- Ever want to have your own garden but are limited on space?
- Ever want to have a garden but you are too lazy to weed the garden? (clearing throat, raising hand, lol!)
- Ever want to grow your own fruits and veggies?
- Ever want to have an endless supply of greens for smoothies?
Well here’s your chance folks. A square foot gardening tutorial!! Whoo hoo! In this HOW TO I will discuss how to build the box and make the mix.
This tutorial is for a 4×4 Square Foot Garden but you can use it as a guideline and build whatever size you wish.
I started a square foot garden a few years back. I wanted an easy (tidy looking) way to have a garden without all the fuss and muss of tilling and weeding, etc. That’s when I discovered square foot gardening. I learned most of what I needed to know from Mel Bartholomew (the square foot garden creator). Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Do Not Do This…
Do not buy anything “pre-made” It’s a rip off!…Everything you need to succeed is right here.
Some places like William Sonoma and even the big box stores like Home Depot are selling pre-fab square foot gardening boxes that are an extreme rip-off! Don’t do it! I think it defeats the purpose of saving a little cash. You are allowed to buy pre-fab box if you have so much money that you don’t have anything left to buy. In that case send pictures.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2x4x8 Untreated Lumber-You need 2 of these
- Weed Blocker (if you so choose)
- 1-Bag Vermiculite (Medium, but coarse will due)
- 1-Bag Compost (I use Mushroom)
- 1-Bag Peat Moss
- Shovel for clearing grass and mixing
- 8- 2 1/2 to 3″ Decking screws
- Screw Gun with 3/8″ Drill Bit
- Flat Area that gets 6-8 hours of sun
- L Brackets for support plus additional screws (optional)
Collect your supplies at your nearest Hardware Store or Big Box store. I recommend going somewhere that they will cut your wood down to size for you. Especially if you are like me and like to keep things as simple as possible. (If you are doing a 4×4 box then you will need your boards cut in half or 4′ in length each.) They are usually super happy to do it for you and it makes throwing one of these boxes together a cinch.
Peel up your grass with a shovel in your chosen 4×4 area.
Cut out your weed blocker a little bigger than 4×4 so that there is overlapping
Cut your chosen boards down to 4-4′ lengths
Secure your boards together with a screw gun. I recommend pre-drilling your holes to ensure that the wood doesn’t split. Optional: You can also buy L brackets to place inside the wood box for extra support. You will be glad you did later. This thing will have to withstand years of hot and cold temperature and moisture. (Also note, build your box in the area that you are planning on leaving it so you aren’t hauling it across the yard later.)
Garden Mix Is Sooooo Important!!
Once you have your box built it’s time to add your ingredients. The thing that makes this square foot garden work the most is the ingredients. Sure you can add just any old soil, but trust me you will be happy you mix your own.
Put Your Mix In:
Add 3 Equal parts of Vermiculite, Compost and Pete Moss and Mix. Don’t be afraid to just dump that stuff in there, you’ll have a blast.
Mix that stuff up good. Your plants are going to go bananas when they lay their roots on this yummy stuff.
It’s the PERFECT mixture for drainage, vitamins and nutrients. Plus when you have your own mix as opposed to tilling a garden with soil already there, you miss one important thing…WEEDS. Yesssssss!! I very much do not like weeds.
Bam Your Ready for planting! Plant anything you like! I even have a box dedicated to strawberries, they love their home and go crazy every year.
SQUARE FOOT BONUS:
Very very very little weeding when doing the square foot garden!
If there is an occasionally tiny weed (did I say tiny?) you barely have to pull because the soil isn’t compacted at all it makes it almost fun!
You garden will be even more awesome because you can tell all your friends that you did it yourself and they will think you’re amazing, (which you are!)
Your back yard will look really cool, with it’s fresh produce section
You will have no excuse to pump out Delectable Green Smoothies 24/Sev!