Can you tell me about square foot gardening and its design?


"Square foot gardening" is a gardening technique originally introduced by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981. He advocated planting vegetables and herbs in one foot squares arranged in a 12' x 12' (or other sized) grid. The aim is to have a densely planted, efficient garden. In his original concept, plants in the squares were planted directly in the ground. Later (2006) he changed this and recommended using raised beds of the same size and using potting soil rather than garden soil. 

Here's how to construct a Square Foot Garden -

1. Build a 4' x'4'  (or other sized square) from 6" wide un-treated lumber. Locate in a sunny location if you are growing vegetables.

2. Fill the box with potting soil made from 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 vermiculite.

3. Divide the box into 1' x 1' squares with wooden dividers..

4. Plant a different herb, vegetable or flower in each square (anywhere from one to sixteen plants depending on their sizes). Or sow seeds directly in the square. Read the seed packet to find out what spacing your plant needs. 

5. Whether or not you need to fertilize the plants as they grow depends on the type of plant being grown. For most plants the original compost in the mix may be sufficient.

For more information consult the Square Foot Gardening Foundation website:

This website has useful practical information -

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information

  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 86
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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