I became interested in Square Foot Gardening about 3 years ago, after I had tried to grow a traditional garden that turned out to be about 30 by 40 feet and *alot* of back breaking work! I came to admire the farmers of times past! I started searching for an easier way to provide natural food for my family. I discovered the Square Foot Gardening book at Barnes & Noble and I was hooked! It seemed so easy and so practical that I just had to try it.
My first Square Foot Garden was 4ft x 8ft, per suggested in the book for a large family. I got the kids involved and we 'played in the dirt' one saturday afternoon. I was worried that by using cow & chicken manure that it would attract an array of flies, but to my amazement, there were NONE! I let it settle for a few days and we picked out some tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and even a watermelon plant to plant.
After the first few days, the plants started standing up and reaching for the wonderful sun! We harvested so many tomatoes & peppers that I had to bring the extra to the store and hand them out to customers! As a family of 5 at the time, we couldn't eat enough to keep up with production! It was so easy to take care of.
I placed it right outside my back door so I could check on everything and water when I came home every day. I never had any weeds since I mixed the soil myself. And imagine the shock & excitment the day we came home and had our first baby watermelon!!
Yes, I was sold! Square Foot Gardening was the way to go! No more back breaking hours spent hoeing rows between crops and being on my hands and knees pulling weeds.
In the fall of 2013, I took the online course for Square Foot Gardening and received my certification to teach about this amazing way to garden!
Step 1: You will be using 5 types of compost. These can include cottonburr, mushroom, worm castings, cow manure, and chicken manure. There are other compost available that you can choose to put in your square foot garden, but these are the most readily available.
Step 3: Add 5 equal scoops of peat moss, the next soil component. Peat moss is available in 3 cu ft. bales. Usually one bale will be all you will need for your garden.
Step 5: Now is the fun part! Get your hands in this great soil and get to mixing! Make sure to dig down in the corners and get all of the ingredients mixed all together very well.
Step 2: Measure out an equal part of each compost. I like to use an old feed scoop so my measurements stay consistent.
Step 4: The final part to your awesome soil is vermiculite. Vermiculite comes in a large 4 cu ft. bag. We joke that these are large enough to use as pillows! You will use 5 equal scoops of the vermiculite.
Here are a few examples of the display square foot garden we have. You can see the growth rate of planting in such wonderful soil!