Planting The Square Foot Garden


I know some of you have been waiting to see the finished raised square foot garden, I finally had some free time to sit down and pound away on the keyboard.

The garden has been planted for almost a month already and is coming along rather nicely. I could just show you the finished present day look but I know you want to see me blather on about how it came together, right? If not I guess you could just ignore me and stare at the garden photos.

See I knew you wanted to read what I had to say!

new raised gardenAfter collecting all the soil from our friends koi pond install and eagerly filling up my fancy bomb shelter…I mean cinder block raised garden, I couldn’t wait to get the vegetable garden planted and growing. Just look at that fabulous dark soil!

Keeping an eye on the weather and chance of freezing temps on a daily basis kept things at bay for a bit. This certainly has been an interesting year for weather. One day it’ll be 90 and the next in the 40’s. It was like a cruel game of gotcha! Both my seedlings and I were not amused at mother nature’s fickle attitude. Come on! Decide if it’s summer or winter please, I have things to do!

If you remember I tried something a little different with starting my seedlings in toilet paper tubes this year. I have to say it worked out really good and will be using that method for all my seed starts from now on. I also can’t resist buying plants as well especially when it’s something I haven’t grown before, like black cherry tomatoes and brussel sprouts this time around. I don’t like brussel sprouts but Barry does so I figured why not.

Seed start pots

Happy Seedlings

To keep everything in order I laid out some string to mark out my square foots. They aren’t exact since the garden itself isn’t exactly square but are a bit bigger than a square foot. Bigger is always better than too small. At least that’s my motto.

With a garden full of soon to be tasty plants and sightings of sneaky raccoons among other wildlife, I of course knew I had to fence the garden in. I wanted the fence to be removable so I could easily maintain the grounds. I came up with an idea of burying pvc pipes in each corner that I could slip posts into that had fencing affixed to the posts. After I liberated some PVC from the garage and explained my vision, Barry got out the big boy tools and got to work. Presto, removable fencing and no sneaky furry creatures of the night stealing my vegetables.

Dirts in… check… fencing up… check.  Lets plant!

The best part of using the toilet paper tube method is the plants go direct from the water pans and into the ground. There is no pulling the plants out of their common plastic grow containers, tearing roots, breaking fragile plants, and killing or stunting growth. The less you disturb a plants root system the better a plant will grow and the faster it will become established.

As mentioned earlier this year I planted brussel sprouts and some black cherry tomatoes. Along with that is regular beef eater tomatoes, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, summer squash, eggplant,  sweet peppers, jalapeño pepper,  cauliflower, radishes, onions, and bush beans. Yes all that is in the little plot. I ran out of room and also have a tomatillo plant in a pot that is growing like crazy! The other pots in front are my brussel sprout plants.

If that wasn’t enough. I decided to not let the cinder block holes go to waste and fill those with my herbs and marigolds. For herbs I have boxwood basil, regular basil, spicy greek oregano, regular oregano, lemon grass, lavender, chives, and cilantro.

I probably should have not planted the summer squash in the square foot garden because I know how big the plants can get. I put it in front of my tomato plants so I’m hoping it’ll work out fine. However it’s starting to get a bit close to my eggplant so I’ll have to keep an eye on things to make sure everything is getting the proper sun exposure.

As you can see for the present day photo above, after just 3 or 4 weeks things are growing like crazy. My mouth waters in anticipation of what tasty food will soon be coming out of my tiny little square foot garden.

Did you put a vegetable garden in this year? Tell me what you planted in your comments. I may have forgotten to plant something ;)

4 comments for “Planting The Square Foot Garden

  1. Lori Baker
    10 June, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Nice job Joe! I want to know more about the lemon cukes and the lemon grass. Do the cukes taste different from the normal average cuke? Do you use lemon grass much?

    I planted tomatoes, cherry & early girl, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, pumpkins, and red peppers. As for herbs, basil, parsley and cilantro.

    Enjoy Summer!

    • Joe
      11 June, 2013 at 1:31 am

      The lemon cukes are a first for me this year but according to what I’ve read they are just a little sweeter than a regular cucumber. They looked neat so I had to buy some seeds and give it a go.

      The lemon grass I use to flavor tomato soup. It’s gives it such a unique flavor and is so good! I want to try and come up with some kind of tea concoction using lemon grass since it grows pretty big and only need a tiny bit for soup.

      I knew I forgot to mention one thing. Pumpkins! I have a couple just waiting to be put in the ground.

  2. Jill Reichenberger
    11 June, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Joe, That garden looks so wonderful! I only planted tomatoes. The rest are flowers. Next year the flowers are going and I am planting vegetables.

    Tell me more about the lemon grass?


    • Joe
      14 June, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      I don’t even remember why I started planting lemon grass several years ago. I think I saw it in an international food store once and was curious how it could be used. It actually grows pretty tall so it could be used as an annual edible ornamental grass.

      When I use it in cooking all I do is cut off one blade and throw it into my simmering pot of soup for a bit and then take it back out. It leaves a very distinct citrus like flavor behind. I never make tomato soup without it now.

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