Square Foot Gardening

After two hard years planting a traditional garden and it being a TON of work, I decided I wanted to try a Square Foot Garden that Marc's grandpa talked about after he attended the class at BYU's Education Week 2 years ago. Last year he put the principles into action and was really pleased with the results. I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to try it and read his book - so what did my mom get us for Easter? That's right, "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholemew. His method makes sooooo much sense! Why do you fertilize & water the entire garden when only 20% of the garden is actually growing the food and the other 80% is just fertilized & watered dirt which is perfect growing environment for weeds?

If this is the first you've heard about Square Foot Gardening (SFG), this is THE way to go for gardening I've decided. You don't use any of your garden's existing soil - in fact you build a 4x4 square box with 2x6 boards, lay weed cloth down to cover the existing soil and then you put "Mel's Mix" into the box. Mel's mix is a perfect mix for any climate - it's 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 peat moss. The vermiculite holds the water and releases it as the roots need it, so you can't ever over water or underwater your garden after the initial soaking of the mix.

Although we are still in our apartment building, we made our box & stuck it back in the garden area of our previously rented house. (We are friends with our old landlords).

I decided to make a box with a bottom so I could raise it up and hopefully keep it out of reach of my little garden enemies (slugs & snails). We'll see if it's high enough to keep it out of reach of those little pests as the food starts growing.

I'll continue to keep you all posted as the growing season continues on, but just for your information, we spent about $100 for all the materials (wood and the peat moss, vermiculite, and compost). So I'm really hoping to get a LOT of food out of this garden this summer to make it cost effective. Although after the initial mix is made, you don't ever need to add vermiculite or peat moss to it again. When you are ready to replant a square, you just add a trowel full of compost and mix it in and replant. And by the time you need to add compost to replant, your own compost pile (made of free food scraps, shredded paper, grass clippings, leaves, etc) should be ready to use instead of the store bought compost!

Marc drilling the holes for our grid we'll attach to the box.
The complete grid.


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