Square Foot Gardening: What Is It and Does It Work? Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. You don’t need a square box. I’ve yet to try anything in the fall but I imagine it would work fine in the hoop house. We both work in town during the week and cannot keep it watered well enough to not stress it through the day. You can’t let a week slip past or you’ll be having a Square Foot funeral. The late Mel Bartholomew brought gardening to a whole new crowd, and it really looks like a fun way to grow. That said, it’s not where most of the food comes from on my homestead. The square foot gardening system allows people to grow more food in less space, maximising yields and minimising waste. With Square Foot Gardening, you don’t have to deal with pH problems, nematodes, rocks, etc. Even if I do it myself for free which ofc I would, I am still using those productive hours of mine that I could be using for other purposes. At best the untreated wood beds would have lasted 2 years. You might be interested in this post Raised Beds – Pros and Cons. My point is – everything has a price. I am not here to bash square foot gardening (SFG). However you will need to add more support for something like this, which increases the cost. Many gardening books are full of incorrect information. Lasts 8-10 years and can then be replaced. There are so many advantages to building a square foot garden: maximizing your harvest is just one of them. Even on a slope, you can make flat beds – like rice paddies on a hill side. 2 x 4 x 8′ cost $3.20 here in Indiana. Fill the Raised Garden Bed. Find fresh gardening inspiration at his website TheSurvivalGardener.com and be sure to follow his popular YouTube channel. I do think, … Thanks for supporting TGN! Not to mention the minimum wage $10 per hour and probably 4 hours or so minimum required for me to assemble such a project. Plant Communication – Can Plants Talk to Other Plants? I initially build mind because I was having some back issues at the time, so I built mine tall and installed a rail I could sit on while weeding and harvesting. Minimal Weeding– This really is one of the most important things for me. Another place where Square Foot Gardening shines is in its ability to produce large amounts of veggies in a small space. This saves $1.30 – $1.70 per bed. Square Foot Gardening Mistakes – our favorite method of managing a garden in a small suburban landscape. I priced out 2×4 lumber in the area(I live in Florida) and it was $4.50 for a 8 foot piece. If you live near a lumber mill, and the wood costs next to nothing, obviously that’s one thing, but a blanket statement that this product is useless is unfair it seems. If you’ve got a limited amount of space, like well-planned systems, and you’ve got some resources, Square Foot Gardening is a great method. Keep producing that, and your gardens will keep growing for you. Very logical and yet common sensical without hysteria. Additionally, I have a patio, and I bought pvc raised beds, since I have no backyard space to garden. Why not just use flat ground? I have been an advocate of vegetable gardening for 20 years and doing raised beds for the past 9. Even though I don’t follow most of his advice, I’m a fan of Mel Bartholomew. I love Sundays because I get one day every single week to hang out with Farmer and the kids, and recharge for the next 6 days. Bartholomew also strongly recommends putting a permanent grid over the top, dividing the bed into easily manageable 1-foot squares. Plastic may last longer, but environmentally it is less desirable. No soil improvements. Square foot gardening wraps up all the loose ends of conventional gardening and ties them up into a neat little box of veggies. And if it takes a 4-foot x 4-foot box with good instructions and a smiling mentor—sure, you can start with Square Foot Gardening. Square foot gardening also works best in a raised bed that’s no more than 4 feet wide (so you can reach the middle easily), though it can be whatever length you like. The basic principle is that you are giving each type of plant the spacing they require, without wasting any space. I could work let’s say and that would be minimum worth $10 or so per hour – $40. Amy’s viewpoint: First off, a square foot garden is simply a raised box or bed that is divided into squares.The beds can be 2 feet by 2 feet or 4 x 12, but the most common is a bed that is 4 … Total cost would be $45 per 4’x4′ bed at 10″ high just for lumber, not including an extra piece you would require for corners, glue(because I would want it glued), stainless screws or even cheap exterior deck screws still costing something extra on top, gas for pick up from the hardware store, time and labor to pick it up. The above information on the plastic square foot,raised planting box had me thinking,how about a column “Don’t buy this literature”.I and i suspect a great many others have been grossly mislead on gardening techniques and practices via “books” that have been published aimed at the home gardener,For a person to publish gardening literature that grossly misleads so many people is unjust,selfish,and just plain wrong.I love to learn and i have no problems with learning from mistakes.Having to learn the “hard way” ie,wasted money,time,effort,and productivity due to the influence of reading such books gets my temperature to rise.Speaking for myself,square foot gardening is a complete waste period and for most others for that matter. I do not know why, but seems obvious there must be reasons. He’s gotten people gardening and helped feed people around the world. Making your own simple and inexpensive homemade fertilizers can be…, How to Germinate Peach Pits (and Why You Should), Discover how to germinate peach pits and save money by…, 12 Uses for Rose Petals — From the Kitchen to the…, Explore the wondrous powers of the rose—from relieving sore throats…. The spare time one uses for their hobbies shouldn’t be given a monetary value, anyways, because, it’s priceless! With minimal upkeep, rich soil, and fewer pest problems, square foot gardening is a busy, suburban grower’s dream. The drawbacks (while real) all have fairly simple … Double-digging could create the same space for $0.00, provided you had a little compost or manure lying around. If you’re not gardening now, you need to start. Square foot gardening is wonderful for the beginning gardener. We … The premise is to build a gardening box (in square … The pressure treated wood produced in North America is now safe for vegetables gardens. Mel goes on to say, "The square foot system lets you make the most of your garden space to conserve the amount of water, soil conditioners, and labor needed to produce a maximum amount of food in that space. You can build raised beds and place them in the sunniest … I use a combination of methods ranging from row gardening to biointensive beds to water gardening to food forestry, etc. If you want to start gardening but feel overwhelmed or don’t think you have the space to do it, I encourage you to explore the square foot gardening method. So far, it’s been successful for us (except for the squash vine borers last summer but let’s not talk about those). Square Foot Gardening promises little or no weeding, consistent results, and lots of organic veggies from a tiny space. If I had a house nearby I would have definitely been in panic mode. Once the summer sun is doing its thing, the square foot gardening is done. If you are only raising the bed a few inches, raised beds add no real value except aesthetics and a bit less bending. Always ask, of course. Can’t say for sure it’s because it’s pvc. Happy gardening! Not to mention, at least where I live, I think the plastic beds would raise the value of the home where a termite infested wood weathered garden, probably not so. All your “fertilizer” is produced by you. If you love growing orderly vegetables, but don’t have the time to spend hours each day weeding, square foot gardening is definitely for you! Don’t buy a product that you don’t need, and more importantly, don’t buy a plastic version of it! It’s not nothing. Square foot gardening is a popular method that is an efficient and organized way of growing more vegetables. That I am less sure about. I eventually took the bottoms out of mine once I was sure the weeds beneath were dead. It really does work, and it takes a lot of the guesswork out of gardening. 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