I basically stacked two 2x10s on top of eachother for the sides and made them 4’x8′. If you’re not gardening now, you need to start. It’s also weed-free, unless you start with homemade compost that wasn’t “cooked” enough in a hot compost pile. Happy gardening! Everybody is entitled to have and express their own opinions,but not their own facts.That is why science is so awesome,because it is still the truth,even when people refuse to believe it. Any system that has been encouraging people to grow their own food for the past 40 years should be applauded. This method was invented by Mel Bartholomew, an American TV presenter, … Square foot gardening is wonderful for the beginning gardener. But we did make a few mistakes along the way. The classic Square Foot bed is a 4-foot x 4-foot square constructed of anything from lumber to bricks to cinder blocks. One final place where this method really shines is in its appeal to new gardeners. Having said that, I have to respectfully disagree with your opinion about these plastic square foot gardens. so they copy a lot of material from other places. Finally, you have to build the boxes. For example, my sister recently expressed a wish to make a garden at her house. Another consideration is, if my sister was a single mother, I think she would be more apt to buy the plastic beds instead of building one herself from wood and having to buy all her tools, etc to build it. Well, economy changes. In the spring, we built and planted a so-called square-foot garden here in Calgary, faithfully following the instructions in an updated version of Mel Bartholomew's 1970s book, Square Foot Gardening. You don’t need a square box. The soil tended to dry out faster than I expected and stress my plants out. Lasts 8-10 years and can then be replaced. David The Good is a Grow Network Change Maker, a gardening expert, and the author of five books you can find on Amazon: Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting, Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening, Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening, Create Your Own Florida Food Forest, and Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics. Regular pine also lasts much longer than 2 years. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Mist – Huge Fertilizer Ripoff, Ginkgo Biloba Tree Myths – The Maidenhair Tree, LED Grow Lights - Getting the Right Color Spectrum, 18 LED Grow Light Myths You Should Know About, The Magical Power of Banana Peels in The Garden - Or Not, Eggshells - How Not to Use Them in the Garden, Sunlight Calculator - Another Product You Don't Need. If I had a house nearby I would have definitely been in panic mode. To indulge in square foot gardening, all you need to do is divide your gardening bed into ‘imaginary’ 1 foot squares. If you want to grow beans, cabbages, salad greens, peppers, onions, and other smaller plants, Square Foot beds are very convenient and supportive. If you don’t have a lot of available space, square foot gardening is a great choice. At best the untreated wood beds would have lasted 2 years. With minimal upkeep, rich soil, and fewer pest problems, square foot gardening is a busy, suburban grower’s dream. I could work let’s say and that would be minimum worth $10 or so per hour – $40. Yup, it does. A square foot garden takes only one-fifth the space and work of a conventional single-row garden … Potting Up – Which Pot Size is Correct for Potting On? He’s gotten people gardening and helped feed people around the world. If you like this post, please share ....... Error type: "Forbidden". Does square foot gardening really work? But does it work? Wanting to help her, I came immediately to the conclusion that some sort of soil containment would probably be a good idea, if not a necessity. Square Foot Gardening Mistakes – our favorite method of managing a garden in a small suburban landscape. Granted, you’d earn it back in homegrown organic produce over time—which is why I bit the bullet and built beds for my wife—but it’s still a big outlay. I’ve yet to try anything in the fall but I imagine it would work fine in the hoop house. Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society. Retired engineer-turned-gardener Mel Bartholomew’s “Square Foot Gardening” consistently tops the list of best-selling gardening books—and there’s a reason. The Grow Network is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for our team to earn fees for recommending our favorite products! If you can get a few hundred garden-loving friends together, we may be able to make an enterprise of this. Some of us would rather bake a cake for someone, than to buy one. Perhaps where you live it certainly does. We both work in town during the week and cannot keep it watered well enough to not stress it through the day. If you’ve got a limited amount of space, like well-planned systems, and you’ve got some resources, Square Foot Gardening is a great method. Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. A healthy square foot gardening … The book recommends putting a barrier down at the bottom of the newly constructed bed. Do you have a source you can provide that explains how this happens? Square foot gardening is a solid gardening method for any home gardener, especially beginners and people who are short on space. When my wife wanted to start gardening years ago, I set her up with Square Foot beds. If you live near a lumber mill, and the wood costs next to nothing, obviously that’s one thing, but a blanket statement that this product is useless is unfair it seems. Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting, Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening, Push the Zone: The Good Guide to Growing Tropical Plants Beyond the Tropics. The spare time one uses for their hobbies shouldn’t be given a monetary value, anyways, because, it’s priceless! Error message: "The request cannot be completed because you have exceeded your, Copyright © 2021 Garden Myths | In contrast the wood beds dried out in a few hours after hurricane monsoons here. Not to mention the minimum wage $10 per hour and probably 4 hours or so minimum required for me to assemble such a project. I haven’t decided what to do about my sister’s backyard yet, but the plastic beds, so far, seem like the best option – at least to ME. The premise is to build a gardening box (in square … My point is – everything has a price. You might not have weeds to pull—but you’ll be spending some time watering during the summer. Websites, like Craigslist, make it easy to find free materials to make raised beds and trellises. As you pull out spent crops, put in a handful of compost in the holes left behind and then plant again. Drops to $2.80 for 92″ length, which might do as well. With Square Foot Gardening, you don’t have to deal with pH problems, nematodes, rocks, etc. Those plastic bags are recycled often whereas the brown paper bags were discarded to rot away. Traditionally, ofc, 2 by 4 lumber has almost always been the best value for buck. I priced out 2×4 lumber in the area(I live in Florida) and it was $4.50 for a 8 foot piece. It will probably surprise the manufacturers of this product that plant roots will just grow under their little plastic strips! You make some valid comments about price. I admit this is just my guess. The system is simple enough for anyone to create and it produces consistently. AT LEAST, in MY case. I use a combination of methods ranging from row gardening to biointensive beds to water gardening to food forestry, etc. We have 8 raised beds based on the square foot gardening method. For filling your new boxes, Mel Bartholomew, Square Foot Gardening … The standard Square Foot bed also doesn’t allow you to grow much in the way of large root crops or crawlers like melons. That said, it’s not where most of the food comes from on my homestead. This is useful for crop rotation, replanting, seeding, and spacing. Square foot gardening has a time-honored, well-tested place in the gardening world, with many noticeable benefits to gardening and lifestyle. Square foot gardening is a popular method that is an efficient and organized way of growing more vegetables. Brown paper grocery bags seem like they would be better for the environment but the world has gone to plastic grocery bags. It’s a remarkably well-engineered, self-contained way to garden. Or you can build the bed on top of concrete, believe it or not. Does square-foot gardening work? I don’t think it hurts that the method was thought up by an engineer (generally very smart people). You can divide up your tasks by square or by box and do one a day or whatever you want. 21 Common Indoor Plant Myths – That Save You Time and Money. The basic principle is that you are giving each type of plant the spacing they require, without wasting any space. You then plant the correct number of seeds or plants into each square foot area. But on a serious note, there are two things I have tried to mitigate the cost and lengthen the life of my raised beds. Even the plastic water bottles people buy do this. I do a bit of several gardening methods and have found that square foot gardening works great for late winter in our small hoop house. Home Depot sells junk. Hi Robert, I just stumbled on your site doing some research for our vegetable gardens. Learn from our mistakes before you tackle your garden! Keep producing that, and your gardens will keep growing for you. But the cost of taking the lumber out of the pine tree and transporting it, etc. A key factor in being successful with plant spacing in square foot gardening is adding a grid to your garden. It seems they should be more concerned PERHAPS(obviously my not so worthy opinion), with the science of economics and statistics than that of biology, or at least as much so. Square Foot Gardening. And if it takes a 4-foot x 4-foot box with good instructions and a smiling mentor—sure, you can start with Square Foot Gardening. I totally agree that one does not need to start ” it probably! Lasted 2 years would you recommend using to construct a raised bed bed!, the more I read and see about permaculture and gardening, despite its advantages also... For our vegetable gardens levels of leaching and any leaching that does happen does need... 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