One of the fastest-growing trends in backyard gardening, square foot gardens are easy to plant and care for. Perfect for small-space gardening, the basic principles behind the concept create basic garden beds that produce plenty of vegetables.
Small space gardeners and backyard veggie growers are embracing square foot gardening with increasing enthusiasm. The designs and growing principles are easy to adapt to small spaces and small gardens, while producing ample harvests.
The Garden Beds
The beds are typically constructed from rock or untreated timber frames. A standard bed is a 4′x 4′ frame, but many gardeners adapt the size and shape to their needs. The standard design is meant to house a variety of crops while remaining easy to weed and water from all sides. With space in between for paths, gardeners construct as many of these frames as they want, usually about 6″ deep to hold the soil.
The soil is typically compounded from fresh potting soil, peat moss, veggie compost, and vermiculite. Soil and compost are the primary features, with the others mixed in by the shovelful in a wheelbarrow or a mixing tarp spread on the ground. Gardeners vary their combinations, depending upon the nature and consistence of the soil.
Gardeners then line the bottom of the beds with newspaper or tarp to prevent weed growth before shoveling soil over the layers, until close to the top. Some gardeners also recommend treating the soil with diatomaceous earth to remove any harmful insects in residence before planting.
The Planting Principles
The beds are typically divided into 1′ square sections using small stakes and lines, each section planted with a different crop, spaced according to each plant’s requirements.
Fertilizer, water, and weeding follow, with a careful eye on soil condition and needs. Diatomaceous earth is occasionally used to dust leaves and fruit and prevent insect damage (simply wash off vegetables after harvest). The plants should have plenty of room for growth and experience only minimal weeds present.
Harvest your veggies easily and enjoy the profits of your hard work. Your easy-to-maintain square foot beds will need compost and winterizing to be ready for spring.
Published in: Gardening