Square Foot Gardening

The phrase "square foot gardening" was popularized by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981 book and subsequent PBS television series. 

 In the "All New Square Foot Gardening" book, Mel Bartholomew recommends the following soil mixture: one-third compost, one-third peat moss, and one-third vermiculite. Water is also spared by hand-watering directly at the plant roots, so that there is very little waste and tender young plants and seedlings are preserved.

Densely planted crops can form a living mulch, and prevent weeds from establishing or even germinating.

Natural insect repellent methods such  as planting marigolds or other naturally pest-repelling plants are more  efficient in a close space, which eliminate the need  for pesticides. The large variety of crops in a small space also prevents plant diseases from spreading easily.

Variations on square foot gardens abound, but they are usually either a four by four foot square or a four by eight foot rectangle. The bed is divided into  12 by 12 inch squares.  The material used to make the sides of the beds and the dividers varies.  For example some use concrete blocks for the sides of the beds and others use wood.  String can be used to delineate the squares in the bed, or wooden lattice, or even PVC pipe.

We will have at least two examples of this garden design/technique at the Garland Community Garden this spring.  Here are a few how-to videos on building a square foot garden: