuce and broccoli. They all grew very well, however, the broccoli nearly took over - it grew huge! I bought a kit at Home Depot for about $38. Included 4 untreated boards, 4 corner pieces that the boards just slip into, and 4 corner tops that screw in to hold it all in place. Worked great.
Tom Kelly
9 years ago at 8:32 PM
Howdy: For a more in depth read on this great subject, check out Mel Bartholomews book "Square Foot Gardening", 2nd edition. You can also add 2' rebar in the corners, add plastic pipe hoops and put plastic over the grow box, making it a small greenhouse. Don't forget to cover the ends as well. This will extend your growing period out to nine months, dependent of course where you are. He gives suggestions on other crops ideas as well, like Salad Greens. Chard,Kale, (try Scottish and italian varieties), Mustard Greens, Collards! They are cool weather crops and will work most of the year. Use it up by cutting the leaves of pot cooking or sauteing gently untill wilted with a bit of crunch left! Yummmmm Enjoy...Tom
Anne O'Nimmous
8 years ago at 3:29 AM
Years ago I had a very small backyard, and built a number of boxes to enclose the plants. Turned out - as I read up on gardening - that raising a barrier of boards even as little as 12 inches keeps most unwanted seeds out of your garden. It seems that the breeze carries a lot of seeds along the ground, but mostly clearing the grass tops by just a few inches. So building BOXES for your gardens reduces the amount of weeding you'll need to do. The other two things I learned: 1) prepare the soil in early spring or very late winter, and the plants will grow best; and (2) weed thoroughly for the first ten days for most plants, and they will get enough of a "lead" on the competing weeds that they will need much less weeding after that- their leaves will deny sunlight to any new weed sprouts. If you use even old newspapers to cover the ground between your veggies, that will help suppress weed growth. Black plastic film/sheet works even better. I NEVER had to apply pesticides, but I did put a bunch of really hot peppers in the blender and spread the pulp on plants. The Hot Peppers seemed to very effectively repel insects. (I couldn't eat'em; they raised WELTS on my skin!)
Melody
7 years ago at 10:06 PM
Very helpful advice.
Maryjo
5 years ago at 9:19 AM
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