A little research on starting a backyard garden will quickly show there are many (maybe too many?) ways to plan your own plot. But don’t let it overwhelm you. Of the many methods I’ve tried in our garden over the years, Square Foot Gardening makes a tidy, productive garden possible even for those with little know-how, time, or space, and the neighbors won’t even mind looking at it!
What Is Square Foot Gardening?
In the early 1980s retired engineer Mel Bartholomew came up with an easily replicated concept to grow more food in less space, coining the term “Square Foot Gardening™.” His method has not lost popularity in the years since and has been improved and modernized.
A Square Foot Garden has several unique characteristics:
- Small, uniform raised beds (usually 4 x 4)
- Rich amended soil
- A physical grid dividing the surface of each bed into 1’ squares
- A set number of plants per square foot
- Square foot gardens can be a simple wooden frame or can even become more elaborate vertical gardens:
Square foot raised bed gardening-how to get started
While I love the idea of a sprawling garden in all its glory, you can see how the tidy, manicured look of a square foot garden might be appreciated in a variety of residential settings, especially if you’re tight on space.
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