If you’re not gardening now, you need to start. Square Foot Gardening promises little or no weeding, consistent results, and lots of organic veggies from a tiny space. Minimal Weeding– This really is one of the most important things for me. It will probably surprise the manufacturers of this product that plant roots will just grow under their little plastic strips! To indulge in square foot gardening, all you need to do is divide your gardening bed into ‘imaginary’ 1 foot squares. It really is a wonderful way to supply your own food. Another great plant for square foot gardening is the cucumber. I haven’t decided what to do about my sister’s backyard yet, but the plastic beds, so far, seem like the best option – at least to ME. This is useful for crop rotation, replanting, seeding, and spacing. Everybody is entitled to have and express their own opinions,but not their own facts.That is why science is so awesome,because it is still the truth,even when people refuse to believe it. To get to a height of 9 inches or so, I would require at least 2 and a half pieces per side. (NOTE: Even if you do think your compost pile got hot enough, watch out, as lots of seeds usually manage to slip through the cracks.). Weed block and cardboard both work. Perhaps where you live it certainly does. The economy of the thing tells me, more than likely the 2 x 4 is probably more environmentally safer and economically less harmful to my pocketbook. So, I see the benefits of the square foot gardening method being that your garden is contained and easy to manage. My First Vegetable Garden – A New Course Offered by University of Guelph Arboretum. Your garden usually starts with a 4×4 raised garden … 2 x 4 x 8′ cost $3.20 here in Indiana. For a person just getting started, he takes the overwhelming world of food production and cuts it into nice, neat 12-inch x 12-inch pieces that are easy enough for even a complete novice to digest. If you want a raised bed, just bang some 2 x 8 wood boards together. Brown paper grocery bags seem like they would be better for the environment but the world has gone to plastic grocery bags. Plastic may last longer, but environmentally it is less desirable. Square Foot Gardening with Kids Written By: Rick Bickling “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” — John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States One of the areas being … I use a combination of methods ranging from row gardening to biointensive beds to water gardening to food forestry, etc. But the cost of taking the lumber out of the pine tree and transporting it, etc. If you’ve got a limited amount of space, like well-planned systems, and you’ve got some resources, Square Foot Gardening is a great method. I admit this is just my guess. Granted, you’d earn it back in homegrown organic produce over time—which is why I bit the bullet and built beds for my wife—but it’s still a big outlay. I basically stacked two 2x10s on top of eachother for the sides and made them 4’x8′. Should You Compost Dog Waste or Cat Waste? This system requires more watering than systems that employ wider spacing. But what are the special techniques that bring … He’s an organic gardener and a philanthropist, and just seems to be an all-around sharp guy with a good heart. Not to mention the minimum wage $10 per hour and probably 4 hours or so minimum required for me to assemble such a project. Hi Robert, I just stumbled on your site doing some research for our vegetable gardens. You will … I discovered your site recently and love your articles. Even if I do it myself for free which ofc I would, I am still using those productive hours of mine that I could be using for other purposes. You don’t need a square box. Square foot gardening has a time-honored, well-tested place in the gardening world, with many noticeable benefits to gardening and lifestyle. In the spring, we built and planted a so-called square-foot garden here in Calgary, faithfully following the instructions in an updated version of Mel Bartholomew's 1970s book, Square Foot Gardening. I think that in many cases the author is a writer, and not a gardener. To indulge in square foot gardening, all you need to do is divide your gardening bed into ‘imaginary’ 1 foot squares. Square foot gardening is a solid gardening method for any home gardener, especially beginners and people who are short on space. Well, economy changes. But on a serious note, there are two things I have tried to mitigate the cost and lengthen the life of my raised beds. This saves $1.30 – $1.70 per bed. If you’ve got a limited amount of space, like well-planned systems, and you’ve got some resources, Square Foot Gardening is a great method. I eventually took the bottoms out of mine once I was sure the weeds beneath were dead. I have found long boards in good shape that were merely used for cement forms before being tossed in the dumpster. Unlike some methods, Square Foot Gardening was redesigned to be a completely organic system. Keep producing that, and your gardens will keep growing for you. I totally agree that one does not need to buy a product like this to have good raised beds. Would that $40 not be better served just donating to an environmental cause? No soil improvements. With a Square Foot garden, you can drop a garden right over grass or weeds without even pulling stuff up. Bartholomew also strongly recommends putting a permanent grid over the top, dividing the bed into easily manageable 1-foot squares. So far, it’s been successful for us (except for the squash vine borers last summer but let’s not talk about those). What I do know is that, the 2×4 lumber is near worthless a commodity before it is taken from the pine tree. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll eventually outgrow the box and concentrate on building your own soil rather than bringing it in from outside. I would use untreated wood. The only fertilizer Bartholomew recommends is compost. Her backyard slopes downward into a creek. Ofc, it’s not a true 4 inches. It’s 3.5 inches. You Are Eating Poisonous Fruits & Vegetables Even If They’re Organic! An “official” Square Foot Gardening bed isn’t in contact with your native soil at all. Square Foot Gardening: What Is It and Does It Work? The basic principle is that you are giving each type of plant the spacing they require, without wasting any space. We have 8 raised beds based on the square foot gardening method. So it’s pretty much the garden equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Square foot gardening is the practice of dividing a growing area into smaller square sections. A lot of my love and recycled materials is where it’s at. The late Mel Bartholomew brought gardening to a whole new crowd, and it really looks like a fun way to grow. Bartholomew also provides plans for melon and bean trellises, so you can grow vertically and get more use from the space. If you are only raising the bed a few inches, raised beds add no real value except aesthetics and a bit less bending. Don’t buy a product that you don’t need, and more importantly, don’t buy a plastic version of it! The above information on the plastic square foot,raised planting box had me thinking,how about a column “Don’t buy this literature”.I and i suspect a great many others have been grossly mislead on gardening techniques and practices via “books” that have been published aimed at the home gardener,For a person to publish gardening literature that grossly misleads so many people is unjust,selfish,and just plain wrong.I love to learn and i have no problems with learning from mistakes.Having to learn the “hard way” ie,wasted money,time,effort,and productivity due to the influence of reading such books gets my temperature to rise.Speaking for myself,square foot gardening is a complete waste period and for most others for that matter. Plastic is not good for the environment, it does not compost, and most plastic leaches chemicals into the surrounding area ie your vegetables. My point is – everything has a price. We … This grid can be made of stretched string, PVC, 1 x 2 lumber, or whatever else you have lying around. 6 Answers. Or you can build the bed on top of concrete, believe it or not. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Mist – Huge Fertilizer Ripoff, Ginkgo Biloba Tree Myths – The Maidenhair Tree, LED Grow Lights - Getting the Right Color Spectrum, 18 LED Grow Light Myths You Should Know About, The Magical Power of Banana Peels in The Garden - Or Not, Eggshells - How Not to Use Them in the Garden, Sunlight Calculator - Another Product You Don't Need. Total cost would be $45 per 4’x4′ bed at 10″ high just for lumber, not including an extra piece you would require for corners, glue(because I would want it glued), stainless screws or even cheap exterior deck screws still costing something extra on top, gas for pick up from the hardware store, time and labor to pick it up. I just started to laugh. Square Foot Gardening, despite its advantages, also has some drawbacks. 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