The Square Foot Gardening method saves gardeners time, effort, tools, space and water. Schools across the nation and international humanitarian groups around the world are using the Square Foot Gardening method making inroads against poverty and hunger. The Square Foot Gardening method is estimated to cost 50% less, uses 20% less space, 10% of the water, and only 2% of the work compared to single row gardening. Additional benefits are: virtually no weeds, no digging or rototilling, and no heavy tools are necessary.
Anyone can be a successful gardener using the Square Foot Gardening method. While there are many more details, tips, and applications in the SFG books, the basics are very simple. Once a spot is chosen that has good drainage and receives 6-8 hours of direct sun per day, there are three simple steps:
Step 1: Build a box
You can use many materials to build your 4’ X 4’ box such as UNTREATED cedar, pine or fir. If treating wood only treat the outside of the box as to not have contact with the soil. You can even use brick, cement blocks, vinyl or recycled plastic. Be sure to put down weed mat or landscape fabric to prevent weeds from sprouting up through your soil.
Step 2: Fill SFG with Mel’s Mix
This tested and proven formula is easy to make at home. Please note: these ingredients will be in equal volumes, not by weight.
• 1/3 Coarse grade Vermiculite (Mel’s preferred medium)
• 1/3 Sphagnum Peat Moss (You can also use Coconut Coir)
• 1/3 Blended Organic Compost (Mel recommends 5 different composts combined for optimal results)
The Square Foot Soil Calculator
Step 3: Add a grid and start planting!
Grids can be made inexpensively from Venetian blinds, or wood lath sold in home improvement stores. The grid is one of the most important features of a Square Foot Garden. The grid lets you clearly see how to space your seeds/plants and keeps your garden looking neat and organized.
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