Square-foot gardening is a way for gardeners to grow a variety of veggies in small areas such as in a raised bed garden. The concept is to divide the raised bed into 12 X 12-inch squares with string, and to plant different veggies and herbs within each square, optimizing the growing space with a large selection of produce to harvest. This method of gardening is great for people who love to garden but do not have a lot of space. It is also ideal for both beginning and seasoned gardeners who like to experiment with growing new foods in addition to the tried and true favorites. Additional benefits of square-foot gardening include the fact that densely packed gardens encourage roots to compete with each other, which fuels the growing process, and the close placement of the plants fosters the creation of a living mulch, which retains moisture and creates a barrier that discourages weed growth.
Supplies for a Square-Foot Garden
Raised wooden bed with rich soil
Large roll of weather-proof string or twine
Seeds and/or seedlings
Instructions for a Square-Foot Garden
Begin with a 4’ X 4’ or larger raised bed filled with rich soil.
Measure and mark off 12-inch sections along each side of the raised bed walls.
Hammer a small nail into each 12-inch marked point around all sides of the raised bed.
Using string or twine that can withstand wet conditions, tie off each section nail-by-nail, forming a tight grid of 12-inch squares with string. Make sure the string is taut.
Plant seeds, seedlings or herbs of your choice in each square according to the directions on the packages. Be sure to note what you are growing in each section with a plant marker and remember to plant tall plants in the back while keeping shorter plants in the front to allow for adequate sun exposure. Water daily and enjoy!
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.