Square Foot Gardening


Every year I plan out this massive elaborate garden that is filled with enough veggies to feed a small city. It usually consists of 15+ tomato plants, tomatillos, jalapeno, sweet peppers, lots of cucumbers ( I love cukes!), two varieties of eggplant, beans, and lots of other goodies. There is nothing better than fresh picked veggies overflowing on the counter.

Since we moved into our new house though with a tiny backyard my normal planting frenzy had to be reined in. Sadly I don’t have even close to the amount of room I normally have for growing my embarrassingly large vegetable garden. I’m positive my normal garden would take up our whole backyard.

I’ve been reading all about this new yet old trend of square foot gardening for a couple of years but haven’t until now ever needed to try to apply it. If you don’t know what square foot gardening is, it’s basically shrinking the size of your garden into small raised bed square foot plots that yield the same amounts or more compared to row gardens. I think the square foot gardening method has really taken off in the last couple years since more and more people are getting back into backyard farming and not all of us have the room for the old row planting method.

You can read all about this way of growing at Squarefootgardening.org

cinder blocks

Cinder blocks for raised garden

So now that I’m restricted to garden size I thought now would be a good time to put to good use all the reading I’ve done on square foot gardening. I stopped by Menards the other day and they had cinder blocks on sale for .89 cents a piece. Talk about perfect timing. I chose to go with cinder blocks over wood because landscape timbers are more costly and they have to be replaced more often from rotting and such. Using cinder blocks also means no tools needed, just place and your done. You can mortar them together or use construction adhesive to keep the blocks from being pushed out when the ground freezes in the winter if that tickles your fancy.

Today the sun was out and the weather was beautiful so I decided to get things going. It’s only one more week before I can start planting my square foot garden. Let’s just hope we don’t have any more flooding! I broke out the gloves and 30 minutes later my cinder block raised garden was all set up. That was easy.

I have nicknamed this my “bomb shelter garden”, I mean really it looks like I’m preparing for nuclear war in the backyard here.

I really only needed to go one level since I won’t be growing any deep root crops but I liked the idea of barely having to bend over to do anything. The downside is it will double the cost of filling it with dirt. Anyone have some clean soil to get rid of :) ?

3 comments for “Square Foot Gardening

  1. Sam H
    12 May, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    This is a neat idea. Yeah the wooden raised beds we have here are falling all apart! And you could even plant things in the holes of the cinder blocks potted plant style.

    • Joe
      14 May, 2013 at 12:20 am

      You must have read my mind. I used the cinder block holes to plant all my herbs and some marigolds. I’ll have some new photos to post soon.

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