These days more and more people are thinking about growing their own vegetables, for health reasons, or even just to have some fun. One of the easiest ways to grow vegetables if you don't have much space is to use a square foot garden. Square foot gardening is all about getting the biggest yield of vegetables possible from a very small space. Here is a picture of my square foot garden:
A square foot garden is very easy to create. Here is a step by step guide
1. Build a raised bed: Normally this is done by screwing together four 1 meter boards of approximately 8 inches in height together into a square. If you've got the space then I'd recommend this. I don't have enough space to do that so in my garden I have 2 beds, one sized 5 foot by 2 foot, and one 3 foot by 2 foot.
2. Choose your spot: place your raised bed in the sunniest place you can find in your garden. The closer to your house the better, as this will make it easier to pop out of the house and grab some vegetables when you want to cook something fresh.
3. Fill your square foot garden with compost: use good quality compost for specifically for growing vegetables
4. Make a grid: using string or something similar divide your bed into 1 foot grids. So, if you have a 3 foot by 3 foot bed as recommended, you'll end up with 9 squares. In my two beds I have 10 squares in one bed, and 6 squares in the other.
5. Plant up: now it's time to have some fun and plant up your square foot garden. You can grow your own vegetables from seed, but I actually find it's much easier and just as inexpensive to purchase plug plants from my local nursery. The aim is to plant a different vegetable in each square so you get lots of variety. You plant either 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square depending how big the vegetable, for example, you can get 16 onions per square or 16 carrots per square.
Here is a list of how many vegetables you can get per square for your reference:
- 9 beans
- 1 cabbage
- 16 carrots
- 1 cauliflower
- 4 chard
- 4 garlic
- 9 leeks
- 4 lettuce
- 16 onions
- 8 peas
- 1 pepper
- 1 potato
- 9 spinach
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 zucchini
Now all you have to do is sit back, and wait for your delicious vegetables to arrive. There is nothing nicer than cooking up the first vegetables of the year on a stove outside in some butter and garlic, and enjoying them with some friends and a glass of wine.